There are many ways to heat modern buildings. You will find a profound overview of the common forms of heating and information on ecology, energy costs and possible disadvantages in this article.
Heaters powered by fossil fuels are still the most widely used types of heating in Germany. However, they are also the most unecological: they consume finite resources that are already in short supply, and they produce a lot of CO2 and are also responsible for a lot of air pollution.
In terms of heating costs, fossil fuel heaters are in the middle of the list between the very favorable biomass heaters and the very expensive electricity heaters. However, this is only the still very cheap price of oil and gas, but not consumption.
Oil fired boilers of modern design only work in the low-temperature (NT) range. The efficiency of so-called blue burners in connection with condensing technology is already very high today, the emissions in modern boilers have been greatly reduced in recent years.
Gas heaters and gas condensing boilers are slightly more fuel-efficient than oil heaters and in some cases also have better exhaust emissions. However, they are inferior to many other heating systems in terms of energy consumption. In the long term, alternative gas extraction processes, such as fracking or wood gas, could substitute part of the natural gas for price stability.
Coal heating is still available today. Automatic feed and solutions to the ash problem make coal an interesting fuel that is still cheaper than oil and gas. However, the environmental impact of coal heating is much more negative than oil and gas heating, so it's important to think carefully about how to use it.
In heating technology, biomass refers to all types and shapes of wood. In fact, organic material, such as dried algae sludge, is a self-renewing fuel, but there are hardly any practical applications for such exotic biomass.
Biomass heaters include:
- classic wood burning stoves and fireplaces, tiled stoves
- firewood boilers
- pellet heaters and woodchip heaters
- wood carburetors
They generate the lowest heating costs, are climate neutral and are ecologically friendly, as they naturally use renewable raw materials that do not need to be treated industrially ,
Electricity can also be heated, but with little ecological impact. Electricity is also by far the most expensive source of energy, which is about four to five times as expensive as gas.
The heaters that are powered by electricity include:
- night storage heaters
- the very efficient infrared radiant heating as well as Ele modern electric storage heaters
- electric direct heating systems such as fan heaters
- other forms of heating
There are also other options, some very environmentally friendly and efficient too heat:
heat pump technology
- solar thermal energy as well as
- mini combined heat and power plants
- The most efficient form of heating at all is heat recovery in the passive house. It also causes virtually no heating costs.