Electric heating: Surface storage heating: The emergency plan for the shivering winter without gas

The storage tanks are empty, the gas price is up.

Electric heating: Surface storage heating: The emergency plan for the shivering winter without gas

The storage tanks are empty, the gas price is up. The reason for this are the western sanctions against Russia because of its illegal war of aggression against Ukraine. Experts fear that German gas prices will rise fivefold in winter if the Kremlin turns off the gas tap completely or partially – as has happened now. Only ten percent of the possible volume is currently (as of July 27, 2022) flowing through Nordstream 1. Very few can afford the high gas price. Even high earners might look askew if the heating period for their city villa costs them a whopping 25 grand instead of 5,000 euros. Reason enough for politicians to impose gas savings on citizens. So alternatives are needed.

On a political level, there are those in the form of fracking, phase-out of nuclear power, restarting shut down coal plants, or even bringing Nord Stream 2 online and the associated lifting of sanctions to depress the price of gas. They all have two things in common: Firstly, they are politically difficult or impossible to convey, and secondly, the citizens who are at stake have no influence on what their elected representatives now consider the most sensible way, climate goals and economic war against reconcile Russia.

So it's no wonder that many people are looking around for alternative heating methods. There aren't many. Oil heating is on the verge of being phased out and will no longer be installed. An electric heat pump can be the solution, it is subsidized by the state, but only works efficiently with underfloor heating and is expensive (around 8,000 euros) to purchase and dispose of the old heating system. Connection to the district heating network is a good option for saving heating costs, but it also causes high costs.

Interested parties have to spend around 5,000 euros for the connection plus the disposal of the old heating system and consumers are exposed to the monopoly and arbitrariness of the local district heating operator. He then likes to triple the annual fees, as reported by Bayrischer Rundfunk. In addition, around 40 percent of district heating in Germany still comes from gas. If you don't have 5,000 euros or more left for connecting and disposing of the old heating, you can rely on electric heating as an interim solution.

There are different electric heaters. Classic electric heaters and infrared heaters are considered direct heaters. Direct in this context means that you consume electricity when you heat. The special thing about infrared heating is that it emits heat rays and thus heats up a specific area. In comparison, the surface storage heating "charges" in a similar way to the night storage heating and can (once charged) emit heat regardless of whether it is currently drawing electricity or not. A mineral storage core makes this possible. The different electric heaters take nothing from the consumption.

A surface storage heater costs between 600 and 900 euros, depending on the output and size. As a rule of thumb, calculate 100 watts per square meter. A 20 square meter room needs a 2000 watt heater. A surface storage heater that works with 2000 watts and takes five hours to heat up the storage tank draws 10 kilowatt hours from the socket. At a price of 33 cents per kilowatt hour, this causes costs per day (and room) of 3.30 euros. With 180 heating days, that would be 594 euros per heating/room per year.

Plus around 800 euros for the heating, this results in costs of 1394 euros for a 20 square meter room, which corresponds to 4182 euros for a 60 square meter apartment including initial acquisition costs. The question remains when the investment pays off compared to other types of heating and that depends on both the gas and the electricity price. In order to warm individual rooms and otherwise turn down the heating, a purchase can still be worthwhile depending on the individual case.

Buyers of a surface storage heater do not have a particularly large selection. If you don't want to use a no-name product, you should take a look at the AeroFlow models from Thermotec. The company produces its heaters in Germany (Saxony). Nice: There is additional material for the models, such as castors, if you don't want to mount the heater on the wall. Of course, this only makes sense for the smaller models such as the Mini-AeroFlow with 650 watts of power. The manufacturer himself states that the heater is suitable for rooms between 4 and 9 square meters.

You can use the next larger version for all rooms up to 20 square meters. By the way: You can control all heaters using a smartphone app. Of course, they are available for iOS and Android.

For rooms from 15 to 30 square meters, the manufacturer recommends its medium-sized radiator. If controlling the individual heaters is too cumbersome for you, there is also an internet module that you can use to operate all the heaters in the apartment.

And of course, how could it be otherwise: particularly large rooms need a large heater. According to the manufacturer, the AeroFlow Maxi with 2450 watts of power is suitable for rooms up to 40 square meters. Important: All heaters are supplied with only a hanging device for wall mounting. Stands need to be purchased separately.

The manufacturer offers various accessories for the heaters. If you need mobile heating, there are rollers that you can mount under the surface storage heater. The heaters can be regulated via a smartphone app via an internet module that you connect to your router. The heaters can also do this in-house, but with the Internet module they can all be controlled more conveniently at the same time. If you find it too cumbersome to operate several heaters via app, you can also use a radio transmitter.

Electric heaters have a bad reputation for being particularly wasteful. In comparison to gas heating with hot water, however, this is only a perceived truth, because on closer inspection it is a worse energy waster. The excess heat from the boiler is lost there. Sure, it does warm the room it's in, but it's usually the basement and not a living room. In addition, heat is lost in the pipes when the water is transported to the heating system. The electric heating, on the other hand, generates the heat directly on site.

Means: The kilowatt hour in the electric heater comes out directly as heat. And that makes the electric heater more efficient per kilowatt hour than conventional gas heaters with hot water. In addition, with electric heating, there are no maintenance costs for boilers, chimneys

However, the electric heating still offers one advantage and this is of particular interest to allergy sufferers: normal radiators cause air turbulence. As a result, there is more house dust in the air and a "heat wall" is created in the room. This happens much less with electric heating.

no If you have an electricity tariff with 100 percent green electricity, the electric heater is theoretically not a bad thing. But now there are several problems. In winter, it's not so easy to rely on renewable energy, because solar panels often don't get enough light during the heating period to generate enough energy for heating. remain wind turbines. Good in theory, but unfortunately not so good for network stability. As a reminder, the power grid is a highly complex system. It must supply 50 Hertz alternating current continuously and stably.

Excessively large fluctuations in the power grid mean that industrial machines (such as ovens) may fail. Unfortunately, these fluctuations are caused by the decentralized power supply, i.e. by renewable energies. If a particularly large number of people are now using surface storage heaters because they want to save gas, a power grid is needed that supplies a lot of stable electricity just when people are charging their heating.

Unfortunately, since the wind does not blow when we would like it to, our power grid is dependent on power plants for stability, because gas, coal or nuclear power plants deliver more or less electricity at the push of a button and as required. As absurd as it sounds: It is climate-friendly when nuclear power plants bring about this stability, even if it remains a CO2-neutral environmental mess. If you want to heat in a particularly climate-friendly and environmentally friendly way, you should rely on district heating from renewable energy sources. But Germany is far behind countries like Denmark. Alternatively, biogas would also work. Unfortunately, this cannot be produced in such large quantities that everyone can heat with it. That leaves the heat pump. Electrically operated, the same applies here as with surface storage heating. It's good when the electricity comes from renewable sources.

Sources: NDR.de youtube.com/lightaspec youtube.com/br24

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