Autonomous gas heating of a private house: device options and an overview of the best solutions

Alexey Dedyulin
Checked by a specialist: Alexey Dedyulin
Author: Maxim Fomin
Last update: April 2019

Heating systems using gas as a fuel are highly efficient and reliable. Generators of thermal energy in them have impressive efficiency, are safe to operate. There are several ways to arrange gas heating for a private house.

There are solutions both budgetary in execution, and more expensive with maximum efficiency and stability in work. We are ready to share with you proven in practice options for installing a gas heating system. Using our recommendations guarantees the construction of a reliable and reliable network.

The information we provide is based on building codes. The information offered for acquaintance supplement visual photo-illustrations, diagrams and video manuals.

Centralized or autonomous gas supply?

Without a combustible fuel, there will be zero use of any version of a home heating system in an autonomous version. Gas is the first thing you need to think about when planning gas heating in a country house.

Not all settlements in Russia are gasified. However, “blue fuel” can be obtained not only from a pipe or cylinder with liquefied fuel, but also from a gas tank.

Natural gas, consisting mainly of methane, is piped to private homes. Its liquefied analogue is a propane-butane mixture, which is pumped into containers for transportation and storage. The pressure in such cylinders and gas holders is about 15-18 atmospheres.

When organizing heating in a private house using balloon containers of 50 liters, the latter will have to be changed every 2-3 days in winter. If autonomous gas supply is selected for a country cottage, then it is best prefer gas holder, which can be up to 20 cubic meters.

The choice of capacity per cubic meter depends on the level of consumption of liquefied petroleum gases (LPG). Here it is necessary to take into account not only the boiler, but also the fireplace and gas stove, if they are used in the house.

For a cottage of 150 sq.m. It is recommended to install a gas tank with a volume of 2000–3000 liters. And for a country house of 300 sq.m. you will need an option for 8000–9000 liters.

Gas supply to the house from a gas tank
If there is no gas main in the village, you can use the option of autonomous fuel supply from a gas tank designed to store gas in a liquefied state

According to the cost of connection, a gas pipeline is in most cases more advantageous than a reservoir in the ground. But only when the locality is already gasified.

There are also possible situations in which the installation of a gas holder will cost less than connecting to a main pipeline. It all depends on the specific connection conditions in the region and the remoteness of the village from a large gas pipeline.

When using a gas holder, you don’t have to worry about the pressure in the pipe. It is extremely easy to operate. It is only necessary to regularly call specialists to check it for safety, and also do not forget to refuel. Installation of the entire system will take no more than three days.

If an autonomous gasification option is selected, then gas boiler should be purchased one that is designed to work on LPG. There are models on sale that are designed to operate solely on main natural gas.

But most gas heat generators are adapted to burn both varieties of this fuel. You only have to change the nozzles, as well as reconfigure the valve and electronics to a different mode.

Installation Standards
The main disadvantage of a gas tank is that it can only be installed on a large area, the capacity according to the requirements of SNiPs must be removed from the house by at least 10 m

The rules and specifics of gasification of country houses are described in detail in one of popular articles our site.

Choosing a heating gas boiler

Modern gas-fired heat-generating equipment has a variety of automation and is able to work in several modes. It can be floor and wall.

The second option is more compact, but has power limitations. If the model is chosen for a large-sized private house, then you will have to purchase a powerful unit in the floor design.

Classification of gas heating boilers
Gas boilers are divided by the method of execution, type of ignition, energy efficiency, the number of circuits and the method of removal of combustion products

The principle of functioning of a gas boiler is extremely simple - the fuel is ignited in the burner using piezoelectric elements or electronic ignition, then as a result of burning fuel, thermal energy is generated, which is transferred to the water through a heat exchanger.

The latter is already used as a coolant in the heating system or is consumed in domestic hot water.

Which gas boiler to choose for heating a private house
In terms of overall performance, traditional convection gas boilers lose condensation. The performance of the former does not exceed 90% of energy consumption. Manufacturers of the second guarantee an efficiency of 100%, in some models 105 and even 110% are promised

The heat exchanger in a gas boiler can be made:

  • from steel (stainless steel);
  • copper;
  • cast iron.

The most common options are steel. This metal is cheap and ductile, so cracks from constant heating / cooling appear less often in it.

But steel elements, when they constantly interact with the water of a gas heating system, arranged in a country house, quickly begin to corrode.

The place of the heat exchanger in the gas boiler
Cast iron heat exchanger is the most durable, steel is cheaper, and copper is most effective in capturing heat transfer to water

Cast iron is less susceptible to corrosion, but it is quite heavy. Most boiler models with cast-iron heat exchangers are floor standing. It is problematic to mount such heavy and overall equipment on the wall.

If you need a compact and lightweight heating unit, then the best option is with a copper coil. However, it costs the most among analogues of other metals.

Types of gas boilers by the number of circuits
To supply the cottage with heat and hot water, you can choose a scheme with two single-circuit boilers or an option with one double-circuit installation

The piping scheme and the principle of its use depend on the number of circuits in the gas-fired water boiler. One heat exchanger was originally designed to organize a gas heating system in a private house. For hot water supply, it is necessary to install another boiler or immediately select a dual-circuit model.

It is best to heat hot water for domestic use in a storage boiler. Streaming models are less economical. They will spend more gas on heating.

The device of a wall-mounted gas boiler for heating and domestic hot water
Wall-mounted gas boilers are a fully equipped miniature boiler room. Their design has its own circulation pump, expansion tank and safety group. Most types of wall equipment serve two circuits.

Which combustion chamber is better?

In order for the gas in the boiler furnace to burn, it needs a constant supply of oxygen. It is taken directly from the boiler room or pulled from the street. The first option involves a natural flow of air, and the second is forced by a fan.

Gas boilers are equipped with two types of combustion chambers:

  1. Closed - oxygen replenishment is carried out through the gap between the paired pipes of different diameters. The combustion products are discharged through the internal channel.
  2. Open - air enters the furnace from the room with the heating system through the supply valve. The combustion products are removed round in cross section by a smoke channel.

The first option is independent of the area of ​​the room. Suitable for rooms of any size. The coaxial view of the chimney from the unit with a closed firebox can be displayed through a wall or an upper ceiling with a roof.

In the second case, it will be necessary to install a chimney high at 5–6 meters, otherwise the draft for suction of the required volumes of oxygen into the combustion chamber will not be enough.

But gas boilers with an atmospheric burner do not need to be connected to the mains. There is no fan in them; everything happens naturally without forced circulation.

Combustion chambers
Boilers with closed chambers and forced air blowing have higher efficiency compared to open boilers, but they require constant power supply to operate

It is recommended that gas water heaters with an open firebox be installed in special rooms with good ventilation. If you mount them in living rooms, they will greatly reduce the amount of oxygen in them.

Without a forced ventilation system there will no longer be enough. And this is an additional cost for the installation and subsequent operation of equipment for air ventilation.

Characterization of condensation models

In conventional gas boilers, water vapor generated by the combustion of gas flies into the chimney. In the process of burning it forms a little, but it still carries a fairly significant amount of thermal energy. In order not to waste this heat, condensing boilers have been developed.

Condensing boiler
The flue gases in the condensing boiler pass through a secondary heat exchanger before entering the chimney, where they cool the cold water entering the unit

The principle of operation of these plants is based on the fact that when cooling the exhaust gas vapor, it transfers heat to the water from the return of the heating system. The temperature of the coolant increases slightly, but the recuperator is quite suitable as an additional source of thermal energy.

Condensed water from the condensing boiler is discharged through a special pipe into the sewer or a separate tank. It is worthwhile to clearly clarify one nuance - the condensate formed is actually a weakly concentrated acid. And in an hour it can leak up to 4-6 liters.

If this liquid is poured into a septic tank, then all the microbes living in it will be destroyed. If there is a cleaning station in a country house, condensate cannot be drained from the boiler into the sewer system. With the design of the chimney, everything is simpler, just take the one that is designed for boilers with a closed chamber.

Fireplace for gas heating at home

At the cost of equipment, gas fireplaces are comparable to electric or wood counterparts. But gas fuel is much cheaper.

And, unlike firewood, gas heating with a fireplace in a country house implies the absence of problems with ash. Plus, you do not have to constantly monitor the operation of the furnace and take care of chopping logs.

Gas fireplace for heating a private house
Fireplaces that process gas into thermal energy are used in heating systems, as not equipped with devices necessary for servicing two circuits

By type of installation, gas fireplaces are:

  • near the wall;
  • island
  • recessed.

According to the general design and internal filling (burners, automation, device of combustion chambers) they completely repeat gas boilers. In both cases, the technology for connecting to networks is identical. Differences exist only in the principle of space heating.

Scheme of gas heating in a private house
By the principle of connecting and organizing a heating system, gas fireplaces are similar to floor heating boilers

The hot water boiler is originally designed to heat water, and a conventional fireplace - for convection of air from the body and front screen, behind which the combustion of fuel occurs.

Water heating schemes

For heating cottages, heating systems with water as a coolant are equipped, consisting of:

  • boiler water heating (single-circuit or double-circuit);
  • piping and fittings (metal or polypropylene);
  • bypassallowing disconnecting individual heaters from the network;
  • of batteries (cast iron, aluminum, steel and bimetal);
  • expansion tank.

Gas heating units are equipped with a specific security system, including an electromagnetic valve and a thermocouple. Devices are interconnected by wires.

If the heating unit is functioning properly, the thermocouple junction is heated by the igniter. At this time, a current flows freely through the solenoid winding, which ensures the valve is open.

When the thermocouple cools, the gas is blocked by the solenoid valve.

According to the scheme battery connection they are single pipe and double pipe. In the first case, water is supplied and discharged from the radiator using a single pipe. In the second, the heater is connected to two separate pipelines (supply and return).

Schemes for connecting radiators
Heating pipes to the batteries can be connected in the lower, upper, lateral and diagonal patterns

Heating circuits according to the principle of movement of water in pipes come with natural and forced circulation. With the device of the second option, the coolant circulates in the system due to convection and gravity. A forced circuit involves the installation of a circulation pump.

To ensure the normal operation of the system with two or more circuits connected to the collector, it provides for the installation of a hydraulic arrow. The hydraulic needle eliminates pressure drops and the likelihood of a water hammer.

The expansion tank can be open and closed (internally divided into two parts by a sealed membrane). For gravity heating systems, an open option will suffice. The closed tank is intended for circuits with forced circulation.

Removing air from the heating system
When using an open expansion tank, water is saturated with air so that this does not become a problem, the system should be supplemented with a removal circuit

For small cottages, the natural principle of water movement will suffice. However, if a residential building has two or three floors, then you can not do without a pump. The length of the circulation circuit in the first circuit is limited to 30 meters. The boiler will not be able to “push” water over a greater distance.

With natural circulation of the coolant in the gas heating circuit of a private house, there is no pump. If the boiler is non-volatile, then the entire heating system is obtained independent of power supply. There are simply no elements that consume electricity.

On the one hand, it is more stable in operation, but on the other hand, the quality of heating in it is lower (the water reaches the coolest one that is farthest from the radiator water heater).

Especially the latter applies to pipelines and batteries made of steel or cast iron. These materials have high hydraulic resistance, which reduces the coolant current.

Heated floor from a gas boiler
In addition to using standard radiators in a country house, it is possible to organize gas heating using a “warm floor”

A variant of organizing a combined heating system is also possible. In her circulation pump connects to the trunk via bypass. If necessary, quickly warm the air in the rooms, it turns on to accelerate the water circuit.

And in other cases, it is cut off from the main pipe by shut-off valves, while the system continues to function in a natural (gravitational) mode.

Rules for arranging gas heating

Gasification and building a gas-based heating system in a private house is carried out in several stages:

  1. Preparation and subsequent approval by the regulatory authorities of a gas heating project.
  2. Purchase of consumables, boiler and other equipment.
  3. Connecting the house to the village gas networks.
  4. Installation of gas equipment and piping systems with batteries.
  5. Filling pipes with coolant.
  6. Functional test by trial run.

Independently prepare for your country house gas heating project with all schemes and calculations without the availability of a diploma in heat engineering is impossible.

In addition, the generated documentation still needs to be agreed with the gas industry. It is best to entrust all these procedures to the employees of the corresponding design and installation organization.

The arrangement scheme in a private house of gas heating should be calculated to the smallest detail. If the boiler is chosen too powerful, it will burn excess fuel. And with insufficient capacity, the unit will have to work at the limit of capabilities, as a result of which it will fail prematurely.

To obtain permission to connect to a centralized highway and to use liquefied gas equipment you need to receive a different package of documents. Before deciding on the organization of a gas system, you need to study not only them, but also weigh the pros and cons in order to determine the best option.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Clip # 1. The nuances of organizing a gas heating cottage:

Clip # 2. The principles of coolant circulation in the heating system of a private house:

Clip # 3. Self-assembly of various heating systems for country cottages:

Only an experienced heating engineer is competent to prepare calculations and schemes for organizing gas heating for a private house.

The preparation of project documentation and its coordination is best entrusted to professionals. But the further installation of the heating system can be done independently. Here you will only need installation skills, as well as strict adherence to instructions and the project.

Do you have any useful tips on organizing gas heating and choosing a gas boiler? Do you want to share your own experience or have you discovered controversial issues while familiarizing yourself with the material we presented? Please write comments and ask questions in the block below the text.

Was the article helpful?
Thanks for your feedback!
No (14)
Thanks for your feedback!
Yes (103)
Visitors Comments
  1. Pavel

    In Kaliningrad, every second one has autonomous heating, winters allow. Such heating and hot water cost, indeed, ridiculous money, especially in comparison with the central one. The boiler, of course, needs a double-circuit and better, so that with two open taps the pressure in both was normal. The need for regular maintenance is, of course, a minus, but the price still comes out much more profitable, even taking into account the cost of the boiler itself.

  2. Venus

    I left a large private house from my parents outside the city, where we spend a lot of time from late spring to autumn cold weather. But, unfortunately, in the winter it was impossible to be there.And how glad we were when we got gas there! Of course, I had to pay a considerable amount to install gas equipment in the house, but it's worth it! And if you autonomously heat them with gas cylinders, it’s really annoying to refuel them constantly.