How to arrange heating a private house without gas: the organization of the system in a wooden building

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

Using natural gas is the most economical way to heat a wooden cottage. Among all other alternatives, this fuel is cheap, and the boilers on it are extremely easy to operate.

But how to organize heating of a private house without gas, because not all gas pipelines are everywhere? What are the alternatives to this fuel? Which option is the most profitable? You will find the answers in our article.

Methods of organizing heating in a cottage

The most common in domestic country houses, an autonomous heating system for the home is water. As a heat carrier, it uses water heated in a boiler or furnace. After heating it with the help of batteries and pipes gives off heat to the rooms, creating comfortable conditions in them.

Heating systems, depending on the connection diagram of heating devices, are divided into:

  • Single tube - with a serial connection of radiators, according to which the coolant is supplied and removed from the device using one pipe;
  • Double pipe - with a supply and return lines and a serial circuit for connecting devices to pipes, according to which the coolant is delivered to the device with one pipe, and the other is removed.

Both types of heating systems are available with upper and lower type of wiring. The first option provides for laying the supply pipe above the location of the devices receiving the coolant, the second, respectively, below.

The location of the pipes relative to the heating devices can be vertical and horizontal, on the basis of which the heating system adopts the same technical term.

The first type is used mainly in multi-storey buildings or in single-storey cottages with an attic, within which it is possible to install an expansion tank and lay a pipeline for supplying a coolant in a separate branch to each device.

A horizontal heating circuit is built in small-sized private buildings. The reason is the lack of performance and length restrictions - the network cannot be longer than 30 linear meters in length.

The risers are connected to the radiators according to a one-sided or two-sided circuit, i.e. with connecting pipes from one or two sides. If the batteries are connected on the one hand in a vertical single-tube system, then it is called an overturned circuit. The latter variety is not recommended for systems with steel or cast-iron appliances.

Heating a house without a gas main
The main elements of a typical heating system in a private country house are: a heating boiler, radiators and coolant supply pipes (+)

According to the type of water circulation in the pipes, heating systems are of two types:

  1. Natural - mean gravity of the coolant due to the laws of physics.
  2. Forced - suggest the presence of a circulation pump to create a circuit of the carrier of thermal energy from the boiler to the devices, and after cooling in the opposite direction.

The first option is simpler than the second in design and installation. But the heat supply in the natural system does not lend itself to automatic regulation, the coolant in it moves through the pipes due to gravity and the difference in densities of cold and heated water. But unlike the forced option, it is non-volatile.

When the power supply is turned off, the heating system with natural water circulation will continue to function properly if its main unit is a non-volatile boiler. There is no pump in it that needs power from an outlet.

However, gravitational pressure has its limits. The heating power with natural circulation is simply not enough to supply the coolant to the branched circuits.

Sometimes it is not enough to supply heated water with the temperature required for heating when the distance between the radiator and the boiler is 25 m, if the pipeline is made of a material with high hydraulic resistance: steel or cast iron.

If a wooden house has a small area, then the natural system is quite enough for it. However, a large cottage with two or three floors requires a more powerful version with a pump that will pump hot water to all rooms remote from the boiler on all floors.

In addition to using gas, the coolant can be heated by electricity or by burning other types of fuel. Also autonomous heating in a private house, where there is no connection to the gas main, it is often organized using convectors, infrared heaters and heat pumps.

The choice of a specific heating device arrangement depends on many factors. The climate of the region of residence, the quality of the insulation of the home, as well as the availability of one or another type of fuel are important here.

Air heating system
Air heating is a good substitute for water heating, but due to the complexity of calculations and design it is rarely used in our country (+)

Heating circuits with steam circulating through them and heated air are arranged according to identical principles.

Of special note is the “warm floor” system, which is a network of pipes with circulating coolant under the floor covering. The main advantage of this option is that as a result of heat from below, the air in the room warms up optimally at the level of human growth, and not somewhere under the ceiling.

Alternative to gas: choosing a boiler for water heating

Natural gas is far from the only fuel for autonomous heating systems. Solid or liquid fuels are also burned as fuel in boilers.

It is also possible to use electricity for heating water. Someone prefers traditional stoves for wood or coal, while someone prefers pure electricity. But it is worth remembering that in case of interruptions in the networks, there will be zero sense from electric boilers.

Option # 1: Solid Fuel

Solid fuel stoves and their more modern counterparts, boilers are the oldest and most popular way of heating private houses in areas without gas. It could be like traditional russian stovesboth modern boiler equipment industrial production with various automation.

As solid fuel are used:

  • firewood;
  • briquettes from straw;
  • peat;
  • coal;
  • wood pellets.

Such equipment is cheap and easy to operate. Fuel is also not very expensive. However, as a result of its burning, sufficiently large volumes of ash are formed, which must be constantly disposed of. Plus, you have to visually monitor the operation of such equipment, which takes a lot of time.

Comparison of solid fuel boilers
Ordinary solid fuel furnaces are not too efficient, it is better to take more efficient and economical pyrolysis boilers for long burning

On the one hand, cheap fuel, and on the other, regular cleaning of the furnace and chimneys.There is no unequivocal decision for or against. But in a situation of living near coal deposits or near a forest, the choice in favor of solid fuel boilers or stoves is obvious to many, and often the only possible one.

As a variant of a solid fuel unit, you can safely consider a fireplace, although there is a steady opinion about its low efficiency. However, a fireplace with the right arrangement is not only a decorative element of the interior, but also a good alternative to gas boilers. Moreover, it is completely non-volatile, which eliminates interruptions in heating for any problems on the power grid.

Fireplaces of various designs
A traditional fireplace implies air heating exclusively of the room where it is located, but nothing prevents to bring pipes to it for heating the coolant (+)

Most fireplaces are designed in such a way that they can heat only one room. However, the standard fireplace design can be supplemented with a coil around the chimney, which will heat the water for the radiators of the heating system. And you can immediately dissolve warm air in rooms using ducts with adjustable dampers.

Fireplace heating is very inert. It takes a long time for them to warm up a private house. The best option is to constantly heat the fireplace. However, firewood in this case will need a lot. But all these minor inconveniences more than overlap with the ability to observe the burning process of logs and the aesthetics of their own hearth.

Fireplace as a unit for a gas-free heating system
The fireplace can be used as a boiler, heating the coolant for steam, air and water heating networks

Option # 2: Liquid Fuel

In terms of efficiency, liquid-fuel (diesel) boilers differ little from gas counterparts. However, they are more dimensional and heavy. For their installation requires a separate non-residential premises. Installing them in a cottage under the stairs or in the kitchen is strictly prohibited.

The combustion of vegetable oils and petroleum products produces significant amounts of harmful emissions. The boiler room for these installations should be equipped with high-quality ventilation and a flue system. Plus, with improper installation and operation, they can begin to smoke.

Oil boiler
Two main disadvantages of liquid fuel boilers are the high cost of fuel and the need to comply with strict safety requirements.

The following types of liquid fuel are used to heat private wooden houses:

  1. Kerosene.
  2. Diesel fuel.
  3. Fuel and lubricants testing.
  4. Fuel oil.
  5. Biofuel from vegetable oils.

Due to the specific smell and high probability of ignition, it is recommended to store such fuel outside the cottage. But in winter, liquids freeze on the street, so you will have to make a separate heated room for such fuel or organize its pre-heating. And these are additional and significant expenses.

Among the benefits of using liquid fuel equipment for heating, it is worth noting the high efficiency, the absence of the need for registration of permits for installation and the autonomy of the work.

However, the high price of fuel interrupts all these advantages. To arrange heating a wooden house without gas using a diesel boiler is only in cases where there is no other alternative, and it is not even foreseen in the future.

Option # 3: Electricity

Electric boilers do not require a chimney. They are safe and compact in size. Heating of the coolant inside them occurs due to the heater. Electric boilers can be used as both the main and additional source of thermal energy. They are convenient to operate and efficient, but heating with them is quite expensive.

Electric boiler in the interior of the house
Electric heating boilers are comparable in price to gas models, but require less maintenance and are safer

If the electricity networks in the village are not encouraged by the constant voltage, then choose electric boiler for heating own wooden house is risky. At some point, you can be left without lighting and a heating system at the same time. The only option for this case is a backup diesel generator.

The capacities not always allocated by the power engineers are enough to fully heat the cottage. And the extension of an additional power supply line will result in serious waste of money.

Installation and heating electrical equipment are relatively cheap, but the latter consumes a lot of electricity. If you plan to equip heating in a private house without gas with an electric boiler, then you should prepare in advance for a serious increase in light bills.

About how much electricity will be consumed by an electric boiler during heating, written here. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the information provided.

How else can you heat a wooden house?

To create comfortable conditions in the rooms of the cottage, you can use other methods of heating. There are many new products on the market of autonomous heat engineering. Some of them have a high price, but have high efficiency. And others suggest the use of alternative energy sources.

Infrared Heating Options

The main feature of IR heat sources is the heating not of air, but of objects and surfaces in a heated room. Already from heated furniture, walls and floors, heat is transferred to the air masses in the room. As a result, with minimal energy consumption, it is possible to create the most comfortable conditions in the home.

Electric heaters with infrared radiation are sold in the form of:

  • hanging panels in cases of various shapes;
  • film devices for mounting on the ceiling or floor;
  • floor models (a la ordinary radiator).

Function IR heaters in automatic mode. Just plug them into a power outlet and adjust to the desired temperature.

Installation of wall and ceiling models is extremely simple, in the case or on a film all necessary fastenings are provided. Difficulties can only cause the installation of "warm infrared floor." But with strict adherence to the instructions, everything is done elementarily.

Film IR heater
Ceiling film heaters are an excellent alternative to gas boilers: economical, does not burn oxygen in the room and is completely safe from the point of view of fires (+)

IR heaters allow you to quickly create a reliable and efficient heating system in any private house where there is no gas. When compared with a heating electric boiler, they save 30–40%. Moreover, the heating of the rooms is an order of magnitude faster, almost instantly.

Infrared heating devices can be used as the main source of heat or complement other heating systems of the cottage. The variety of the model range makes it possible to fit them into any interior, and, if necessary, quickly increase thermal power.

Among the negative aspects of IR electric heaters are static electricity, which contributes to the attraction of dust, and considerable initial investment.Nothing special can be done with statics, and equipment costs always pay off due to low power consumption.

Heat pumps as a useful addition

Among the alternatives to gas, when heating a wooden house, heat pumps, extracting it from the environment, stand apart. Structurally and technically, this air conditioner is vice versa.

Only the heat pump does not cool the air, but heats it. Moreover, he generates all the necessary thermal energy due to the wise use of free natural resources and phenomena.

The scheme of the heat pump
Heating based on a heat pump for a private house without gas is the maximum saving on energy resources. But in our latitudes this type of heating can only serve as an addition to the main heating network (+)

Disadvantage heat pumps lies in their dependence on the presence of voltage in the outlet. Without constant power supply they will not work. Plus, in severe frosts, their effectiveness decreases sharply. In warm regions with winter temperatures around zero, the returns on them are excellent, but in Siberian conditions they are of little use.

Heat with low potential heat pumps can collect from:

  • street air;
  • land through wells or pipe systems in the ground;
  • water (any nearby body of water or wells).

Heat pumps are good for everyone. However, you have to pay a lot for “free” energy by purchasing expensive equipment. For a large house, costs can exceed a million rubles.

Solar Power and Windmills

Another option for green energy is solar panels and collectors. The former generate electricity, and the latter, using the rays of the sun, heat the coolant for supply to the home heating system. They do not need any gas for work, they need only a constant wind and cloudless weather.

In the future, electricity and a heated coolant can be used to heat a private house by installing a heating system in it with radiators and various electric heaters.

Solar systems are generators of electric and thermal energy.The rooms themselves are heated thanks to a variety of heating devices that are connected to these generating devices.

Solar Power and Windmills
Alternative energy requires serious investments at the stage of equipment purchase, but then - no spending on fossil energy

In turn, wind generators convert wind energy into electricity. And then heaters are connected to the power supply.

The main disadvantage of all these clean energy sources is that they depend on external factors. Cloudy weather and calm nullify their effectiveness. As an additional source, they are a very suitable option for heating a private house without gas, but to build the entire heating system only is not worth it.

The most economical heating option

From the point of view of fuel costs, the most economical option after main gas is the option with wood. It is difficult to find cheaper fuel for boilers, stoves and fireplaces.

Then comes coal, and then electricity and diesel. In the case of alternative energy, the costs of this article are generally zero or minimal. However, do not forget about the cost of heat engineering units for heat generation.

Initial cost
The cheapest at the initial cost is electric heating, the equipment for such a heating system is the most affordable (+)

In the aggregate of all costs, heating a house without gas is cheaper than electricity. But this applies only to cottages with good insulation, as well as situations where the power of existing networks allow you to connect heating electrical equipment. In other situations, it is better to opt for more traditional solid fuel stoves or boilers.

Arguments for choosing the most economical option for heating a private house are outlined in the next article, the contents of which we advise you to read.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Heating of a wooden cottage with a combined boiler (solid fuel + electricity):

The cheaper it is to heat a house in the country:

Than drowning suburban housing more convenient:

For heating private houses without gas, you can use both the classic wood-burning stove and units that convert liquid fuel or electricity into thermal energy.

There is no universal advice on the selection of equipment and type of fuel. It is necessary to carefully evaluate the characteristics of the cottage and the availability of resources for heating the coolant. However, without consulting a competent engineer in this matter, you can greatly miscalculate.

Write what type of heating you have chosen for the arrangement of a country house. Please leave comments, ask questions, post a photo on the topic in the block below. We are interested in your opinion regarding the information contained in the article.

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Visitors Comments
  1. Vitaliy Tsal

    The information is useful, but I personally do not understand why so much trouble is needed. I tried to drown with wood and very much regret it: the wall has rotted to hell, you constantly need to throw firewood. If you don’t throw it up, everything, the house cools in a matter of minutes. A good option with electric heating, but it depends on the width of your wallet.And I don’t know about liquid fuel, you can try.

    • Maria

      Hello. A few minutes is tin, of course, I am generally surprised how quickly you cool down ... when you kindle wood with a fireplace with an open firebox (!!!), and this, mind you, is never a heating method. We kept warm for at least half an hour in the house with the chimney open until the coal burned. It feels like you should think about warming your home.

      Electrics are very expensive. Take even a minimum - a 2 kW boiler. A day is 48 kW, a month - 1440 kW. At a rate of 4 rubles - almost 6 thousand one heating. If you do not take into account yet that in severe frosts you will have to include 4 kW. But in some regions there are discounts for those who are completely on electricity, there is also a subsidy for any communal apartment with many children at 30%.

  2. We considered the option of “green” energy - solar panels and wind energy as an opportunity for real savings. Fortunately, our location allows us. Frequent gusts of wind and rare precipitation can be considered as a means of saving. I would also like more information on how to install a solar battery yourself and use it in the heating circuit of a private home ownership.

    • Expert
      Alexey Dedyulin

      Regarding the issue of heating a house from solar systems, the site has separate article on this issue. If you are considering the option of generating electrical energy, and from it to feed the boiler, then you will need to install solar panels, an inverter and batteries. By the way, it is not necessary to mount solar panels on the roof of the house, you can build special frames for them on the site near the house.

      You also write that you can use not only the energy of the sun, but also the wind, in which case I recommend that you familiarize yourself with this article. If you have any specific questions during the implementation of such a project, ask them here, I will try to answer as quickly as possible.

      If it's not a secret, then write in what latitudes are you in?

  3. Dmitry

    It is simpler and cheaper to use ress convectors.