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Old 31.12.2020, 16:36
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House with outdated heating

I have an old house (built c.1700) last modernized in the 90s but the heating was never overhauled. Currently it is:

- Electric waterboiler with tank
- Wood burning Swedish oven in the living room
- Individual rooms have wall-mounted electrical heaters and/or very old electrical storage heaters

I'm not really sure what to do with this so wanted to bounce this off the EF forum to help my thinking:

1. Just leave it as-is. Although kind of annoying to have separate electrical heaters, it's also the easy/lazy option

2. Replace with underfloor heating. But then how to heat that? Either electrical underfloor heating (seems like a lot of work for little benefit) or

3. Some kind of geothermal option?

I ruled out oil and pellets due to lack of space. I'm not sure whether I can get a gas connection (anyone know how to check?)

I rent the place out to tenants and the contract will come up for renewal soon which gives me an opportunity to renovate - so cost effectiveness is a factor.
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Last edited by Phil_MCR; 31.12.2020 at 17:14.
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Old 31.12.2020, 16:44
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Re: House with outdated heating

I am not sure why you would invest into a rental.

I'd have a comparative analysis done of gas vs heat pump (your local utility might do this as well as heat pump providers). I would also consider pairing this with solar on the roof, if this works for your old castle.
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Old 31.12.2020, 16:54
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Re: House with outdated heating

you're talking about putting 10's of thousands into a property you don't own?

i don't get it.
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Old 31.12.2020, 16:57
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Re: House with outdated heating

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you're talking about putting 10's of thousands into a property you don't own?

i don't get it.
I understood it to mean that he owns the property and rents it out to tenants.
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Old 31.12.2020, 17:00
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Re: House with outdated heating

If you go for a heat pump, you still need some way of getting the heat to the rooms. Underfloor would be a major project. Standing radiators the same.

On the other hand the pump plus underfloor would likely increase the value. The Cantons are still giving subsidies (10% in our case).

For roof solar electricity Group E has a good calculator here. https://rechner.eturnity.ch/groupe_e/?lang=fr-fr
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Old 31.12.2020, 17:02
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Re: House with outdated heating

ah! that makes a lot more sense. apologies!

in which case I think it would be hard to recoup the costs of much more than perhaps a replacement, more efficient water boiler.

the old storage heaters might look a bit unsightly and put people off, but even those can be pretty expensive to replace. how much more per month do you think modern heating would add to what you could charge rent?

if you can get the permission, a 2 or 3 head split system might be quite a cheap addition and would lower the running costs / make it more attractive. depends on if there it a logical place to put the compressor near enough to where you'd want the internal units.
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Old 31.12.2020, 17:18
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Re: House with outdated heating

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ah! that makes a lot more sense. apologies!

in which case I think it would be hard to recoup the costs of much more than perhaps a replacement, more efficient water boiler.

the old storage heaters might look a bit unsightly and put people off, but even those can be pretty expensive to replace. how much more per month do you think modern heating would add to what you could charge rent?

if you can get the permission, a 2 or 3 head split system might be quite a cheap addition and would lower the running costs / make it more attractive. depends on if there it a logical place to put the compressor near enough to where you'd want the internal units.
Yes, I own and rent it out.

I think you're right, there doesn't seem to be a way to modernize that would recoup the investment cost - at least not that I can think of. Maybe I could replace the heaters with something that looks a little more modern - but that would be more of an aesthetic upgrade than a performance upgrade.
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Old 31.12.2020, 17:54
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Re: House with outdated heating

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Yes, I own and rent it out.

I think you're right, there doesn't seem to be a way to modernize that would recoup the investment cost - at least not that I can think of. Maybe I could replace the heaters with something that looks a little more modern - but that would be more of an aesthetic upgrade than a performance upgrade.
For the wall-mounted electrical heaters, I guess I'm not sure what those look like or their size, etc., but if you want to try to hide them for aesthetic purposes, maybe something like a "Heizkörperabdeckung" would work? They come in a few different sizes/widths and colors. We bought a few last year to hide the radiators on our walls, but our radiators heat with hot water. I think there's an even bigger selection on amazon.de.

https://de.vidaxl.ch/e/8719883610351...%9781,5-cm-mdf
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Old 31.12.2020, 20:12
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Re: House with outdated heating

Caveat: This was only a fancy I once briefly entertained when dreaming about remodeling an old house, so I have no idea about costs, installation, or efficacy...

But if you are looking for an asthetic replacement for typical wall radiators, have you thought about natural stone radiators?

For instance, see here:

https://www.systectherm.ch/fileadmin...eizkoerper.pdf

Now over to the more practical people...
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Old 31.12.2020, 20:28
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Re: House with outdated heating

You could still replace the current electric radiators with water based ones driven off the heat pump.

While it may not be as efficient as you would hope from a heat pump with underfloor heating, surely it would be better than just using the electricity?
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Old 31.12.2020, 21:40
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Re: House with outdated heating

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You could still replace the current electric radiators with water based ones driven off the heat pump.

While it may not be as efficient as you would hope from a heat pump with underfloor heating, surely it would be better than just using the electricity?
This is high cost though and little return. Plus you have to have good insulation to start with.
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Old 01.01.2021, 02:08
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Re: House with outdated heating

I would leave it as it is for now. There are quite a few places like that in Switzerland.
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Old 01.01.2021, 09:41
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Re: House with outdated heating

>> I rent the place out to tenants and the contract will come up for renewal soon which gives me an opportunity to renovate . . .

Repossession at short notice may not be as easy here as it is, for example, in other countries. If you haven't discussed it with your current tenants, you may have to factor that in to your time scales.
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Old 01.01.2021, 11:12
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Re: House with outdated heating

Ask the IWB about gas connection. We have a gas boiler.

Underfloor heating is great. Our adjusts gently according to ambient temperatures. When it's very cold outside, there are a few warm patches our cat likes to lie on.

Although we have stone floors, they're never cold.
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Old 01.01.2021, 11:52
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Re: House with outdated heating

I definitely would not recommend investing in underfloor heating.

As other posters have suggested, at the very least you could do something about the electric heaters to something more modern.

https://www.zehnder-systems.ch/de/pr...gn-heizkoerper

We have these in some of the bathrooms. They are electric and can be programmed with a wireless remote.
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Old 01.01.2021, 15:52
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Re: House with outdated heating

Before deciding which way to go, also check whether there is "green initiative" support available.
At least in our Canton they want to get away from electrical radiator heating and pay subventions for choosing greener solutions.
As I recall pretty much anything but oil got help.
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Old 01.01.2021, 21:49
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Re: House with outdated heating

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This is high cost though and little return. Plus you have to have good insulation to start with.
as far I am aware - none of the Swiss cantons allow for any electro-heating renovation at any point of time (except for historical buildings case by case basis) .

you can do A/C which is relatively cheap way of having air/air heat-pump solution with cooling for summer - efficiency still be ±3:1 when compared against electrical heating - benefit is summer A/C which raises value of the apartment rental value. Downside is that air quality when heating won't be great and keeping proper humidity to temperature ratio to stay in the comfort zone may be a bit of challenge.

Klimaconvecters is better way perhaps.

And don't forget you may have water-wall-heating system if you do not want to rip the floor apart...
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Old 01.01.2021, 21:52
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Re: House with outdated heating

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as far I am aware - none of the Swiss cantons allow for any electro-heating renovation at any point of time (except for historical buildings) .
Yet they are throwing money at you to put solar panels on the roof to generate electricity. Great logic Swiss government.
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Old 05.01.2021, 00:16
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Re: House with outdated heating

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Yet they are throwing money at you to put solar panels on the roof to generate electricity. Great logic Swiss government.
add PVs and heatpump you may generate enough electricity that your heatpump does use for heating and be energy-neutral which is the goal.

Issue I see with PV installations is that once you start producing energy, you would pay tax on selling it and then again on purchase of it (summer/winter) as there is no concept of 'storage in the network' , with extra taxable-income on the balance sheet for end-year tax declaration every year after.

On top should you get some money from the department.of.Umwelt you'd the same see new entry in the tax-office and higher-tax on Eigenmitwertstr ( tax for owning and not renting).

Welcome to Switzerland ...
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Old 05.01.2021, 00:33
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Re: House with outdated heating

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Caveat: This was only a fancy I once briefly entertained when dreaming about remodeling an old house, so I have no idea about costs, installation, or efficacy...

But if you are looking for an asthetic replacement for typical wall radiators, have you thought about natural stone radiators?

For instance, see here:

https://www.systectherm.ch/fileadmin...eizkoerper.pdf

Now over to the more practical people...
This is electrical heating and you unlikely to get permit to replace any heating with electrical heating - needless to say you could not install all that just by plugging it into the wall .. until you have 10w/m2 Minenergie home - but than you could use one of these 2000W Haartrockner's for 19.90CHF for home heating.
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