Heating cottages – compare options and choose the best

Country houses used as summer cottages are not intended for permanent residence. In the summer, they are usually not heated, although the climate of some regions of a country may require heating to be turned on during the warm season as well. However, the economical heating of the summer cottage becomes an urgent need in cold seasons.

Types of traditional heating systems for summer cottages

The choice of the right heating in the country depends on the design of the house, it is its features that are the determining factors in resolving this issue.
In light panel buildings, even with high-quality insulation, the equipment of expensive engineering systems does not make sense.
Capital buildings made of timber, stone, or concrete are suitable for year-round use or regular visits, regardless of the season, so the choice of a heating system for them will be determined mainly by the availability of resources required for the operation of the equipment.

Heating cottages - compare options and choose the best
Photo by Tobias Bjørkli

Gas heating of the cottage

  • In the presence of a gas main, the organization of optimal heating of the summer cottage involves the use of gas boilers. This is an economical and efficient heating system, although there are many difficulties in its implementation:
  • installation of gas heating in a summer residence requires obtaining permits from the gas service;
  • the increased explosion and fire hazards characterize systems of this kind.

Stove heating of the cottage

The lack of access to gas tilts the scales in deciding which heating to choose for a summer cottage, in the direction of organizing stove heating. In this case, coal or firewood is used as fuel.
A simple stove heating system for a summer residence involves taking into account a number of important nuances:

  • the design of refractory brick ovens should be carried out at the stage of building a house;
  • the process of burning the furnace cannot be ignored, since there is a high risk of fire;
  • need to allocate space for fuel storage.

Mobile stoves for summer cottages allow for local heating of premises without labor-intensive work on the construction of stone structures. These include:

  1. open stoves (fireplaces);
  2. furnaces with a single-chamber furnace;
  3. heat generating structures, in which the smoldering combustion mode is used;
  4. convective ovens equipped with grilles from below for cold air in and from above for hot air to exit;
  5. hydrolysis furnaces are two-chamber devices capable of effectively heating large areas.

Other common heating schemes for country houses

Common schemes for heating country houses

The variety of electrical appliances for use in heating schemes for cottages and country houses is extremely large.

Fan heaters provide rapid heating of the summer house with air, intensively mixing its layers. They are available in different versions: floor, wall, and table models. The heating element can be made of glass, ceramic, and metal and have a different shape that affects the efficiency of its operation: tubular or spiral. Switching modes allow you to choose the power of the device that is adequate for the situation or stop heating completely.

Oil batteries are usually used for additional or mini-heating of summer cottages in winter or in other weather seasons when the main heating system cannot provide enough heat. They are mobile, although they do not mix air masses well in the room.

Another common method is the use of convectors. The structures can be installed on walls or floors and operate around the clock, maintaining the selected mode of space heating. A big plus in the operation of equipment of this kind is their fire safety and the absence of body heating during operation.

Air heating of a summer house using infrared radiation systems is the most economical option in this group. They consume relatively little electricity and affect objects and people directly, without spending resources on air heating so that they can be used not only indoors, but also outdoors.

All these ways to heat a country house are energy-dependent: planned or emergency power outages are not uncommon in country houses, and in some garden cooperatives electricity supply is not provided in the winter.

Using solar and other energy to create an inexpensive heating system for a summer residence

The high cost of resources and the difficulty of accessing traditional energy sources for arranging to heat country houses and summer cottages provokes the emergence of increasing interest among the population in the use of alternative energy sources.

The use of geothermal heat pumps allows you to use the free energy of water or land to create heating and air conditioning systems in the country. To date, such structures are not widely used, since the cost of their arrangement is extremely high.

Wind generators are available for use in areas where air masses are in constant motion. High-quality equipment makes it possible to use even a light wind (from 2 points on the Beaufort scale) to generate electric current and is not subject to breakdowns during storms, but is expensive. To create an electric heating system for the building, the purchase of equipment will also be required.

Bioenergy sources of energy are not the best heating option for summer cottages, as they require a high level of professional competence and significant financial investments for their technical implementation. Such installations are most suitable for supplying electricity to farms.

Air collectors allow you to use solar energy for the autonomous heating of summer cottages. Light-absorbing panels are suitable for arranging a heating system anywhere in the world. Their use provides an opportunity to organize a full-fledged, fireproof, sustainable, and economical heating of the summer cottage.

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