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Heating

Heating/plumbing companies offer heating installations, from wood-fired systems to heat pumps.

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What do heating engineers do?

Heating engineers or heating contractors are responsible for the installation and assembly, maintenance and repair of heating appliances such as heat pumps. They normally work for heating and plumbing or housing technology companies. Such joint-service companies not only offer heating installation but also sanitary installations, the installation of air conditioning or ventilation and general plumbing work. Whenever housing technology appliances need installing or repairing, heating and plumbing companies are your right specialist partner.

Local heating companies

Finding a local heating engineer is not difficult: there are large numbers of heating companies not only in Zurich, Basel and Berne but also in all other regions of Switzerland. You should preferably obtain references or pay attention to reviews when selecting a local heating company, as heating installations require careful planning and professional execution.

How much do heating installations cost?

The costs of heating installation in a single-family dwelling normally lie between CHF 15 000 and CHF 30 000 but may also be lower or significantly higher. Why do the costs vary so much? It is not just the type of heat generator installed that is decisive for the price. The costs for the heating contractor also depend on which components are additionally required. If, for example, a hole has to be drilled for the probe of a geothermal heat pump, this entails significantly higher investments.

Heating contractor planning and installation from A to Z

Heating engineers not only install heating appliances: they plan and construct entire heating systems consisting of a heat generator such as a heat pump or condensing gas boiler and the heat distribution system that emits the heat via radiators or underfloor heating. Following the installation of heating appliances, heating contractors maintain them at regular service intervals. This serves to guarantee optimum running, the lowest possible heating costs and a long service life of the appliance.

What types of heating do heating and plumbing companies install?

The choice of systems that heating and plumbing companies can install today is large. The following heating appliances and heat generators are available:

  • Heat pump: This operates in the opposite way to a refrigerator and extracts heat from the environment (the outside air or the ground) that it conducts into the building. A heat pump produces three to five units of heat per unit of electricity, making it efficient and environmentally friendly.

  • Gas heating: Condensing gas boilers normally burn natural gas. The more biogas is mixed, the less CO2 they emit and the more environmentally friendly they are. Gas heating is also generally more efficient than oil heating. Furthermore, it requires no fuel tank and therefore less space. The installation of gas heating is therefore worth considering.

  • Oil heating: Oil heating systems are hardly used any more in new builds as they emit comparatively large volumes of CO2. However, it is sometimes simplest and most cost-effective to replace an old oil heating system with a new one – albeit that the number of legal requirements placed on this is growing continuously.

  • Wood-fired systems: These burn either pellets, wood chips or logs. There are also hybrid heating systems that can burn both pellets and wood chips. Wood-fired heating systems perform particularly well in terms of their carbon footprint.

  • Infra-red heating: This may only be used as a supplement. Installing electric heating as the main new heating system in a house is generally prohibited. However, the installation of infra-red heating can be an efficient and cost-effective solution here and there or in rooms that are only occasionally used such as hobby workshops.

  • Solar heat: While solar panels cannot be used for general heating, they can provide the bulk of hot water in an environmentally-friendly way, as they are CO2-neutral. Solar panels thus significantly improve the environmental performance of a house.

Replacement of fossil-fuel heating

Replacing an old oil or gas heating system with a new one is frequently not possible today without further measures. For example, the 2014 Model Provisions of the Cantons in the Energy Sector among other things stipulate that brown energy may not account for more than 90% of the total heating energy requirement and that at least 10% must come from renewable energy sources or be saved by means of additional thermal insulation and/or new windows. This renewable energy in many cases comes from a solar or photovoltaic system installed on the roof when replacing the heating system. Heating and plumbing companies can also help you here.

Standard solutions according to the 2014 Model Provisions of the Cantons in the Energy Sector

The 2014 Model Provisions of the Cantons in the Energy Sector define eleven standard solutions for heating replacement in compliance with the law. Although they are by no means yet mandatory in all cantons, they generally facilitate an up-to-date approach. Heating engineers are familiar with the eleven standard solutions and can work with them. Prior to the selection and installation of a heating system, they advise their customers and show them the most suitable solutions.

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