Light My Fire: Considering Independent Heating System
Did you decide to purchase an apartment in Kyiv downtown?
Great, but you should keep in mind apartments in historical buildings (as well as in some new ones) may have a distinguishing feature of the recent Soviet past. Many of them are connected to the central heating system.
Depending on the location, the infrastructure can be in poor condition because of age, resulting in outages of hot water and heating.
However, the actual problem of this system is in maintenance periods carried out twice a year (usually in the springtime and fall). They come with a price of interruptions of hot water supply that leaves the residents without necessary comforts for weeks sometimes.
The centralized system also means there are no usage meters for each apartment – the heating bill is divided among the residents of the building. Such a communist approach doesn’t seem convenient and fair – no matter if you use the energy in full or shut off the pipes before a vacation, you will pay for supply in any case.
So if you plan to buy and let out an apartment in the old building, you need to ensure constant heating and year-round availability of hot water. Therefore, you should consider alternatives many Kyiv residents prefer – installing a water heater and an independent heating system (either gas or electric).
To bring you up to speed on the case, we epitomized all the necessary information about the independent systems below.
One of the main benefits of boilers and independent heating systems is 365 days per year supply. If you decide to install a double-pressure boiler, you will get not only hot water but heating year-round. You will be able to forget about seasonal outages during maintenance periods.
Another advantage such systems provide is cost-saving. Even though installing independent heating systems can be pricey, the payback period is usually about five years. By the way, the system itself is easy to install almost in any building. There is a restriction – you can do it only up to the 10th floor, but it won’t create any problems for apartments in Pre-revolutionary and Stalin-era buildings.
And one of the most convenient features of independent systems is the ability to regulate water and room temperature. You press a few buttons to decide on what temperature will be comfortable for you or when you would like to start and stop heating the apartment.
However, making your decision, you should also remember about a few peculiarities. First, the cost of facilities for heating systems varies from $1,000 to $2,000, and you are also supposed to pay for dismantling the old system and installing the new one. Additionally, it requires an extensive renovation of all the rooms in the flat. From the long-term perspective, it is an expedient expense, but some owners prefer to save funds and only install an electric boiler. But even in this case, you need to ensure the water heater area is well-ventilated to minimize carbon monoxide risk.
And the other detail in deciding on the independent heating system – it is better to weigh it more carefully in case there are regular problems with electricity or gas in your building, as the system doesn’t work in case of gas and power outages.
In the end, you are free to choose whether you would like to rely on municipal heating or install an independent system. However, if you are planning to rent out the apartment, you should stick to your tenants’ needs, and these alternatives will protect you from inconveniences that may scare tenants of. By the way, you will be able to control the amount of heating and hot water supplied – therefore, you will reasonably pay for what you have consumed, neither more nor less.
Even though such decisions resolve some residents’ challenges, it is unfortunate we seem to be far away from the energy-efficient future and consumers in Western countries who monitor and control their energy usage remotely.