In 2013, Daniele and Viviana purchased an old house in a small hamlet, lying just a few kilometres from the border between Italy and Slovenia. Lived in up until the end of the 1990s before being abandoned, the property was restructured, creating the main part of the home on the first floor (approximately 75 square metres) and a small basement (approximately 50 square metres) on the ground floor. There was also an easily accessible room dedicated to the heating system and a small storeroom. Considering that the area gets particularly cold in the winter, they urgently needed to find a heating solution; this was provided by an old diesel boiler that still worked, however efficiency was reduced to a bare minimum.
The installer's proposal, later accepted by the owners, was to replace the diesel boiler with a RED COMPACT 24 pellet boiler, connected to a 500-litre buffer tank and a suspended 150-litre single coil DHW tank. In addition to this, the old distribution manifold was replaced and the old radiator valves were replaced with new valves with thermostatic heads.
Used all year round
In the winter
The boiler works at its optimal rate, keeping the buffer tank constantly warm; the hot water is evenly distributed to all the radiators in the rooms on the first floor, while the additional 150 litres of water from the DHW tank are kept at 45°C, ensuring that the owners have all the necessary domestic water.
In the summer
The three-way valve is blocked, so that the RED COMPACT 24 boiler only works with the DHW tank. This way, pellet consumption is extremely low throughout the summer months. PLEASE NOTE Set on the side of a hill, the property enjoys direct sunlight for just a few hours per day; therefore, offsetting the costs of a solar system would have taken an excessively long time.
The owners paid €7000 + VAT for the work carried out on the heating system (boiler replacement, buffer tank and DHW tank installation, steel pipe sleeve for the old flue, thermostatic valves on the radiators). Plus, there were the costs for a new towel warmer that was installed in the bathroom and for a number of changes made to the existing heating system, after removing some partitions from the living room.
Favourable amortisation plan and State subsidies
The costs sustained have an extremely favourable amortisation plan, considering that both the pellet boiler and the installation are part of significant subsidies provided for by the Italian Ministry of the Environment. Indeed, the owners had access subsidies with € 4,057.56.
CONSUMPTION AND CURRENT COSTS
In the winter of 2014/2015, Daniele and Viviana used 4 pallets of EN PLUS-certified beechwood pellets, which were purchased pre-season at the very affordable price of € 3.85 per bag. The full cost for the entire winter came to € 1078 to keep the house warm all day long and ensure that domestic water was always available. With the old system, they would have needed at least 2400 litres of diesel to guarantee the approximately 20,000 kWh necessary to heat the property for 180 days during the colder months.
The financial savings, for fuel alone, are therefore more than 40%.