Do-it-yourself heating in a private house

Cre­at­ing heat­ing in a pri­vate house with your own hands is a dif­fi­cult task, but doable. This will require some skills as a builder and welder, as well as some knowl­edge in the field of plumb­ing. “Kom­so­mol­skaya Prav­da” talks about how to heat a pri­vate house and options for installing equip­ment
Do-it-yourself heating in a private house
Heat­ing in a pri­vate house. Pho­to: pix­abay

A pri­vate home has sig­nif­i­cant advan­tages over liv­ing in an apart­ment build­ing, as it allows you to com­plete­ly design a home to your lik­ing. This also applies to the cre­ation of heat with the help of mod­ern autonomous heat­ing sys­tems.

Before mak­ing your choice, it is nec­es­sary to ana­lyze each of the options accord­ing to the fol­low­ing cri­te­ria: finan­cial costs, sys­tem life, avail­abil­i­ty of pow­er sources, degree of automa­tion, oper­at­ing mode, the need for a spe­cial room for the boil­er.

What heating options are used in private homes

The most pop­u­lar are water, gas, elec­tric, stove and steam heat­ing. Most autonomous heat­ing sys­tems for a pri­vate house use a boil­er in which the coolant is heat­ed to the desired tem­per­a­ture. Sol­id or liq­uid fuels, elec­tric­i­ty, gas can be used as fuel. You will also need pipes stretched to con­vec­tors, radi­a­tors and under­floor heat­ing, through which the heat­ed coolant will flow.




“Water” heat­ing does not imply the use of water exclu­sive­ly. Both water and antifreeze or antifreeze can flow through the pipeline at a tem­per­a­ture of 40 to 90 degrees. Giv­ing off heat, the liq­uid flows back into the boil­er using a cir­cu­la­tion pump. There are two main types of water heat­ing: grav­i­ty (with nat­ur­al cir­cu­la­tion of the liq­uid) and forced cir­cu­la­tion (when the liq­uid flows under pres­sure cre­at­ed by the pump).

Advantages and disadvantages of water heating

Water can be heat­ed in many ways (gas, elec­tric­i­ty, coal, wood, liq­uid fuel); a large selec­tion of heat­ing devices and mate­ri­als (var­i­ous bat­ter­ies, con­vec­tors, etc.); water heat­ing can be both autonomous and con­nect­ed to cen­tral­ized net­works
Cor­ro­sion and oxi­da­tion of radi­a­tors is pos­si­ble, their uneven heat­ing is pos­si­ble, large loss­es dur­ing heat trans­porta­tion, coolant leak­age in case of acci­dents


A pri­vate house can also be heat­ed with gas, which is heat­ed in gas boil­ers and trans­port­ed through pipes to res­i­den­tial premis­es. There are two types of gas heat­ing: main (gas enters a pri­vate house through main pipes) and liq­ue­fied (liq­ue­fied gas cylin­ders are used, or gas tanks — gas hold­ers).

Advantages and disadvantages of gas heating

Rel­a­tive­ly low price of gas, low heat loss dur­ing trans­porta­tion, small size of equip­ment, gas boil­er is silent and does not require spe­cial main­te­nance, high effi­cien­cy, ease of oper­a­tion and dura­bil­i­ty (a high-qual­i­ty gas boil­er can last at least 15 years)
Pow­er out­ages will lead to the shut­down of the gas boil­er, there must be a chim­ney in the room, boil­ers of Euro­pean brands do not always with­stand severe Russ­ian frosts, per­mis­sion is required to install gas heat­ing
Gas con­vec­tors

Heat­ing appli­ances for res­i­den­tial and util­i­ty rooms


With elec­tric heat­ing, the fol­low­ing heat­ing devices are used: elec­tric heaters, elec­tric fire­places, con­vec­tors, “warm floors”.

Advantages and disadvantages of electric heating

An envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly heat­ing option, a large range of pow­er adjust­ment of devices, there is no noise dur­ing oper­a­tion, you can adjust the required heat­ing mode in each room
Large pow­er con­sump­tion. Giv­en the con­stant increase in elec­tric­i­ty prices, this type of heat­ing a pri­vate house is very cost­ly.


This type of heat­ing as the main one is most often used in sum­mer cot­tages; in year-round cot­tages, such heat­ing is used as addi­tion­al heat­ing. Fire­places and stoves are fired with coal, fire­wood, pressed wood pel­lets. Stove heat­ing can be under­stood as two types: when the stove (brick or oth­er­wise) is in the room, or the stove can be con­nect­ed to a water heat­ing sys­tem. This hap­pens, but rarely, because it is very expen­sive. But, for exam­ple, this method used to be very com­mon in coun­try show­ers, there are no obsta­cles to using it today.

Furnace heating of a private house.  Photo: globallookpress
Fur­nace heat­ing of a pri­vate house. Pho­to: glob­al­look­press

Advantages and disadvantages of furnace heating

The pos­si­bil­i­ty of using the stove not only for heat­ing, but also for cook­ing, avail­abil­i­ty, ease of oper­a­tion, no prob­lems with fuel
Dan­ger and impos­si­bil­i­ty of automa­tion, low effi­cien­cy (as a result, the need for large vol­umes of fuel), bulk­i­ness


The prin­ci­ple of oper­a­tion of steam heat­ing is sim­i­lar to water heat­ing, only in this case, instead of water, heat­ed steam moves through the pipes, which is formed in the boil­er as a result of heat­ing the water. As soon as it reach­es the radi­a­tors, con­den­sa­tion occurs, and the water is pumped back to the boil­er for heat­ing.

Advantages and disadvantages of steam heating

Rapid air heat­ing in the premis­es, rel­a­tive­ly low price of the sys­tem, year-round use is pos­si­ble, since steam heat­ing is not defrost­ed and there is no risk of the coolant freez­ing
Noise dur­ing the fill­ing of the cir­cuit with steam, labor-inten­sive instal­la­tion and the impos­si­bil­i­ty of smooth­ly set­ting the desired tem­per­a­ture, increased emer­gency haz­ard in case of a pipeline rup­ture, strong heat­ing of the equip­ment, sus­cep­ti­bil­i­ty to cor­ro­sion

Expert advice

Roman Glad­kikh, tech­ni­cal direc­tor of FRISQUET

In an indi­vid­ual house, the heat­ing option with its own gas boil­er will be the most prefer­able. I would divide the heat­ing in my house into sev­er­al zones with their own tem­per­a­tures, this will help increase the com­fort of being in the house and real­ly reduce heat­ing costs, since with this approach, the room will cer­tain­ly not over­heat. Today, heat­ing can be imple­ment­ed both on warm floors and on heat­ing radi­a­tors.

The issue of hot water sup­ply is also very sim­ply solved using, for exam­ple, a dou­ble-cir­cuit boil­er with a DHW half-accu­mu­la­tion mode. This option will also be prefer­able, since with such a boil­er it is pos­si­ble to recir­cu­late hot water with­out prob­lems, which will make the con­sump­tion of hot water in an indi­vid­ual house com­pa­ra­ble to a city apart­ment, that is, with­out delays and drains of cold water after open­ing a hot water tap.

How to choose the best type of heating for your home

For a wooden house

Even in the recent past, heat in a wood­en house was pro­vid­ed by a brick stove. Cur­rent­ly, there are many more options to make your home warm. How­ev­er, the vast major­i­ty of own­ers of wood­en hous­es pre­fer gas heat­ing. Its advan­tages are: cheap fuel, the abil­i­ty to cre­ate a com­plete­ly autonomous heat­ing sys­tem, high effi­cien­cy, ease of oper­a­tion and dura­bil­i­ty (a high-qual­i­ty gas boil­er will last at least 15 years). The main dis­ad­van­tage is the need to obtain per­mis­sion to install it. If the house is small, then elec­tric heat­ing with con­vec­tors is also suit­able. In the event that the house is more than 100 sq m, the best option is gas-fired water heat­ing.

For a brick house

For heat­ing a brick house, water and gas equip­ment is most often used. It is the most com­mon for all types of hous­es, but most­ly brick house own­ers love it. This is due to the opti­mal ratio of price and qual­i­ty. In addi­tion to these types of heat­ing, oth­ers can be used, for exam­ple, elec­tric heat­ing. “Warm floor” will cre­ate a com­fort­able envi­ron­ment for walk­ing with­out shoes.



For frame house

The main prob­lem of heat­ing frame hous­es is a large heat loss asso­ci­at­ed with the pres­ence of cav­i­ties in the walls and racks made of tim­ber with a sec­tion. A lot of heat also escapes through the ceil­ing, which requires spe­cial work to insu­late the house. After the house is well insu­lat­ed, com­bined heat­ing sys­tems can be used, i.e. a com­bi­na­tion of, for exam­ple, water and elec­tric heat­ing. Spe­cial­ists here also give pri­or­i­ty to water and gas heat­ing, how­ev­er, in addi­tion to them, you can use “warm floor” and con­vec­tors. Stove heat­ing is not rec­om­mend­ed, as it great­ly pol­lutes the room. This is a com­mon dis­ad­van­tage of this heat­ing, char­ac­ter­is­tic of all types of hous­es, which is asso­ci­at­ed with the use of coal and fire­wood. In addi­tion, the air around the house is smoky, and the chim­ney must be cleaned reg­u­lar­ly.

Warm floor

Pri­ma­ry and sec­ondary heat­ing source

Expert advice

Vasi­ly Tyutin, lawyer, inven­torautonomous pow­er sup­ply sys­tem for a house­boat”.

I have lived in a pri­vate house for over 15 years. He inde­pen­dent­ly designed the heat­ing sys­tem (diesel + elec­tric­i­ty), then reworked it after con­nect­ing it to the main gas pipeline.

All heat­ing sys­tems, except for elec­tric ones, in fact assume cen­tral­iza­tion and deliv­ery of heat to the premis­es using a heat car­ri­er. In a small old house with a stove, air acts as a coolant; in mod­ern con­di­tions, water is usu­al­ly used as a coolant (with per­ma­nent res­i­dence) or var­i­ous types of “non-freez­ing” (in sum­mer cot­tage mode). A boil­er is used as a cen­tral device, which heats the coolant.

Heat­ing on elec­tric­i­ty allows you to cre­ate a decen­tral­ized sys­tem in which each heat­ed room will have its own heat­ing device with ther­moreg­u­la­tion, which turns on when need­ed. The elec­tric heat­ing sys­tem allows you to get the max­i­mum com­fort and con­trol, while it is also the most expen­sive option, many times high­er than oth­er heat­ing sys­tems.

Heat­ing sys­tems can be divid­ed into high tem­per­a­ture and low tem­per­a­ture. The for­mer imply a coolant tem­per­a­ture of more than 60 degrees (nor­mal­ly 75–80) and a rel­a­tive­ly small size of heat­ing devices, the lat­ter imply a coolant tem­per­a­ture of up to 55 degrees and rel­a­tive­ly large sizes of heat­ing devices, in par­tic­u­lar a warm floor with a large heat trans­fer area.

Many peo­ple mis­tak­en­ly design gas heat­ing sys­tems accord­ing to the prin­ci­ples of high-tem­per­a­ture sys­tems. Although mod­ern gas boil­ers are con­dens­ing, they can be effec­tive­ly built as low-tem­per­a­ture ones, pro­vid­ing a coolant sup­ply range of 35–55 degrees. The low tem­per­a­ture heat­ing sys­tem is more com­fort­able and eco­nom­i­cal.

The choice of a heat­ing sys­tem is actu­al­ly not a choice, but the use of avail­able oppor­tu­ni­ties. If you have main gas, you def­i­nite­ly need to make a heat­ing sys­tem based on a gas boil­er, and when it comes to new con­struc­tion, it makes sense to imme­di­ate­ly design it as a low-tem­per­a­ture sys­tem, with a con­dens­ing boil­er, heat­ed floors and rel­a­tive­ly large bat­ter­ies.

How to install heating in a private house with your own hands

Water heating installation

For the instal­la­tion of water heat­ing in a pri­vate house, you will need the fol­low­ing equip­ment: a stove or boil­er run­ning on gas or elec­tric­i­ty, heat­ing radi­a­tors, pipes of var­i­ous diam­e­ters, valves, an expan­sion tank that com­pen­sates for excess pres­sure in the sys­tem, a cir­cu­la­tion pump if a forced cir­cu­la­tion heat­ing sys­tem is used .

When heat­ing a pri­vate house, an elec­tric boil­er is often used, in which the liq­uid heat car­ri­er is heat­ed. Elec­tric boil­ers can be heat­ing ele­ments, induc­tion or elec­trode (ion­ic). Before installing the boil­er, it is nec­es­sary to choose the right place so that it is easy to con­nect the pip­ing of the heat­ing sys­tem and con­trol its oper­a­tion. The instal­la­tion of an elec­tric boil­er itself is not par­tic­u­lar­ly dif­fi­cult and is sim­i­lar to the instal­la­tion of oth­er types of boil­ers.



There are the fol­low­ing options for installing water heat­ing: using one pipe, two pipes, using col­lec­tors. The eas­i­est instal­la­tion method is a sin­gle-pipe heat­ing sys­tem. With this option, only one pipe is laid around the entire perime­ter of the house. It leaves the sup­ply pipe of the boil­er, and enters the oppo­site one. Branch­es are made from this pipe for each radi­a­tor. This type of heat­ing is not only the most con­ve­nient for instal­la­tion, but also the cheap­est.

Water heating is a method of space heating using a liquid heat carrier.  Photo: globallookpress
Water heat­ing is a method of space heat­ing using a liq­uid heat car­ri­er. Pho­to: glob­al­look­press

With a two-pipe heat­ing sys­tem, a pipe with hot water is sup­plied under each radi­a­tor, and the cooled water descends through the return line into the boil­er.

Do-it-your­self instal­la­tion of water heat­ing is as fol­lows:

  1. arrange­ment of the room for the boil­er and instal­la­tion of the boil­er;
  2. con­nect­ing a pump (if need­ed) or installing a man­i­fold (if pro­vid­ed);
  3. fix­ing all mea­sur­ing and con­trol devices near the boil­er;
  4. arrange­ment of main pipelines;
  5. instal­la­tion of heat­ing radi­a­tors;
  6. sys­tem check.

Installation of gas heating

The rules for installing gas heat­ing in a pri­vate house are sim­i­lar to installing water heat­ing. Gas boil­ers can be sin­gle-cir­cuit (intend­ed only for heat­ing) and dou­ble-cir­cuit (sup­ply­ing hot water as well); floor and wall.

Do-it-your­self gas heat­ing instal­la­tion involves the fol­low­ing steps:

  1. install the boil­er and con­nect it to the chim­ney, through which the prod­ucts of gas com­bus­tion are removed;
  2. mount pipes and fix them on the walls with the help of spe­cial brack­ets;
  3. in the case of using forced cir­cu­la­tion of the coolant, a cir­cu­la­tion pump is installed on the return pipe at the entrance to the boil­er;
  4. a coarse fil­ter is mount­ed in front of the pump;
  5. at a height of about two meters from the mid­dle of the boil­er, an expan­sion tank is installed;
  6. under the win­dows, not low­er than ten cen­time­ters from the floor, radi­a­tors are mount­ed;
  7. con­nect pipes to the boil­er;
  8. fill the sys­tem with coolant and start the boil­er.

Installation of electric heating

For elec­tric heat­ing using fan heaters, oil radi­a­tors, con­vec­tors or infrared heaters, it is nec­es­sary to install a sep­a­rate pow­er out­let and a resid­ual cur­rent device (RCD) in each room using wiring (2.5 mm cross-sec­tion is rec­om­mend­ed for a pow­er of not more than 5 kW). A five-core cable is rec­om­mend­ed for the oper­a­tion of an elec­tric boil­er.

The “warm floor” sys­tem is cre­at­ed by lay­ing a sin­gle-core or two-core cable, cov­ered with a floor cov­er­ing on top. The ther­mo­stat used can be pro­gram­ma­ble, over­head or built-in.

A device for heating a room using electricity.  Photo: globallookpress
A device for heat­ing a room using elec­tric­i­ty. Pho­to: glob­al­look­press

How to calculate the required power of heaters

The total pow­er of the elec­tric heater for the room can be cal­cu­lat­ed as fol­lows:



  1. Find the vol­ume of the room by mul­ti­ply­ing the area by the height.
  2. The result obtained is divid­ed by 30 (a con­stant coef­fi­cient offered by man­u­fac­tur­ers).

For exam­ple, the area of ​​​​the room is 18 square meters. m, and the height of the walls is 2.8 m. We get about 50.4 cubic meters. m. Divide it by 30. The required heater pow­er is 1.68 kW or 1700 W, if this fig­ure is round­ed.

There is a sim­pler way of cal­cu­lat­ing, accord­ing to which 100 W of heater pow­er is need­ed for each square meter. So for 20 sq. m. you need 2000 W, for 30 sq. m. — 3000 W, etc. It should be borne in mind that this method can be used if the ceil­ings in the room are not high­er than 3 meters.

It is also worth con­sid­er­ing that none of the pro­posed for­mu­las takes into account the prop­er­ties of the mate­ri­als from which the house is built, the qual­i­ty of con­struc­tion and oth­er fea­tures of the premis­es.

Wood stove installation

It is nec­es­sary to place a met­al fur­nace in that place of a pri­vate house where there is no strong air move­ment. It is not allowed to install wood-burn­ing heat­ing equip­ment in rooms less than 16 sq. m. The stove itself must be at least 110–130 cm away from the walls, so it can­not be placed in nar­row rooms. If the house is two-sto­ry, then each floor will need its own oven.

Before start­ing instal­la­tion, a pre-fur­nace steel sheet with a thick­ness of at least 1 mm is nec­es­sar­i­ly mount­ed under the fur­nace. Instal­la­tion of the fur­nace itself does not cause any par­tic­u­lar dif­fi­cul­ties, here you just need to fol­low the fire safe­ty instruc­tions. The chim­ney is installed as fol­lows:

  1. A hole is cut between the beams, cor­re­spond­ing in size to the square part of the cut (a spe­cial fac­to­ry-made box);
  2. After that, the assem­bly of the chim­ney begins: a pipe must be con­nect­ed to the chim­ney out­let, a slide valve designed to reg­u­late draft is mount­ed above;
  3. The tight­ness of the joints is ensured by spe­cial heat-resis­tant com­pounds;
  4. The chim­ney is passed through a box in the ceil­ing, and the space between the walls is filled with basalt fiber.

Installing a brick oven is usu­al­ly done dur­ing the con­struc­tion of a house — this is ide­al. A brick oven can also be installed in an exist­ing house, but it will have to build a foun­da­tion, which can be very labo­ri­ous and even imprac­ti­cal.

Installation of equipment for steam heating

Instal­la­tion of equip­ment for steam heat­ing in a pri­vate house is sim­i­lar to the instal­la­tion of water and gas heat­ing. The key point here is the choice of steam boil­er. They are of the fol­low­ing types: liq­uid fuel (run on gaso­line and diesel fuel), sol­id fuel (on coal and peat), gas (nat­ur­al and liq­ue­fied gas), com­bined.

Dur­ing instal­la­tion, the steam heat­ing pipeline can be locat­ed both ver­ti­cal­ly and hor­i­zon­tal­ly. The wiring of high­ways is car­ried out accord­ing to the upper or low­er scheme. In the process of choos­ing pipes, the fea­tures of the room where they will be locat­ed should be tak­en into account.



Instal­la­tion of steam heat­ing involves the fol­low­ing sequence:

  1. Instal­la­tion of the boil­er in a spe­cial room;
  2. Pump con­nec­tion;
  3. Col­lec­tor instal­la­tion;
  4. Fix­ing the nec­es­sary con­trol devices near the boil­er;
  5. Car­ry­ing out main pipelines;
  6. Instal­la­tion of heat­ing radi­a­tors;
  7. Sys­tem check.