The most common in most countries today are heating systems with a liquid heat carrier. They represent a whole complex of heating equipment, which can be complex or simple.
In the latter case, the system is an open heating circuit. If we are talking about a complex system, then it involves a heat exchanger, pumping stations, boiler rooms and piping systems. The characteristics of the circulating fluid will affect the operation of the equipment, so it is important to choose the right coolant.
What should be the coolant
Coolant for heating, unfortunately, cannot be ideal. This indicates that any of the materials known today can be successfully exploited only under certain conditions. Thus, one of the important circumstances is the temperature, in violation of which the substance can change its qualitative characteristics, and at the same time the system simply ceases to function.
If we sort out the qualities, it should be noted that a good coolant shouldtransfer maximum heat in a short time around the perimeter of the site. Heat loss should be kept to a minimum. It should have a low viscosity, because this indicator will affect the pumping speed and the value of the efficiency factor. The coolant should not cause corrosion of the components and mechanisms of the system, otherwise there will be restrictions on their choice. Among other things, it must be safe for humans, not exceed the standards for temperature, toxicity and ignition.
From consumers you can hear another important factor that affects the choice, it is expressed in cost. If the coolant seems expensive, but will have excellent characteristics, then only a limited circle of consumers will be able to incline their choice in its direction.
Description of water as a heat carrier
Water is a heat carrier for heating, which has the highest heat capacity among all liquids. Water has a high density. Thus, a kilogram of water heated to 90 ° C will cool in the radiator, releasing heat in the amount of 20 kcal until it reaches 70 ° C. This coolant is chosen for the reason that it differs from synthetic substances in environmental and toxicological properties.
Why choose water
Water is safe for humans and won't cause much trouble if it leaks. Its deficiency can be easily replenished by adding the missing volume of liquid to the system. If we compare this coolant withothers, then it has no competitors in terms of cost, because you simply cannot find a cheaper liquid.
Water usage tips
Water is a heating medium that should not be used in its usual form, because it is rich in s alts and oxygen, which causes corrosion and scale.
In order to ensure trouble-free operation of the system, the water must be softened, for this you can use one of the two existing methods. The first is thermal, the second is chemical. In the first case, the water must be boiled. To do this, it is placed in a metal tank and begin to heat up. In the process, carbon dioxide will be removed, as well as s alts that will be deposited at the bottom of the vessel. But the stable compounds of magnesium and calcium will remain in the water.
The named coolant for heating can also be softened chemically using reagents. To do this, experts advise using soda ash, sodium orthophosphate and slaked lime, which will eliminate the insoluble s alts in the water - they will simply fall out as a precipitate. At the next stage, the water will only need to be filtered, which will eliminate the remnants of substances.
If you choose a home heating coolant, then distilled water will be the ideal option, the only drawback of which is the need to purchase it.
You can also use rain water, which is different from tap, artesian and well water. If you decide to use the specified liquid, then the characteristics of the coolant, namely the temperature regime, will play a big role. Once the temperature in the building drops below 0°C, the liquid will freeze and this may cause the system to fail.
Characteristics of antifreeze
With the onset of cold weather, you can use the so-called anti-freeze, which fills the pipes. They will not burst even at low temperatures, which is very important for owners of private property that is used irregularly. Antifreeze is designed to operate over a wide temperature range, ranging from -30 ° C and above. On sale you can find antifreeze that can be used up to -65 ° C.
If you need to equip the heating of a country house, the coolant can be represented by antifreeze. With a decrease in the critical temperature mark, it will not freeze, but will become gel-like. As soon as the temperature rises, the liquid will return to its original state without losing properties.
It is noteworthy that antifreeze does not pose a threat to the heating circuit. In order to exclude corrosion centers and rid the inner surface of pipes of scale, manufacturers add special inhibitors to it.
Things to remember when choosing antifreeze
Thanks to theseadditives, the period of operation of the heating system is increased by several years. But still, it must be remembered that antifreeze is not a universal liquid, and additives can only be used for certain materials. This is due to the fact that some of them destroy polymer pipes, while others contribute to the occurrence of electrochemical type corrosion.
If, when choosing a coolant for heating radiators, you preferred antifreeze, then you must remember that its average life is 5 years, which is equal to 10 seasons. After the end of this period, the coolant volume must be replaced. Some manufacturers even recommend using antifreeze for 3 years.
Comparison of antifreeze with water
Quite often, property owners decide which coolant to choose for the heating system of a country house. In most cases, antifreeze and water are compared.
The first has an increased viscosity and requires the equipment of the system to be equipped with a powerful circulation pump, which may cause additional costs. Among other things, antifreeze has a lower heat capacity (to be precise, it is 15% less). This indicates that the amount of heat given off will not be as impressive as in the case of water.
Antifreeze is a coolant for a heating system, which provides for the need for more thorough sealing of detachable connections. And when arranging the system, it will be necessary to install radiators, the volume of which is 50% largercompared to those used for water. The scheme of heating equipment, where antifreeze will be used, requires a closed expansion tank, because during heating there will be an increased expansion.
Many experts also note the toxicity of this liquid, this characteristic can be attributed, for example, to ethylene glycol. The composition of the described substances will contain this ingredient, which implies the need to use single-circuit boilers. Therefore, before filling the system with antifreeze, you should consider installing a capacious expansion tank and more powerful pumping equipment.
Radiators must be voluminous, pipes must be chosen in such a way that they have a more impressive diameter. When forming detachable connections, it is necessary to use high-quality seals, for example, paronite or Teflon gaskets. When diluting antifreeze, it is necessary to use only distilled water, and each next filling of the substance will require a complete flushing of the system, including boiler equipment.
Additional antifreeze features
Before choosing this coolant and filling the heating system, you should study its characteristics. For example, the choice should be influenced by the purpose and composition of the additives, as well as possible interactions of the substance with the components of the heating system, which can be made of cast iron, plastic, non-ferrous metals or rubber.
The temperature of the heating medium must also betaken into account, since each manufacturer specifies this parameter for their product. It is also important to take into account the service life, as well as safety for nature and human he alth. If you use water as a coolant, then the system is equipped according to the traditional scheme of a closed or open type.
Conclusions on the choice of coolant
The heat carrier for the heating system of a country house can be quite difficult to choose. It is important to take into account the temperature in the cold season. If the thermometer does not drop below +5 °С, then it is recommended to prefer water, which is cleaned of impurities before pouring.
If the temperature level is quite low, then it is better to choose antifreeze for the heating system. An alternative solution is to use water that is drained from the pipes before the owners leave, but in this case, you may experience corrosion due to humidity in the air, which will fill the radiators and empty pipes.
It is important to choose the type of heating equipment at the design stage, because systems for antifreeze and water are different.
The temperature of the coolant in the heating system is not the only factor that will influence the choice. It is also important to take into account the possibilities of heating boiler equipment. There are some restrictions that manufacturers impose on fluids for boiler equipment. These norms cannot be called critical, but it is worth listening to the wishes. After all, sometimes the wrong choice of coolant leads to failure of heating boilers.or some of their nodes.