When buying an apartment in an apartment building, the contract stipulates one of two ways cost sharing. Since these buildings usually have a main connection to the city’s district heating network, cooperatives need to adopt a way to separate heating bills between individual premises. It may happen that the residents agree on the percentage share of each of the premises in the overall settlement of the cooperative or, which is more popular, each apartment is equipped with heat spreaders. This is the most common way of splitting the heating bill and such splitters can be found in virtually every block or building. How exactly do heat spreaders work? Advantages and disadvantages of such a solution.
Heat spreaders: what are they?
Heat distributors are small devices that are mounted on each radiator in order to determine the costs consumed by a specific room in the building several families. These dispatchers can also be found under names such as heat meters, heat dispatchers or cost dispatchers.
This method is used both in new blocks and those built some time ago. Thanks to this versatility, it is currently the most popular method for measuring heat consumption and dividing bills into individual apartments.
These devices are small and practical. They can be easily installed and removed from the radiator. In addition, the dividers available on the market do not disturb the aesthetics of the interior in any way. This is especially important when it comes to new apartments that are just waiting for their first owners.
How do heat spreaders work?
Heat spreaders count temperature along the time axis. Just they check when and for how long specific heaters in the premises have been running. Thanks to these measures, it is possible to spread the collective heating bill over the individual apartments. There are currently two most common types of heat spreaders.
The oldest type of allocator is evaporator splitter. It contains two tubes in which one can encounter one of two chemicals that are harmless to humans. Each of these liquids has a specific vaporization time when heated. Thanks to this property, it is possible to calculate the duration during which the inhabitants of a given room have used the heating. Even though this type of heat spreader was very popular in its day, it is now we can only find it in old apartments. Most often it is mounted on cast iron radiators. Evaporator (or Liquid) Splitter it’s not very accurate either.which has caused more and more people to file claims for unfairly allocated bills.
The second type of heat spreaders are those electric. Manufactured using newer technology, they feature one or two temperature sensors. They also provide data on the operating time of the heater. This makes the results more reliable and better reflect the actual heat consumption in individual apartments. This type of divider can be found in all newer apartments. However, it should be remembered that manufacturers of radiators indicate what type of distributor should be installed so that the measurement is as accurate as possible. An incorrectly installed feeder can increase heating consumption.
Heat spreaders – pros and cons
It may seem that heat spreaders are an ideal solution. But they raise a lot of controversy. They do not concern the operation of the divisors themselves, but the interpretation of their results. Although electrical splitters are much more accurate than liquid-based ones, they do not the problem with other factors influencing heat consumption in the apartment has still not been eliminated. These include, among other things, heat flows between rooms. The inhabitants of the ground floor will have to heat their apartment more than those above. Some of the heat from the lower apartments will escape upwards, making the distribution of bills not quite even. With low bills, the difference is not that great, but with colder winters and larger bills, the quality of the door and the insulation of the building or window are also important.
In this case, it always turns out that heating costs are increased by the share of heat that escapes us.
The advantage is undoubtedly the fact that at present it is the cheapest method allowing the separation of the invoice in individual premises. The divider method is non-invasive, does not require renovation, and the device itself is small and unobtrusive.
How to reduce heating bills?
For starters, if you’re smart about your heating and your bills keep rising, heat spreaders may be damaged or incorrectly mounted. In addition, it is worth analyzing the two markers appearing on the receipts. One of them is UF – he says heating power. It is worth that all radiators in the premises have the same UF. If you don’t know how to find this information or you think the marker may be different on different radiators, you can ask the manager to inspect the radiators. During this inspection, the power of the radiators will be determined again (if necessary).
Moreover, it is also important LAF beacon. It is the designation that determines heat loss related to the location of the apartment. Similar to the radiator inspection, here you can also ask the manager for an LAF update.
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