If you’re the owner or buyer of an old building, you’ll need to deal with the issue of upgrading your heating system at some point. Depending on the old heating system’s condition and the building’s heat insulation, a partial upgrade may be an option. However, full replacement of your heating system is sometimes unavoidable, and you have to decide which modern alternatives to use.

It’s been decided: by 2050, Switzerland should be climate neutral. The energy directors in each canton have also signed up to a plan to enhance energy efficiency in buildings by late 2020, thus making a contribution to saving the environment. But what does this mean for home-owners with old oil or gas heating systems?

There are two options to bring your heating system into line with Switzerland’s energy targets and meet the new national criteria:

Modernise oil or gas heating systems and insulate the building

If you wish to stick with oil or gas, but your heating system falls foul of the new regulations, you will most likely need to replace your old heat generator with a new, more efficient model. Your new set-up must either get at least 10 percent of the energy required from renewables, or consume at least 10 percent less fossil fuel. You may also need to replace your property’s windows and improve the heat installation in the roof and facade to comply with legal requirements.

Using renewables

If you need to replace your old heating system entirely, you may need to make a bigger investment. However, replacing your heating system could help you make big savings on energy costs in the long run. Nevertheless, if the old fossil fuel heating system is still working well, you can also enhance it with a modern alternative. The important thing is that the heating system uses a minimum of 10 percent renewables.

When it comes to heating systems that run on renewables, solar power is usually the first that springs to mind. Many other options are available, however, including various heat pumps. Depending on the type of heat pump, energy is obtained from the outside air, water, or the depths of the earth. Operating costs are therefore very low in comparison to fossil fuel-based heating systems. If wood is your energy source of choice, you can opt for a wood pellet heating system and use locally-sourced fuel to heat your home.

The most convenient solution is what is known as a thermal network. This uses a central heat generator system to heat multiple properties remotely.

Whichever upgrade you choose, Engel & Völkers has a selection of handy hints and useful checklists to help you decide in our free guide to heating system. Here, you can also find out how to calculate your property’s energy rating and which model MukEn14 provisions the cantons have agreed.

We are also on hand to help with your queries and find the right partner for upgrading your heating system. Just call us or send us an email.

Look to the future and make your home climate neutral now. We’re here to help.