How To Put Heat Meters In The Apartment: Installation Of Individual Meters

It is impossible to live in unheated rooms in winter and no one argues with that. Hot heating radiators in the cold months are a communal benefit of modern life. However, the bills, regularly charged by the specialists of the MC on heating, are often overstated, right?

You decided to figure out how to put meters for heating in the apartment to get a real chance not to pay extra, but do not know where to start?

We will help to study this issue in detail - the article provides the order of installation of meters and interaction of the owner with the heat supply organization. We also consider the main types of meters and their features.

The article material is supplemented by thematic photos and useful video tips of owners who have proved through the court their right to pay only for the heat actually consumed.

Content of the article:

  • The purposes of installing a heating meter
  • Monthly payments for someone else's living space
  • Types of apartment heating system wiring
    • Option #1 - vertical wiring
    • Option #2 - horizontal wiring in a high-rise
  • Special features of the main meter types
    • Types #1  - mechanical meter
    • Type #2 - ultrasonic heat meter
    • Type #3 - heat calculator and distributor
  • Legal heat meter installation
  • When is installation not possible or not profitable?
  • Conclusions and a helpful video on the topic

The purposes of installing a heat meter

Heating your home is expensive. But private homeowners at least have a choice in boiler equipment and fuel. Residents of apartment buildings have no choice - central heating with tariffs set by the managing company.

There is, however, an instrument to reduce the cost of heating in apartments - an individual heat meter.

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Heat meters are used to measure the heat consumption in the heating network of the entrance or in the heating circuit

The installation of a heat meter measures the volume of consumption of the appliances

The heat meter in a private building guarantees a remarkable saving. Using readings of the device it is possible to set the temperature to 1º lower during the absence of tenants, which reduces consumption by about 6%

The heat meter in the apartment will provide control of the service provided by the Managing Company, allow to detect unjustified energy consumption

Heat meters applied in the apartment design and operating principle are similar to water meters. They include: flow part, measuring cartridge, thermal converter and calculator

The heat meter records the flow rate of the coolant passing through the flow part of the device, and the temperature in the supply or return pipe of the heating circuit

To comfortably read the readings recorded by the device, heat meters are equipped with an optical interface

For reading the data measured by the device with an optical interface, can be accessed remotely

Measuring unit installed

Heat meter in a detached house

Heat meter in a flat

Component parts of a domestic heat meter

Main elements for installing a heat meter

Comfortable optical interface

Meter with remote access

When there is no quality heating it happens that the faults in the house heating system force one to look for alternative sources of heat.

Or the reason the room radiators are cold is the intention of the management of the HMO to save on heating costs.

Then the plumber tightens the stop valve, reducing the flow of hot water into the heating system of the apartment block. The tenants freeze and warm themselves with heaters, increasing their electricity bills. But the cost of heating from this does not decrease.

You also have to freeze in your apartment? We suggest you look at information about insulating the walls of the apartment, discussed in our other article.

When there is too much heat, the overheated air in the rooms is unpleasant, you have to open the windows to lower the overall temperature level. But behind the outwardly simple methods there is money spent on \"heating the street\".

They can be saved by installing regulators on the heating batteries and a heat meter - on the heating circuit of the apartment.

You may also be interested in information about comfortable norms of temperature in living quarters, which you can read about in this article.

How to put heat meters in the apartment: installation of individual meters

In winter ventilating an overheated room is the only thing that comes to mind to reduce uncomfortable room temperatures

There are also hidden components of heating payments. It is when the heat carrier comes from the boiler house to the main network with one temperature of heating, but at the input of heating pipes in the house it has a different, lower temperature

Transport of the heat carrier through the pipes is accompanied by heat losses due to bad insulation, it is clear. But these heat losses are paid by the end consumer - the owners of apartments in multi-storey buildings which are not equipped with heat meters.

Monthly payments for another apartment building

Each apartment building must have a heat meter -Article 13 point 5 of Federal law №261-FZ of 23 11.2009.

The management company complies with this condition and at the end of each month takes the heat consumption for the apartment buildings under its responsibility.

The sum for heat energy is simply divided among the apartments according to their living area. But such an approach cannot be fair.

How to put heat meters in the apartment: installation of individual meters

It takes a lot of money to pay one's bills for heating. And half of it is wasted

The data on the living area, available in the Managing Company, is based on the technical passport of each apartment. However, such technical passports often do not include data on the apartment alterations that increase the heating area.

There is no information on the increase of heating radiator connection points.

Although apartments with alterations and increased number of radiators consume more heat than other apartments.

And since the district heating consumption is divided by apartment area, the occupants of \"normal\" apartments pay for the heat consumed by the occupants of \"improved\" apartments.

How to put heat meters in the apartment: installation of individual meters

Individual heat meter on the horizontal heating circuit of the apartment

A simple way out of the situation of paying for someone else's heat is individual meters on the heating circuits of the apartments.

Saving the costs of heating energy, the consumption of which is determined by a heat meter, would be over 30% of the previous heating payments tied to the size of the living space (standard).

Types of wiring of the apartment heating system

Apartments in multi-flat buildings are equipped either with vertical or horizontal wiring of the heating system. In apartment buildings built before the beginning of the 21st century, heating systems were laid vertically.

Option #1 - vertical distribution

The vertical circuit of the heating system is made as one-pipe, less often as two-pipe. But always with successive heating carriers running through the interfloor levels - from bottom to top and then from top to bottom.

The vertical heating circuit is particularly common in Khrushchev houses.

How to put heat meters in the apartment: installation of individual meters

The single pipe heating system circuit covers several floors and apartments. Therefore, a heat meter cannot be fitted

The vertical heating has serious drawbacks:

  • Uneven heat distribution. The heating medium is pumped through a vertically oriented interfloor circuit, which does not ensure uniform heating of the rooms at different levels. I.e. the apartments on the lower floors will be noticeably warmer than the rooms situated closer to the roof of the apartment;
  • Harder regulation of the heating batteries heating degree. Need to equip each battery with a bypass;
  • Problems with balancing the heating system. The balance of single-circuit heating vertical distribution is achieved by adjusting the shut-off valves and thermostatic regulators. But the slightest change in pressure or temperature in the system have to do adjustment again
  • Complications with individual accounting of heat consumption. There is more than one riser in the vertical heating system of the apartment rooms, that is why conventional heat meters cannot be used. They need several - for each radiator, which is expensive. Although for heating of the vertical distribution there is another tool for metering heat energy - heat distributor.

Building a scheme of vertically oriented heating piping was cheaper than horizontal distribution - fewer pipes were needed.

This economy was considered quite justified in the era of mass typical development of Russian urban areas in the 20th century.

Option #2 - Horizontal distribution in a multi-floor apartment block

In a horizontal distribution of the heating system there is also a vertical riser pipe distributing the heat carrier over the floors.

The second riser pipe serving as return flow is located in a vertical technical shaft next to the supply riser.

From both distribution risers, horizontal pipes of two circuits, supply and return, lead to the apartments. The return line collects the cooled water, transporting it to the heating plant or the heating boiler.

How to put heat meters in the apartment: installation of individual meters

The horizontal heating circuit is simple - one pipe carries the coolant into the apartment and the other out.

The advantages of the horizontal layout of heating pipes are:

  • the possibility of temperature regulation in each apartment as well as in the whole line (mixing units must be installed);
  • repair or maintenance in a separate heating circuit without switching off the heating system completely. The shut-off valves allow the apartment circuit to be shut off at any time;
  • fast heating start-up on all floors. For comparison, even in a well-balanced one-pipe system with vertical distribution, it takes at least 30-50 seconds to deliver the heating medium to all the radiators;
  • installation of one heat meter per apartment circuit. When the heating circuit is horizontal, it is easy to install a heat meter.

The disadvantage of the horizontal heating circuit is its higher cost. The necessity to install a return pipe parallel to the supply pipe increases the price of apartment heating by 15-20%.

Pecific features of main meter types

The group of individual heat meters are designed for operation in heating networks with a 15-20 mm diameter pipe channel and a heat carrier volume in the range of 0.6-2.5 cubic metres per hour.

The heat meters and heat distributors calculate the consumed heat energy independently and display the data on an electronic display.

How to put heat meters in the apartment: installation of individual meters

The horizontal layout of the heating pipes allows the heat meter to be installed in a recess or shaft

The heat meter's computer module calculates the heat consumption over a given period (hour, day or month) saving and storing this information in its memory for 12-36 months.

The installation of a non-volatile heat meter (i.e. with an additional battery supply) is most convenient.

Depending on the heat meter model, its measurement values are displayed as kilowatts per hour, megawatts per hour, gigajoules or gigacalories. For property managers and other utility companies, heat readings are required in Gcal.

The appropriate conversion formula must be applied to convert to gigacalories. For example, for kilowatts per hour, multiply the value by a factor of 0.0008598.

Each meter is a set of several instruments. It may contain temperature sensors, heat calculators as well as pressure, flow and resistance transducers.

The exact configuration of the heat meter is set by the manufacturer for the particular model.

How to put heat meters in the apartment: installation of individual meters

Installation of a heat meter is easily done in the final phase of an apartment heating installation

Depending on the principle of heat consumption metering, heat meters are equipped with an ultrasonic or a mechanical (tachometric) flow meter.

Also models with other flow meter types (for example eddy or electromagnetic) are produced, but not widely available. Heat meters are designed to collect data on the heat consumption exclusively on the horizontal heating circuit.

A separate group of heat meters are heat calculators and distributors that do not require tapping into the heating circuit. These devices are used to calculate the heat cost of the heating radiators in all heating circuit diagrams.

Type #1 - mechanical version of the flow meter

The simplest type of construction and therefore the cheapest (about 9000-10000 rubles) is the device with two wired temperature sensors, water meter and electronic calculator unit.

The main operating element of the meter is the part (impeller, turbine or screw) rotating when the heat carrier flows through the device. The number of rotations determines the volume of the heat carrier which has passed through the meter.

How to put heat meters in the apartment: installation of individual meters

The installation procedure of the heat meter is superficially simple, but the efficiency of the device depends on its quality

The contact thermometers are installed in the supply and return pipes of the heating circuit of the apartment. The first one is placed in the counter, in a special holder.

The second one is installed in the return pipe, in a specially designed ball valve (with holder) or in a T-piece equipped with a thermometer pocket.

Advantages of mechanical heat meters:

  • Cost about 8000 rubles;
  • Construction is simple and reliable;
  • No external power supply required;

Attracts rather correct stability of indicators and possibility to install horizontally or vertically.

Disadvantages of mechanical type heat meters:

  • security of operation not more than 4-5 years - every 4 years it is required to perform verification;
  • high wear of rotating parts - however, all mechanical meters are repairable at little cost;
  • pressure increase - the rotating element contributes to the pressure increase in the heating circuit; susceptibility to water hammer;
  • high need to match the actual flow of heat carrier in the heating system to the rated flow set by the manufacturer.

The installation of a magnetic strainer in front of the mechanical heat meter is mandatory. The device is very sensitive to the suspended matter content in the heat carrier volume!

Type 2 - Ultrasonic heat meter

The flow rate of the heat carrier is determined by an ultrasonic signal emitted by a transmitter and received by a receiver.

The two elements of the ultrasonic heat meter are mounted on a horizontal heating pipe and a certain distance is set between them.

The signal from the emitter follows the flow of the coolant and reaches the receiver after a time period depending on the flow rate of the coolant in the heating circuit. On the basis of the time data the value of the heating medium flow is determined.

How to put heat meters in the apartment: installation of individual meters

It has no rotating elements. Therefore, the service life of such a heat meter is longer and the heat data is accurate

There are over 10 versions of ultrasonic flow meters available - frequency, Doppler, correlation, etc. In addition to performing basic tasks, an ultrasonic heat meter may have the function of regulating the flow of the coolant.

Pros of ultrasonic heat meters for apartments:

  • Inexpensive in basic configuration - from 8000 rubles. (domestic models)
  • data on heat consumption are indicated on LCD display by pressing one button, what is very convenient;
  • operation of the device does not cause increase of hydraulic pressure in the heating system;

The big advantages are long life - more than 10 years (verification is required every 4 years) and built-in battery supply.

The main disadvantage of ultrasonic heat meters is sensitivity to the heat carrier composition. If it contains air bubbles and dirt particles (limescale, scale etc.) the readings will be wrong and towards an increase in heat consumption.

One rule for ultrasonic flow meters is that the pipe section in front of and after the meter must be straight (the required total length of a straight segment is more than one meter). Then the meter will provide the correct heat flow data.

Type #3 - heat calculator and distributor

These meters measure the relative heat input. They are constructed with a heat adapter and two temperature sensors.

Each three minutes the sensors measure the temperatures on the surface of the heating radiator and in the room atmosphere, determining the difference. The collected heat consumption information is summarized and displayed on the screen of the device.

How to put heat meters in the apartment: installation of individual meters

There is no need to hide such a heat meter - it looks perfect in the modern room interior

The heat meters are programmed to work on a specific type of radiator when installed on it.

You may also be interested in the information about the types of heating radiators and their characteristics discussed in our other article.

All the necessary coefficients and wattages of the radiator are entered into the meter memory, allowing it to display the heat consumption data in kilowatt hours.

The figures indicated by heat allocators are displayed in conventional units. In order to convert them into kilowatt-hours the reading should be multiplied by the heat cost allocator's rating and the factor corresponding to the type of radiator.

The factor figures are provided by the meter manufacturer based on laboratory tests.

How to put heat meters in the apartment: installation of individual meters

The heat cost allocator is similar to the heat calculator. What distinguishes them is the distributor's inability to count heat as kilowatts per hour. Generally speaking, a heat cost allocator is simpler than a calculator

Heat cost allocators and heat cost allocators are placed to measure the heat energy on a single heating radiator. In other words there should be as many heat cost allocators in an apartment with such meters as there are heating radiators.

Either type of meter is efficient irrespective of the apartment heating scheme and the operating characteristics of the heat medium used in the heating circuit.

Advantages of heat cost allocators and calculators:

  • Cost of approx. 2000-2500 rub. - i.e. it is profitable to install them in small apartments with 5 or less heating radiators (but more than 2);
  • Long lifetime without checking - 10 years;
  • simple and fast installation on or near the radiator body;
  • transmission of data from several heat meters via radio link to a single controller summing them up (availability of radio module depends on the model);

strong argument for the installation of such devices is the complete independence of the measurement results from the quality of the heat carrier.

Disadvantages of the apartment heat calculators and allocators:

  • Relative measurement errors are up to 7-12% (the highest error is inherent in heat allocators), which is higher than in \"plug-in\" heat meters;
  • The energy consumption data is only correct if calculated from the measurement results of several devices within the apartment. One calculator is not able to correctly determine the heat consumption of the atmosphere from a single radiator. Consolidated data for several devices is needed;
  • effective operation only on factory models of radiators for heating. This means that any modifications to the factory-made radiator set are not allowed when metering with these heat meters.

The installation kit for the calculator or heat cost allocator is selected according to the type of radiator on the body of which the meter will be installed.

Homemade installation methods will degrade the data collection quality. If a specialized installation kit is not available, it is more rational to fix the device next to the radiator it serves.

The procedure for legal installation of a heat meter

The sequence of steps to install an individual heat meter in an apartment consists of several steps.

See them in detail:

  1. The written applicationto the building management organization for permission to install the heat meter. The letter must be accompanied by copies of the ownership of the apartment, the apartment's technical passport.
  2. Getting the technical conditionsfor the installation of the heat meter from the heat supplier (usually the district heating company).
  3. Preparing a projectfor the individual heat meter and the installation technical documentation. To be carried out by an organisation authorised to provide the design service.
  4. Coordinating the project documentationwith the heat supplier.

It is not possible to purchase a heat meter until the agreed heat project has been received as rejection is possible for various reasons.

Having all the project documentation, it remains to choose a heat meter - ultrasonic, mechanical or externally installed, such as a heat calculator.

How to put heat meters in the apartment: installation of individual meters

A device obliged to save up to 50% of heating costs - it must be installed by professionals. And with a guarantee

For the model purchased it is necessary to obtain from the seller the receipt (bill and cash register), the instructions, the warranty card and a copy of a valid quality certificate.

The company that installs the heat meter must have a license for this type of work.

Before choosing a contractor one should assess the data on the candidates (USRLE, certificates, SRO approvals), the professionalism of the installers (special equipment, list of installation work, availability of installation kit), guarantees of the work done.

How to put heat meters in the apartment: installation of individual meters

The quality of the the thermostat installed on the heating radiator is important. It is the one that will allow you to control the heating of the radiator, and thus the cost of heat

You should note that in addition to the heat meter you will need additional devices and appliances: bypass, radiator thermo regulators, pipe filters, tees etc.

Sealing the heat meter or heat distributor after the installation work is mandatory.

The sealing is carried out by representatives of the district heating company.

When is the installation not possible or not profitable?

The installation of an individual heat meter will be refused by the managing company if the apartment block does not have a district heating meter. In order to calculate the coefficient for the DHE, it is necessary to know the heat consumption of the entire house.

Payments with a heat meter will be higher in the following situations than without one:

  • The heat main in a multi-story building is done by an outdated circuit -  through an elevator;
  • the apartment is at the end of the house, on the last or first floor;
  • there are gaps in the window frames, front door frame;
  • the balcony is not glazed - in this situation the thermal insulation of the balcony may help;
  • a ventilated staircase (broken windows, ajar front door), etc. etc.

It should be noted that in order to minimize the heating costs it is not enough to install building and apartment meters. It is necessary to modernize the heating system of the building - replacement of elevator unit with AITP or AHU.

How to put heat meters in the apartment: installation of individual meters

The IPS complex allows to fine tune the heating of the whole apartment building. And consequently heating payments will decrease.

Only in such an energy system of a multi-storey building is it possible to achieve comfort in the apartments with minimal heating payments.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Installation of a heat meter is a requirement of the Russian legislation. But this norm does not apply to apartments in apartment buildings.

The reasons why there can be problems with individual heat meters are discussed in this video:

The resident of St. Petersburg installed heat calculators on the radiators in his apartment in 2013 and was convinced of the 30% overpayment for heating.

But the Housing Construction Company-3 is not rushing to compensate his expenses. Watch video:

Legislation requires heat meters in multi-family apartment buildings, but only a common meter (for the whole house).

And the managers of apartment buildings are benefiting from individual meters in the only case - if the house is new or reconstructed (insulated) according to modern standards.

Have you installed a heat meter or have valuable information on this issue that can be useful to our other readers?

Maybe your experience will help to solve a difficult situation or inspire an active fight with the heating company. Share your story or ask questions on this topic - leave your comments under this article.

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