The Heating System Of A Two-Story House: Projects, Wiring Diagrams

Comfortable living in a private two-story house depends entirely on a set of utilities, among which the heating network occupies one of the main places. Isn't it so? Exactly it is responsible for maintaining optimal temperature regime and safety of the building. You will agree that the temperature in the room is one of the main components for comfortable living.

The choice of the heat source and its correct connection directly depends on whether you can maintain the temperature necessary for living. Here we will help you to understand how the heating system of a two-storey house works and which wiring diagrams are recognized as the most effective.

We have the information about the types of heat carriers, ways and peculiarities of their connection. For the sake of clarity, the material is accompanied by connection diagrams as well as by video clips to help you improve your knowledge of heating systems in private houses.

How to read:

  • What is a heating system made of?
    • How to choose a heat source
    • What is the best heating medium?
    • Convector and radiator heating
    • Summary of household radiators
  • Efficiency of forced circulation schemes
  • Natural circulation as an alternative
  • Peculiarities of a one-pipe Heating system
    • Principle of operation and characteristics
    • Assessment of the disadvantages and advantages
  • Common connection variants
    • Equipment and installation
  • Two-pipe heating system for a 2
    • How does a two-pipe system work?
    • Two-pipe system solutions
  • Conclusions and a useful video on the subject

What is a heating system made of?

It is very difficult to choose the equipment needed to assemble a heating system by oneself. This requires special engineering knowledge, the ability to calculate heat losses, to navigate in detailed calculations and the nuances of installation.

We recommend to contact professional heating engineers who, as a result of preliminary calculations will select the best heating scheme.

If you have the appropriate education or you already have experience in heating distribution in a two-story house, you can choose the option of heating scheme yourself, applying useful information and practiced skills.

Choice of heat source

The heart of the heating network is the heat generator, which heats the heat carrier to an optimal temperature and, if its technical possibilities allow, maintains the given parameters round the clock.

Gallery of pictures


Use of solid fuel boiler

Liquid fuel boiler in the heating scheme of a private house

Electric version unit for the heating system

Popular and sought-after gas equipment

For modern heat sources in private two-story houses, almost all are used, sometimes 2 or 3 types are combined.

Possible types of heat generators:

  • heating boilers;
  • infrared radiators;
  • stoves (Russian, Dutch, Canadian);
  • fires;
  • solar collectors, heat pump systems and other alternative equipment.

Actively used heating boilers that can be classified by fuel type:

  • liquid or solid fuel;
  • gas;
  • electric.

The second and third options are more economical and if there is gas or electricity to the house, these are the ones you should prefer.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

The 28 kW wall mounted gas boiler with two independent circuits, closed combustion chamber and convenient electronic ignition is an excellent option for a 2 or 3-storey house

If the cottage is built on a non-gasified site, the electric boiler becomes the main boiler and the fireplace or infrared heating is used as a reserve, reserve source.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

The operating sequence of the electric boiler: The coolant is heated to the temperature set by the user, moved by piping to radiators on two floors, partially cooled and sent back to the boiler by the circulation pump (+)

The use of alternative heat generators depends largely on the climate conditions of the region, in addition the minimum set of relatively expensive equipment (such as solar collectors) will pay off in at least 3 years.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

The diagram shows the advantage of an infrared heating system: The infrared radiation provides a comfortable temperature in the lower part of the room while the convection heating method always provides warm air to the ceiling

What kind of heating medium is better?

The heat generated by a gas boiler or another heat generator cannot spread through all the rooms by itself. For this purpose, it is necessary to have a heat carrier - a substance that moves freely through the pipes and has the necessary technical characteristics.

There are technologies for using heated air, especially relevant in homes with stove heating, fireplace or electric heating. But, unfortunately, it has insufficient heat capacity, density and heat dissipation to be effective.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

The layout of an air heating system in a two-story residential house. Arrows indicate cold and warm air movement provided by ventilation and air conditioning systems (+)

Liquids, unlike gases, have an excellent capacity to absorb heat, release it and maintain a given temperature for some time. In this sense, ordinary water is an ideal \"conductor\". As it heats up, it fills pipes and radiators, gradually releasing heat to the rooms, while circulation ensures that the process remains constant.

Formal systems with water as the heat transfer medium are optimal for homes with permanent residents. To ensure that the heating equipment lasts longer without repairs and that the piping is not covered by deposits, the water is run through filters and enriched with special additives and inhibitors.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

Freeze-free HotPoint 65 antifreeze is used in heating and air conditioning systems and is designed for 10 heating seasons or 5 years of continuous operation

If your home is a temporary shelter or a weekend getaway, you may want to use antifreeze instead of water. This is a liquid solution with a chemical composition, one of the components being propylene glycol or ethylene glycol.

Chemicals prevent the coolant from freezing even when the building is frozen and keep the network functioning continuously.

Convector and radiator space heating

When heating a two or three story house is designed, both radiators and convectors may be used as heating devices.

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The principle of convectors

Heated air movement

Heated room air pattern

Installed floor heater

Convector in the water heating system

Gas convector in the country cottage

Electric heating device

Radiators, or heating radiators, are most often equipped with centralized systems. They have a combined principle of operation: they transmit thermal radiation and heat the air that circulates around and passes through the \"fins\" of the products.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

The principle of convector equipment operation: room heating using natural air circulation. One standard device is able to maintain a comfortable temperature in a room of up to 20 m2

Convection heating devices are considered the best option for a two-storey private house.

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The radiators heat the air mass by both convection and radiation. That is. They process the flow passing through the device and transmit thermal radiation into the room

Depending on the design features of the device, convection accounts for 50 to 75% of the heat released into the room

The distribution of convective and radiative energy generated by the devices is affected by the fins. The more fins a radiator has, the more radiation and less convection

The radiators used in heating schemes are divided by the material used in the manufacture of the body. The most famous one is cast iron

Steel heating radiators are cheaper and lighter than their cast iron counterparts. They are produced in sectional and panel alternatives

Slowly, but very persistently cast-iron and steel products are substituted by extra light aluminium batteries and their improved bimetal variants

When heating arrangement in large rooms with high ceilings it is recommended to install radiators with increased ribbing

In small rooms with low ceilings it is better to use radiators with slight ribbing, whose operation is dominated by heat radiation

The principle of radiators

The convective heating of the radiator

The ribbing of heating radiators

Cast iron radiator

Steel heating system device

Aluminum and bimetallic batteries

Convection-dominated radiators

Batteries for small rooms

Convectors have a more open design, consisting of copper tubes and heat exchangers. Air enters the heat exchangers, is heated, rises up, making room for a new portion of still unheated air. The device is protected from cooling by a volumetric casing.

Radiators as well as convector type heaters are used in the heating schemes of two-story houses, the choice of devices is great due to the variety of designs, sizes and shapes.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

Bimetal radiators Global Style Extra sectional type are made of steel (inner structure) and aluminum (outer frame), working pressure - 35 atm

Brief description of household radiators

All types of home heating radiators can be classified by the material of which they are made. Modern models of heating devices are made of the following metals:

  • cast iron;
  • aluminum;
  • steel.

There are also author's models created in vintage style, but they cost rather expensive and are made more often by order. Ceramic and wrought iron products are much less common than factory stampings.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

Cast iron radiator for residential heating, made in retro style. The metal surface is covered with heat-resistant paint and painted with a floral ornament

The cast iron sectional radiators used to be common, you can still find them on sale today. Cast iron  is valued for its durability and undemanding to the characteristics of the coolant, but the high weight is considered a disadvantage. Weight is worth considering if the project involves mounting the radiator on a light wall.

Sectional, that is prefabricated, models are also made of aluminum. They are lightweight and aesthetically pleasing, but they do not come into contact with copper parts and react negatively to some types of heat transfer fluids.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

Royal Termo Revolution aluminum heating radiators are ideal for private systems. The special shape of the sections provides a maximum heat output. The cost of 1 section is 500 rubles.

Steel radiators can be panel radiators, made of pieces of sheet steel, and sectional, consisting of several modules. The first option is considered more reliable because of the simple double-sided threaded connection. Steel perfectly tolerates any heat-carrier, by weight it is lighter than cast iron, but heavier than aluminum.

For a two-storey house any type of radiators are suitable, when choosing it is necessary to focus on the type of heat-carrier, the features of system installation and interior design.

Efficiency of forced circulation schemes

Full operation of the prevailing part of modern heating systems is only possible by creating an artificial circulation, i.e. one in which the coolant moves within the network due to the operation of a circulation pump.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

Scheme of a heating system with gas boiler in a 2-storey house: equipment and meters are placed on the first floor (in the basement) in a specially equipped and well soundproofed room (+)

Forced circulation in a building with several floors, the conditions are different:

  • installation of smaller diameter piping, which makes it easier to assemble the distribution as a whole;
  • providing zonal regulation (along with or instead of common);
  • having 2nd or higher floors does not affect heating efficiency;
  • reducing the heat transfer temperature without changing the heat transfer parameters;
  • the possibility of using inexpensive plastic pipes.

minuses include the availability of power supply - interruptions are possible but easily avoided by using UPS back up. The problem of louder noise is also solved by laying a layer of noise insulation in the boiler room.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

Pressurized water heating scheme: 1 - gas or electric boiler; 2 - riser; 3 - pipe to expansion tank; 4 - riser for drain; 5 - upper horizontal distribution; 6 - expansion tank; 7 - circulation pump; 8 - return line

The most suitable place for tapping the circulation pump is where the temperature drops to a minimum, that is just before the boiler, on the return line.

Natural circulation as an alternative

Nowadays autonomous heating networks with gravity circulation, i.e. operating according to natural physical laws, are very rare.

The principle is explained by the difference in density between the cold water and the hot water and by the presence of an additional control device, the expansion tank, which is installed on top of the hot water riser.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

Scheme of a natural circulation heating system in a 2-floor house: a vertical riser pipe crosses both floors and ends in the attic, at the expansion tank, while the lower circuit is situated in the basement or on the first floor (+)

The special feature of the natural type network is the inclined arrangement of horizontal pipes (return and distribution) and the boiler location - it is installed at the lowest possible level. The coolant is supplied via an expansion riser, the cooled water (or antifreeze) is discharged via a return riser.

The advantages of the gravity scheme are independence from electric supply, easy installation, no noise produced by the circulation pump.

Peculiarities of the one-pipe heating system

The choice of one-pipe or two-pipe heating does not depend on the floor level of the house - both types are suitable, but for buildings with 2 or more floors the installation of a circulation pump is mandatory.

Liquid heating (water or antifreeze) is considered the most efficient, while other options can be considered for small single-storey houses such as summer cottages.

Principle of operation and distinctive features

The radiators, according to the one-pipe circuit are connected in series, i.e. the heating medium flows first to one appliance closest to the boiler, from this through a pipe to another, and so on. The looped circuit, which is a network, is also suitable for a 2-storey house as it is conveniently located along the perimeter walls.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

The simplest single pipe heating scheme for a 2-storey building: from the supply riser, the coolant flows to heating radiators connected in series

The presence of shut-off valves can improve the use of the system. For example, the Mevskogo valve is designed to remove air \"plugs\" that often occur during downtime, i.e. in the summer period. In addition, various models of balancing valves, ball valves, special regulators are used.

The forced circulation method in a one-pipe system can be replaced by a natural one if there is a temporary lack of electricity, but this requires the installation of a membrane tank and the positioning of the horizontal pipes with an inclination up to 5º.

Assessment of disadvantages and advantages

The main advantage of one pipe networks is considered to be the easier design and the installation itself. A minimum of pipes makes it possible not to be guided by the complex layout of the premises, but simply to lay the piping strictly along the perimeters of both floors. Also the saving of having to acquire fewer elements - pipes, valves - for a single pipe line is appreciated.

One pipe occupies much less space than two, therefore it can be hidden under floor coverings, unobtrusively laid in doorways, i.e. installed without disturbing the interior.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

One of the main disadvantages of the one-pipe system, actual for a house with two floors, is the rapid cool-down of the heat carrier during the consecutive movement through the radiators (+)

The disadvantages may include the need to purchase a more powerful electric circulating pump, due to which the electricity fee increases. It is more difficult to regulate the temperature level in a serial system: as the intensity of the heating in the nearest radiator decreases, the temperature in the whole line decreases automatically.

Prevalent connection variants

If you decide to install a one-pipe system, you have to choose between two types:

  • a simple system without regulation;
  • \"Leningradka\" with the possibility to switch individual radiators off.

In terms of control the first variant is clearly inferior to the second one, its only advantage is the budget cost.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

The simple single pipe system, horizontal or vertical, is easy and reliable but the temperature regulation in the network is impossible (+)

The \"Leningradka\" system is slightly more expensive as in addition to the pipes a set of stop cocks must be purchased. By means of by-passes and valves it is possible to reduce/increase the amount of heat carrier medium supplied to the radiator.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

Leningradka scheme: by means of shut-off valves it is possible to temporarily cut off individual radiators without changing the functionality of the whole system (+)

\"Leningradka\" is recognized by professional heating engineers as the best single pipe system variant for a 2-storey apartment house.

Equipment and mounting

Standard equipment for the system assembly:

  • circulation type pump;
  • gas or electric boiler (capacity depending on house size, thermal fluid etc.
  • expansion vessel;
  • pipes of 20 mm and 25 mm;
  • adapters, gaskets, plugs;
  • kit of radiators;
  • Maevsky cocks.

Polymer or metal plastic pipes can be used in addition to the steel pipes; the latter are preferable.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

In heating circuits with closed expansion vessels the air is bled by means of automatic drains equipped with shut-off valves and floats or Maevsky cocks supplying each radiator

First find a suitable place for the boiler and mount it, then assemble the pipe leading to the radiators. The radiator branches and bypasses are fitted with tees. The pump is installed in the return, next to the boiler inlet, and connected to the power supply.

The place of installation of the open expansion tank is the highest point of the system, the closed can be mounted in any convenient place, for example, in the boiler room. Radiators are hung on the walls with special fasteners, equipped with plugs and taps.

Two-pipe heating system for a 2-storey house

Truly comfortable living conditions can only be achieved with the installation of a two-pipe heating system. Its design gives the possibility to regulate the temperature in the individual rooms and to save energy resources.

How does the two-pipe system work?

Unlike the single-pipe system, the two-pipe system consists of a pair of pipes with different functions: one pipe supplies the heating medium, the other pipe leads back. The radiators are not connected in series, but in parallel. One circuit, with the heated medium, is led from the riser to the radiators on both floors, the second circuit is mounted to the boiler outlet and is also led to both floors.

The radiators are fitted with thermostatic valves to allow a comfortable temperature to be set. If desired, the heating intensity can be reduced by partially or completely shutting off the water flow to the appliance.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

For example, a membrane tank, pressure regulator, circulation pump and safety valve are traditionally installed upstream of the boiler

In modern 2-storey buildings, double-pipe systems are used as they are much more efficient than single-pipe systems:

  • reduce pressure losses;
  • does not require a powerful pump;
  • keep the temperature of the coolant the same for each radiator;
  • allows the use of many different heat devices within one system (such as radiators, convectors and \"warm floor\");
  • allow for repairs and replacement of parts without affecting overall functionality.

The main disadvantage is the difficulty to install them by oneself - during the assembly process the professional advice and supervision is a must.

Successful solutions for the two-pipe system

There are many variations of various schemes but the individual demands are taken into account for the design.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

The simplest scheme for the arrangement of a heating system in a 2-storey house. It is characterized by the following points: 2 heating and DHW circuits, heat transfer fluid, forced circulation (+)

The universal schemes are suitable for providing heat in houses of different size and number of storeys.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

The detailed scheme of the two-pipe distribution for a single storey house with a fully equipped ground floor. The problem of thermal insulation of the floor in the basement is solved by the connection of a water floor heating system

If auxiliary equipment, e.g. a membrane tank, the heating possibilities are increased.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

A and B - the two types of distribution, top and bottom. Optional: expansion tank, Maevsky cocks, air line (+)

The following plan combines the three most common types.

The heating system of a two-story house: projects, wiring diagrams

Level 1: Dead-end system with parallel installation of both circuits; Level 2: Counter system with radiator connection on both sides; Level 3: Manifold system with improved balancing

All the above layouts are suitable for heating a 2-storey building.

Conclusions and useful videos on the subject

Information videos will expand your knowledge of heating systems for 2 and 3 story houses.

Video #1. Connection diagram of a two-circuit radiator heating system with \"underfloor heating\":

Roll #2. Variant of heating system wiring in a 3-storey house (using \"Leningradka\"):

Roll #3. Practical application of the system with natural circulation of the coolant (on a solid fuel boiler):

Thereby, two-pipe heating systems with liquid coolant, equipped with a gas or electric boiler and a circulating pump can be considered the most efficient. Combined systems are more efficient, the choice of heat sources depends on the number of storeys and the construction of the house.

In any case, for the individual scheme, we recommend that you consult the heating engineers and planners.

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