Renovating the Heating System: Is It Even Worth It?

September 2, 2021
  1. Renovate your heating system: Your biggest advantages
  2. Consequences of the Energy Strategy 2050
  3. Renovating the heating system: the right heating system
  4. Easier planning with the online heating finder

One third of the energy consumed by private households is used for heating and hot water preparation, which also account for a significant proportion of energy costs. Older houses consume three times more energy for heating than new buildings because they are poorly insulated. This is why energy renovation measures are worthwhile for houses built in 1990 or earlier. Energy consumption can be reduced with three measures:

  1. Replace windows with insulation windows and insulate them better.
  2. Renovate and better insulate the roof, exterior walls and basement.
  3. Modernise the heating system and operate it with renewable energy.


The building envelope is important for the choice of heating. That is why it makes sense to have the exterior walls, roof, windows and cellar checked. If you want to sustainably reduce your energy consumption, you should not only have a modern heating system installed, but also renovate the house for energy efficiency. In this article we focus on heating system renovation.


Renovate your heating system: Your biggest advantages

  • You save a lot of energy and thus money, because a modern heating system loses less energy and heats more energy efficiently. The initial costs of gas or oil heating systems are lower, but you are dependent on the fluctuating prices of oil and gas. Renewable heating systems such as heat pumps are an alternative.
  • You protect our environment and conserve scarce resources because a modern heating system emits significantly less carbon dioxide. An old oil or gas heating system is a CO2 guzzler and pollutes the environment very heavily.
  • You receive subsidies in Switzerland from many subsidy programmes of the cantons, cities and municipalities and campaigns of the regional energy suppliers if you switch from fossil to renewable energy. In addition, you can deduct value-preserving expenses such as heat insulation, a heat pump or a solar power system from your taxable income and thus save taxes.
  • You are ready for the energy future and can sit back and relax when the cantons tighten their energy laws because of the Energy Strategy 2050.


Consequences of the Energy Strategy 2050

With the Energy Strategy 2050, the Federal Council wants to increase security of supply and reduce energy-related environmental pollution. To achieve these goals, the cantons are adapting their laws. This has consequences for homeowners. At the end of November 2021, for example, voters in the canton of Zurich will vote on a revision. The four most important changes in the law:

  1. Heating systems in new buildings may no longer be operated with oil or gas.
  2. Some of the energy for heating and hot water should be produced by the residents themselves. Neighbours can join forces and share a solar power system, for example.
  3. A gas or oil heating system must not be replaced by a heating system that burns fossil fuels. It should be replaced by a heating system using renewable energy if this is technically possible - and the life cycle costs of the oil or gas heating system are not at least 5 percent lower than the installation and operation of a heat pump.
  4. Purely electric heating systems must be replaced by 2030. 


Renovation is worthwhile

Save costs by renovating your heating system and protect the environment. The heating finder shows you the optimal heating system for your home in just a few clicks for your home.
To the heating finder

Renovating the heating system: the right heating system

In the first section of this article we mentioned the importance of the building envelope for the choice of heating. The worse a house is insulated, the more important the flow temperature is. This is the temperature at which a heating system delivers the heating water to the heating circuit. Heating with gas or oil is worthwhile if high flow temperatures of up to 60 degrees are necessary, as in older buildings with radiators. Most ground-source heat pumps or air-source heat pumps are designed for lower flow temperatures and work efficiently especially in well-insulated buildings or with floor heating systems with a low flow temperature. For the renovation of older buildings with an oil heating system and radiators, there are now also air-source heat pumps with up to 75 degrees flow temperature. 

Houzy Hint


If, despite everything, you want to install a new oil or gas heating system, you should supplement it with a photovoltaic system on the roof of the house. This way you can additionally minimise your CO2 emissions. A new gas system also reduces CO2 compared to the old system.

Houzy Advice

Good to know

Heat pumps are environmentally friendly and sustainable because they obtain two-thirds of their energy from the environment and energy from the earth, air or water is always available. Furthermore, there are heat pumps that are operated with climate-neutral or even CO2-neutral refrigerants and do not pollute the ozone layer.


Modern Heating System - Heat Pump
The heat pump - a modern heating system in the bathroom


Easier planning with the online heating finder

Renovating a heating system is time-consuming. You can outsource a lot of work and concentrate on the important tasks and the decision. The online heating finder from Vaillant relieves you of the burden of evaluation, planning and implementation, but also of the decision. You only have to answer a few questions and will then be contacted by a qualified heating installer from the Houzy network. The installer is from your region and will advise you at home. Free of charge and without obligation, of course.

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