The principle of district heating is simple. Thermal energy is conducted to district heating customers in the form of hot water through a two-pipe district heating network.
Hot water is conducted to the property's heat distribution centre, where it heats the property's local heating network and domestic water supply through heat exchangers. The now cooler water returns to the network and is conducted through the return pipeline to the Toppila power plant to be heated again.
The piece of hardware that takes care of transferring heat from the district heating network to the property is called a heat exchanger. It forms the interface between the hot water coming from the network and the water circulating in the property's local heating network, and prevents the two from mixing. The service life of a heat exchanger is long, generally in the range of 20–25 years, and it is a low-maintenance component. Read more about correct use.
Cooling rate indicates how well the system works
On the level of individual buildings the heart of the district heating network is the heat distribution room, which should be checked monthly to check meter readings and perform visual inspection for leaks and the overall condition of the equipment. Fluctuating values usually indicate malfunction in some part of the system.
In district heating systems the cooling rate is the key. Cooling rate is the temperature difference between water entering and leaving the property. The higher the cooling rate is, the more efficient the heat distribution system is. If the cooling rate is less than 25 °C during the heating season or differs substantially from earlier values, the reason must be investigated. You can find out the cooling rate of your heat distribution system from your district heating bill or via your energy account Energiatili.
Support services when you need them
If you suspect an equipment failure, need advice on how to use district heating equipment or need a condition survey, get in touch with our technical support. In case of sudden equipment failure or acute heat distribution problem you can call our district heating fault service at all hours. A text message/e-mail service that provides information on planned service interruptions in your area is available free of charge via your Energiatili. The service is available only in Finnish.