Decentralised heating systems: Warm air heaters and gas infrared radiant heaters continue to be fully usable!

In the focus of ErP: Environmentally conscious product design and increased efficiency

With the Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC), the EU has set the European legal framework for the requirements for environmentally friendly design and energy efficiency labelling of energy-related products (ErP) as a pioneer in climate protection.

The ErP Directive stipulates that specified minimum requirements must be met, amongst other things, with regard to energy efficiency. Regulations for certain product groups ("lots") specify the binding minimum requirements for specific product groups as well as a time frame.


Section Gas - Technical officer
Dipl.-Ing. Werner Born

+49 221 37668-32

Introduction of ErP minimum efficiency accelerates technological progress

Since 1 January 2018, all manufacturers have been bound by a standardised test and measurement procedure with which the efficiency of the heating system must be determined and specified. On average, heaters work for 85% of the time in part load mode i.e. during transition periods, and only for about 15% of the time in full load mode.

The Commission has recognised this and taken it into account when defining the minimum efficiency with the so-called "seasonal energy efficiency". Modulating controllable heaters with combustion air adjustment in the partial load also increase in importance. This advantage will additionally drive the optimisation of the systems.

The minimum efficiency "seasonal energy efficiency" 2018 is for:

Warm Air Heaters


Tube Heaters


Luminous heaters


The heating systems produced by almost all figawa members of the “Warm Air Heaters” and “Radiant Gas Heaters” working groups already meet or exceed the required minimum efficiency.

Warm air heaters

The burner heats the intake air. The hot air is heated in the heat exchanger and selectively blown out in desired directions. By using the heat of condensation in the exhaust gas (condensing technology), energy is saved and efficiency is significantly increased.

Tube heaters

The thermal radiation is emitted through hot radiant pipes; insulated reflectors direct the thermal radiation in the desired direction. Optional condensing technology extracts the residual heat from the exhaust gas of the dark radiant heaters for further use.


Luminous heaters

The thermal radiation is emitted by the glowing ceramic surface in which the gas/air mixture burns. Specially insulated reflectors direct the maximum amount of thermal radiation in the desired direction.

ErP creates market transparency through objectively comparable product performance data

By specifying the uniformly determined degree of efficiency, planners, tradesmen and operators of open-plan buildings are assured of the best possible product selection, as this is the first time that market transparency has been created and a comparison of products with efficiency has become possible. The labelling, which is also mentioned in the ERP directive, does not apply to decentralised heating systems, as these are installed exclusively by specialist tradesmen and are not aimed at private consumers.

A perspective on the upcoming Building Energy Act – GEG

The energy saving law for buildings is structurally redesigned and standardised in the Building Energy Act (GEG). It brings together the Energy Saving Act (EnEG), the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) and the Renewable Energies Heat Act (EEWärmeG). The purpose of this law is to use energy in buildings as sparingly as possible, including the increasing use of renewable energies to generate heat and cold. The draft bill is available. Adoption and coming into force is expected during 2019. Here, too, decentralised open-plan heating systems are particularly considered and commended for their efficiency and reduction in CO2 output.

Decentralised open-plan heating systems are therefore well equipped for the future!