Effect of inhabitants on total energy efficiency
The energy efficiency of a building is not the same as low energy consumption. Even in a passive building a user can consume excess amounts of energy either consciously or, as in most cases, without actually knowing it. For that reason, the control systems in an energy-efficient building and their user interface play an important role. If a red lamp illuminates in a kitchen counter whenever the inside temperature is above the set level or the power use exceeds the limit value, it is easier for the user to make the necessary control adjustments.
Energy sufficiency is the other side of the coin. No matter how energy-efficient a building is, if the size of the building exceeds the needs of the users, energy is wasted.
There are many easy ways to save energy when constructing a private home. By following these instructions, it is possible to cut down on energy consumption substantially.
- Choose bathroom fittings that do not consume too much water.
- Install a shower instead of a bath.
- Use water-saving nozzles for showers and taps.
- Use an electric water boiler.
- If you are building a masonry fireplace, make it suitable for cooking as well. This allows you to heat and cook using the same energy.
- Build your sauna and washroom from brick. Heat from the sauna will be stored in the bricks and contribute to the central heating system. Bricks also have better properties in relation to moisture.
- Ensure that pipes and air ducts are well insulated.
- Keep the indoor temperature between 20 and 21 degrees Celsius and the bedroom temperature between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius. A change by one degree in temperature corresponds to a change of approximately 5 % in energy consumption.
- Switch from standard electric bulbs to low-energy lights.
- Prefer energy-efficient models when buying domestic appliances.
- Make sure that all water taps are tight and do not drip.
- Additional insulation in the attic is often a cost-efficient way of saving energy.
- Add insulation around doors and windows.
- Clean your boiler regularly to avoid the formation of an insulating layer. The boiler should always have additional insulation.
- Clean the heat exchanger regularly to get the best performance.
Draughts can be prevented by ensuring that the house is well-insulated and the construction elements are joined together tightly.
A suitable level of ventilation can be achieved using a continuously running system that includes a heat recovery function. An inlet should be placed in each room, and air should be sourced from areas outdoors that are away from odours. Air conditioning with a heat recovery function uses and heats fresh air from outdoors, which ensures the air is pleasantly warm even in the winter.
Ideally, indoor humidity should be around 40 %. Ventilation helps to eliminate excess humidity indoors. But making indoors surfaces of the building as vapour-tight as possible prevents moisture from accumulating inside the structures and reduces the need for air conditioning. In the winter when the outdoor air is extremely dry, indoor humidity can easily drop below 40 %.