Heat balance and indoor air quality
Heat balance means that when all the “free heat” given off by people, appliances and solar radiation is not enough to provide comfortable indoor temperature, required additional heat can be added. A building may also need to be cooled down but active cooling system in the residential housing is not so common.
Comfortable room temperature and good indoor air quality is often taken for granted. The indoor climate is supposed to be about the same all year round, whether it outdoors is sunny and hot, or bitterly cold. This is made possible with the building’s design and technical systems for heating and ventilation.
A large part of the building’s heating energy consumption depends on the so-called transmission losses. It is heat seeking way out of the house from hot to cold through walls, windows, ceilings and floors. The better the heat insulation in a building envelope, the lower the transmission losses. Building components thermal insulating ability is called U-value (former K-value).
The thermal insulating ability is very different depending on the types of materials. Wood insulates better example than concrete and very much better than metal. Formerly, often wood shavings were used as insulation but other materials were also standard, such as moss, fabric and cardboard. Best thermal insulation capacity available with products were developed specifically for this purpose, many of them have roughly equivalent insulation. Examples of common insulation products are so-called mineral wool made of rock or glass fibers, but also wood fiber based products and one type of foam discs (“Styrofoam”) is widely used.
Read more about our homes and ventilation
Read more about why do we need ventilation and the effects on our health in our homes (link here) and sleeping in our homes (link here). Other important issues to consider our homes are: air we breathe (link here), moisture (read more here), pollutions (read more here) and radon (read more here). Find out more about insufficient ventilation in our new homes (link here)!