It has now been a decade since the formulation of Factor 4 and Factor 10 theories .
Factor 4 assumes that ur society can maintain the same service level with a reduction to 1/4 of consumed resources. Factor 10 refers in particular to the building sector, where the same level of comfort can be achieved with one-tenth the energy used.
The flip side of this economic law is that energy costs will increase by 10 times compared to how we know it. And this is not economically sustainable without some intervention.
Better right now to look around and equip the home with better solutions.
So how to streamline the heating in an economic, ecological and functional way?
Currently we heat with enormous energy waste,
This is due to both leaky casings, both gigantic and obsolete equipment.
Unfortunately also the energy that we feed it to these plants is of hard coal and renewable at all.
Here are some tips from a plant engineer:
1) replace the old official with a new condensing boiler.
The first thing to do, namely that with fastest turnaround time, is to replace the old boiler with a new high efficiency. Not for new ultra-low energy homes, but if you’re reading this article probably it will not be your case.
The reason is obvious: if your home consumes 100, and your old boiler with a yield of 70%, the result will be 100/70 = 143.
But if your boiler makes a 100% consumption will be 100/100 = 100.
(Actually there are other factors that come into play and further improve the performance of new boilers)
2) If you have radiators fit them with thermostatic valves.
They regulate the temperature of the heater each room, reducing waste. They are easy to install and relatively inexpensive.
3) replace radiator with radiant walls.
It ‘s easier to do than to say. And the benefit is enormous. The reason is simple. The radiator -despite the name- heats via air convection, and not radiation. To heat the air, which is the most powerful insulator, is wasteful and counterproductive. First because it stratifies the heat up high where we need it less, while the feet remain cold.
Second because when I open the windows to change the air I lose the heat and the work done by the boiler.
Cut the tube at the base of the radiator, replace it with normal radiation tube and plaster over.
The new panel will really work by radiation, warming the bodies and not the air.
We have made many interventions and the difference in comfort and fuel economy is unbelievable.
Once you try it you will want to do them all. And the cost is modest.
4) Install solar collectors
if you can route the pipes connecting with the roof in a shaft or within a profile, it’s worth installing solar depletion panels covering much of the consumption of hot water for kitchen, showers and bathrooms. You will also need a small accumulation, which -if borne the blemish- would be more efficient if integrated behind the panels on the roof.
other suggestions and provocations:
5) Leave missed the floor heating
We bioarchitects were the first in the eighties to promote the radiant plants, when few knew them. Well, today we are the first to say that they no longer serve.
The reason is simple: if my house on the coldest days has a maximum power of 10w/m2 (10 watts per square meter) what good is a system that provides 70W? It means that pipes, boilers and pumps are all oversized and never operate at full capacity. As efficient as a Ferrari in the lanes of Portofino.
6) Give up electric radiant panels.
If not necessary they work in low efficiency, because they consume precious electricity. They have sense only if used in close proximity to a fixed location and it allows to keep the rest of the environment at lower temperatures.