Given today's fast-moving world, our indoor environment is becoming more and more relevant. We need a place that offers us shelter and relaxation; a home where we feel comfortable. Hardly anything is as important to our wellbeing as a good indoor environment. Even if you are not always aware of it, it affects a large part of your life and that of your family: how your house is arranged, your health, your mood.
We spend up to 90 % of our lifetime in closed rooms. Heat, air quality, and humidity are all important factors that contribute to our wellbeing. We are more productive when we have an adequate amount of fresh air. We are more relaxed when it's nice and warm in winter and pleasantly cool in summer. And who hasn't had trouble at times with the dry, stale air in their living room or office? Heating and air handling systems that are perfectly in tune with each other can ensure that you feel comfortable in your house or dwelling all year round.
Anyone planning a new home or renovating an existing one starts by thinking about the right way to heat it: Do I still need fossil fuels? Gas or oil? Can I incorporate a solar thermal system? What about heat pumps? And it's true: heating and hot water are essential to our wellbeing. What often gets overlooked during planning is air quality, which can make a fundamental contribution to an improved indoor environment. We would like to give you a few suggestions below about when it might make sense to make an investment.
If health, fitness, and wellbeing are important to you, you should give serious consideration to the topic of ventilation. It has many advantages: allergy sufferers benefit from a controlled mechanical ventilation system with special pollen filters. Advanced ventilation systems also reduce household dust and the mites that live in it, which many people are allergic to. Ventilation even reduces the CO² content in the air. This benefits your vitality, allowing you to concentrate for longer.
Odours can also be an important factor when choosing a ventilation system. Do you like to cook? Maybe in an open kitchen? Do you have pets? Or maybe you just like to throw large parties and invite your friends to your home? In all of these cases, a controlled mechanical ventilation system can considerably improve your quality of life by transporting odours quickly and efficiently outside and bringing fresh, clean air into your living space.
On the one hand, well insulated new buildings in particular no longer allow heat to escape through windows and walls. On the other hand, they also allow almost no fresh air in. In concrete terms, this would mean you should be airing in short bursts five to ten times a day. That would not only take time, but also energy, because valuable heat is lost with intermittent ventilation. A good ventilation system saves you all this trouble and heats the fresh outdoor air with heat recovery, so that you even reduce your heating costs. And that means stale air is a thing of the past – all year round.
Air quality and temperature are key elements of your individual living zone and indoor environment. We have put together an overview showing what most people perceive as comfortable. With the right building services, you can customise how you manage your home in whatever way works best for you.
If you are constructing a new building, you must first give at least a little thought to the minimum standards, such as insulation and energy efficiency, since these are generally already specified by law, e.g. by the German Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) and the Renewable Energies Heat Act (EEWärmeG). In these areas, you still have a little wiggle room with building insulation and services, but people generally decide in favour of good to very good thermal insulation for new builds.
The better the insulation, the more you should think about ventilation, because passive houses and low energy houses don't let any heat escape – but don't let any fresh air in either. That's why it makes sense to start thinking about a mechanical ventilation system before construction begins. You can conceal ducts and pipework for a central ventilation system by flush mounting them on walls. This has the benefit of not compromising the appearance of your property, as well as achieving better noise reduction. A central mechanical ventilation system, combined with an intelligent room controller and sensors that measure variables such as the CO² content, can provide you with an indoor environment "à la carte".
When modernising older buildings, the situation is often more complex than with new build. Older buildings often let fresh air in, but are therefore also somewhat more inefficient to heat. In this case, there are two ways to improve your indoor environment. Regarding the insulation, people generally dispense with complete thermal protection (e.g. insulating all of the walls), since this is unjustifiably expensive in older buildings. However, you can replace the windows (double or triple glazing) and make targeted improvements, such as insulating the roof and basement ceiling.
Unlike new build, the focus in older buildings is on the building services: opt for the latest condensing technology (heat recovery) and energy from renewable sources, such as solar thermal systems and heat pumps. Electricity savings are often overlooked here: with new, more energy efficient pumps for your heating and DHW, you can save considerably on your electricity costs whilst still maintaining a comfortable standard of living even in an older building.
A modernised older building offers top quality of life if the air quality in the rooms is right. Even older buildings can later be retrofitted with a decentralised mechanical ventilation system. "Decentralised" means that individual rooms receive ventilation via ventilation ducts routed to them through core drilling or a wall opening. Particularly after replacing the windows, this kind of ventilation can help prevent mould and moisture build-up.
For best results, contact a professional and get some advice on how to achieve your ideal indoor environment.