How to plan and control the indoor climate for optimal living comfort
Combining living comfort and energy efficiencyThese days there is plenty of focus on good thermal insulation, both in new build projects and in the energy-efficient renovation of existing buildings. After all, it helps to minimise heat loss and reduce energy costs. At the same time, we attach increasing importance to our living comfort. Temperature fluctuations are no longer tolerated. We want a heating and cooling system that reacts quickly and precisely to our needs.
However, implementing such a system is not always as easy as it might seem. New buildings as well as older buildings undergoing modernisation measures are more thermally sensitive. As a result, a careful (re)calculation of the heating load and adapted heating surface design is vital. Additionally, when discussing the concept of the complete heating system with a customer it’s important to also discuss individual user requirements. This is the only way to ensure the room temperature control is geared towards the occupants’ needs and habits and to avoid overheating or undercooling the rooms.
Living comfort tailored to individual rooms and needsLiving comfort is about more than just warmth. It’s related to the specific character of each room. That’s why it’s so important to take into account the specific heat requirements of individual rooms when doing the heating load calculation. These are linked to the daily activities and life phase of the occupants.
In general, a heating load calculation is based on standard temperatures: 24°C for a bathroom, 20°C for living rooms, 18°C for bedrooms and adjoining rooms such as corridors and 15°C for storage rooms. However, the indoor climate is influenced by the people present in the room as well as by objects such as, for example, older radiators with a large water content and thus a high thermal storage. Blindly implementing a general guideline is therefore not expedient. Especially not in thermally sensitive buildings. There you will find that without individual temperature design, rooms are often perceived as too warm or too cold.
Demand-led heatFor a heating system to be fully adapted to the occupants’ needs, the heat demand of the individual rooms as well as the type of heat generator and heat emitters need to be taken into account. A requirements profile helps to identify demands that go beyond the standard heating load. These demands can, for example, include the ability to reach the desired setpoint temperature at any given time or the wish to save energy where possible. A possible solution for the latter is to not heat the entire room but only the zones where people are present.
To help HVAC professionals in their daily job we have summarised the criteria for a balanced and efficient heating system in a checklist. Going through this questionnaire with the customer will provide detailed data on the building concerned as well as important information about the occupants’ individual heating needs. These combined data give HVAC professionals a basis for advising the customer and planning the individual heat supply.
Discover our checklist for a balanced and efficient heating system
The right heating system in every building
Both in new buildings and in energy-efficient renovated buildings, it’s important to find a heating system that best suits the customer and the building. Interesting options to consider are:
- Radiant heating: depending on the flow temperature, a radiant heating system can be operated with either a heat pump (35°C) or a condensing boiler (45 to 55°C). In renovation projects a low floor construction can pose a problem. Our highly dynamic ts14 R dry system offers a solution in such cases. The ts14 R system incorporates the heating pipe in the insulation and can be directly covered with a floor covering. This allows for a very low installation height of approx. 35 mm.
Moreover, the renovation system reacts about 2,7 times faster than a comparable standard system thanks to the low thermal storage mass. With a highly dynamic heat transfer the surface heating system thus meets the requirements for thermally sensitive buildings. Additionally, surface cooling is gaining in popularity. Especially in passive houses and well-insulated buildings it helps to create a comfortable indoor climate even in summer.
- Fan convectors: a heating and cooling load with low flow temperatures can be covered, for example, with fan coil units such as our iVector S2.
- Hydronic radiators: modern radiators combine the comfort of a high heat output with good looks that add a finishing touch to any room. Our wide radiator range includes options for every taste and interior, ranging from standard panel radiators to designer radiators and vertical radiators that provide sufficient heat even when there is limited wall space. When the heat demand is reduced in renovated buildings due to optimised thermal insulation and new windows, the system temperature needs to be adjusted. Consequently, the radiators will achieve the desired room temperature with a much lower surface temperature.
- Electric radiators: new buildings have a very low heating load, which means they could do without central hot water heating. In such cases, as well as in seldom-used rooms such as a hobby room or guest room, an electric radiator can provide heat for individual rooms when needed.
The right control system for optimal living comfort
Modern control systems offer comfort and efficiency. The right control system allows users to easily coordinate the fluctuating heat demand in individual rooms. A good example are our Unisenza and Unisenza Plus control systems. The Unisenza control range is primarily designed for panel heating and cooling systems. The Unisenza Plus range – planned to be launched later this year – will allow users to control all our heat emitters with a uniform control concept.
In the Unisenza range, the WiFi programmable thermostat offers plug & play app control. Via a simple pairing to the WiFi router users are able to remote control their heating system with an intuitive app on their smartphone or tablet. Setting ideal room temperatures, creating time programs or adjusting other settings is a matter of a few clicks. This not only helps to optimise energy consumption. It’s also the perfect way to tailor the indoor climate to individual needs and habits for optimal living comfort.
Find out more about our Unisenza control range