A glitch in green homes?

Is there a problem with so-called “eco-friendly” homes suffering from sweltering temperatures in summer?

That’s certainly the way it seems. In an article entitled “Hot under the collar” (published 13/09/15), The Sunday Times looked at the complications with the construction of “eco-friendly” properties.

While traditional British housing has a reputation for being cold and draughty, more modern properties are quickly developing a reputation for being the exact opposite.

The Sunday Times looked at homes built to Passivhaus standards. A German philosophy, Passivhaus, requires buildings to be so well insulated and sealed against draughts that the only heat input required should come from everyday appliances, from the sun shining through the windows and from the occupants of the buildings.

On a hot day, homes built to these standards are supposed to work to the occupants advantage. They should keep out hot air, just as they keen in warm air when the outside temperature is low. However, this has been found not to be the case. A study carried out by the University of Coventry on housing association flats built to the Passivhaus standard, found that the temperatures inside 72% of them exceeded their design level.

The reason for this is often because the mechanical ventilation systems, which are supposed to change the air inside at a regulated rate, often do not work as effectively as they should. These systems are not air conditioning units, nor are they a substitute for air conditioning.

It is a problem that is acknowledged by The National House Building Council (NHBC), the leading provider of warranties on new homes. In a 2012 report, the NHBC concluded that the potential problem of unwanted heat gain in well-insulated and airtight buildings was well understood and that “existing guidance and modelling tools appear unable to predict overheating in all cases”.

The result of this is that occupants of so-called “eco-friendly” homes have found themselves with problems with overheating, high bills and homes in which they have to open all the windows and doors as soon as the temperature rises.

Do you live in a so-called “eco-friendly” property? Our completely internal air conditioning solutions could be the answer to the sweltering temperatures your home suffers from. Find out more about our domestic air conditioning solutions here, or for further information call us on 01789 868 149 to find out how we can help you.