How to initiate energy-saving measures in residential buildings

Heating costs account for approximately 30–40% of the energy expenses in a property. In a time of high energy prices, many property owners face the challenge of reducing heating costs. We clarify the most common efficiency measures for residential buildings and address the considerations that should be considered during an energy assessment.

Conduct a current-state analysis to assess how effectively the building manages energy
The heat losses for a building consist of two parts: ventilation losses, which is the heat that escapes through the ventilation system, and transmission losses that leak through walls, roofs, windows, doors, and floors. A transmission calculation should be carried out in new construction, renovations, and efficiency measures and can serve as the basis for determining the required capacity and how the system should be adapted to the building’s needs. The calculation can also help identify fundamental efficiency measures, such as additional insulation for the building and sealing windows, for example.

Adjust the heating system to achieve a consistent temperature level
Adjusting the heating system is not just about turning the radiator valves. By reviewing the heating system and making relevant adjustments, it is possible to achieve a more uniform temperature in each apartment. In many cases, low temperatures at the top of the building or significant temperature differences may indicate an imbalance in the heating system. In residential buildings, it is also common for renovations to take place over time, where, for example, an attic storage or office space is converted into a residential unit. In such cases, additional adjustment measures are usually required to achieve good comfort and reduce energy needs. The goal of adjusting the heating system is to achieve a more even temperature in the building and thereby reduce consumption.

Ensure energy-efficient systems by reviewing existing control equipment
Often, it is possible to save up to 5–10% by upgrading and replacing older control equipment. This may involve, for example, replacing older thermostat valves to guarantee higher precision. Implementing room sensors, which steer the system based on indoor temperature, leads to a more even temperature level. With the support of modern control equipment, it is also possible to avoid expensive peak loads, while continuous measurement allows for avoiding excessive consumption.

Implement tools for control, measurement, and monitoring
Having full control over the property is creating conditions for energy efficiency. With a connected property system, it is possible to gather all property data in one platform, making it easier to visualize results and compare energy usage before and after implemented measures. By continuously measuring and monitoring, it also becomes possible to optimize the performance of systems over time and identify new measures leading to energy efficiency.