December 9, 2022

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What is a passive house? The owners of such a home have minimal bills

The ever-increasing energy bills and price hikes announced recently are prompting more and more Romanians to invest in smart home maintenance systems.

Others want to become energy independent and build their so-called passive houses, where maintenance costs are minimal.

In parallel, developers are also investing in energy-efficient residential complexes. The cost of a house with high energy performance is higher. But the savings show up over time on your utility bills.

A house near Bucharest has solar panels and will also have photovoltaic panels

A house near the Capital was designed to be environmentally friendly and have low maintenance costs. Four solar panels provide constant hot water and help heat the home in winter. The owner invested more than 3,500 euros in the entire system, and now he plans to install photovoltaic panels as well, so that he becomes energy independent. The house has a wooden structure and is well insulated.

Bogdan Frătića, the owner of the house: “It’s a very healthy climate, it’s a pleasant temperature, the air in the house is different – I also benefit from a ventilation system with purified air extracted from outside the house, it’s like having the windows open all the time, but without the disadvantages the open window, so that heat or cold can enter your house.”

Three passive houses were also built by some young people. They participate with them in various international competitions and every time they return home with prizes. One of them was designated in Dubai as the second most comfortable house in the world.

Alexandra Deoanca: “We have the bedroom area, it’s also raised, it’s a more intimate area. Then we have the work area and we made the table out of wood, we have natural light, very, very much because we need natural light when we work.”

The windows are generous and the home is equipped with several smart systems that capture natural light.

How to heat a passive house

Such a passive house uses almost no conventional heating sources.

Rares Miclos: “The energy comes from the photovoltaic panels we have. We can see the system for water and ventilation, we use solar panels to heat the water, the heat recovery unit exchanges the used air with the fresh air from outside keeping the temperature.”

Such constructions, although still rare here, arouse increasing interest among Romanians. Many come to see what such a home looks like or are looking for smart systems to install in order to reduce some of their maintenance costs.

Ioana Csatlos, project manager: “Those who come to us basically go through both houses we have here. And we are talking about the choice of material. What technologies would be needed and even about passive strategies – for example, different shading of facades or lighting consumption, how you can reduce water consumption.”

Developers are thinking of new, energy-efficient residential complexes

In parallel, developers are also thinking about their new residential complexes in such a way that they are energy efficient.

Sorin Lăpădatu, developer: “We insulate them very well, we are very good at the quality of the windows because there can be big energy losses, we heat the houses, but also the swimming pools at low costs with the energy from the air or the ground through a heat pump. We provide the ventilation of the houses through a ventilation system with heat recovery, we no longer open the windows and introduce filtered air, we do not throw the energy outside.”

The costs for a smart home can be 20, even 30% higher than a classic one.

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