The biggest part of the electricity consumption of a building or an apartment comes from heating and cooling. Driving these costs down is of utmost importance if we are to protect the environment and the budgets of residents. To this end, Metrodom builds outstanding thermal insulation as shown by the ‘BB – near zero energy consumption’ energy rating of our buildings from 2021. In addition to insulation, we place a special emphasis on the technology of heating and cooling and introduced Dual Eco, our own heating system first implemented in the Madarász38 building. The second generation of the system, now also providing cooling, are now implemented in our buildings, first in the Őrmező complex started in the summer of 2019. Dual Eco is more advanced than traditional gas furnaces thus driving costs down and making our newer buildings even more economical than the older ones. The advantages of Dual Eco are not empty promises, but also manifested in the energy rating mentioned above and guaranteed also in the technical descriptions.
Besides traditional gas furnaces, heat pump furnaces also operate in the Dual Eco Plus system. With the energy extracted from the air and using a compressor, heat pumps increase the gas pressure in the appliance. This leads to a rise in temperature, which is then transferred to the heating circuit. During the summer period, the process is reversed and like in traditional air conditioners, compression is decreased thus cooling the water.
The different boilers are activated when they can deliver their power the most optimally, and in a way most conducive to producing hot water for heating, thereby driving heating costs down. The operational conditions for the heat pump are optimal during times without frost, when demand for heating is lower and the difference between inside and outside temperature is relatively small, and heating can be achieved by the heat pumps alone using just a small amount of energy, without the need for utilizing gas boilers. As temperatures go down, gas boilers start up one after the other taking over heating from the heat pumps of now decreasing efficiency, as gas boilers are the most efficient when they can deliver performance under maximum load. The operation of the Dual Eco heating system is fully automatic. The different boilers turn on and off automatically depending on operational load and ambient temperature, residents will not notice these background processes
Ceiling heating and cooling
No traditional radiators are installed in Metrodom’s residential complexes started in 2019 or later. Instead, the so-called surface heating is used whereby the surface used for heat dissipation is much larger than it is with traditional radiators, therefore the temperature of the water can be relatively lower, the production of which is significantly cheaper. Earlier, floor and wall heating were used, we however abandoned these methods. As pleasant as a heated floor may be, floor heating is rarely an efficient way of heating as some 30 percent of the floor area of an apartment is occupied by furniture, the bathtub, washing machine, etc., and often carpets are also laid on the remaining free surface. Additionally, heat drives microscopic dust upwards and the air is filled with invisible particulate matter. The same applied to wall heating. The facade, the very area where heating is probably the most important, no sufficient surface is available because of the windows and the cabinets placed along the walls. Furthermore, in wall heated apartments, nothing can be mounted on the wall as the heating pipes will be immediately punctured by drilling or nailing into the wall. Metrodom therefore opted for ceiling heating ensuring that the entire surface area of the ceiling can double as one huge radiator. The pipes run directly under the few-millimeter plaster they only bypass a small area around the chandelier outlet and a strip in front of the windows to leave space for mounting the lamps and curtain rails. You will be free to place anything on the floor, mount on the wall and furnishing will not be restricted by radiators either.
Heating and cooling
Instead of hot water, cold water is circulated in the system during the summer period, thus cooling the apartments. Like heating, cooling is also controlled by the residents with the smart home system, they may even turn it off completely. The simplest is to set the desired temperature, say 23 degrees, the system will automatically maintain this temperature all year round. Many objects to using central air conditioning as energy consumption of the central unit remains the same even if it is used by only a small number of people; the per capita costs will therefore be disproportionately high. The many independent heat pump furnaces in the Dual Eco Plus system however are activated one after the other depending on the need. If only one or two apartments use air conditioning at a certain point in time, one furnace will be enough and costs of cooling low. Delicate operation is also a characteristic feature of ceiling cooling. Many dislikes traditional air conditioning for the freezing air circulated by noisy indoor units leading to sore throat and other inflammations of the sinuses. With ceiling cooling however, there are no ventilators, nothing stirs or blows the air. Warm air rises towards the ceiling, where it is cooled and then sinks, giving space to rising hot air again. Air conditioning in the apartment is therefore seamless and continuous, once the desired temperature is reached it is maintained automatically by the system making air temperature pleasant all the time. (The only thing to take care about is maintaining an adequate level of relative humidity, this can also be controlled via the smart home system, further information will be provided in the detailed building user manual). Additionally, the Dual Eco Plus is completely maintenance-free, residents will not need to care about this or the cleaning of the appliance.
Control and metering
Air temperature is controlled by Metrodom’s smart-home system, temperature can be set either via the control panel or your smartphone. Manual setting is also possible, a digital thermostat is placed in each room and bathroom displaying current and desired temperature and two buttons serve for easy raising or lowering. Besides the built-in thermometers, the thermostats are equipped with humidity meters, the system will decide on turning heating on and off based on data supplied by these sensors. Measuring heat volume and the subsequent settlement are done the same way as in our other residential buildings with traditional heating systems, i.e. every apartment is an independent heating/cooling circuit, consumption is measured by meters placed outside of the apartment itself. If needed, heating/cooling can be turned off physically, by a single move.