Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Some questions and issues heard from clients and the public in general
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I want to install a heat pump. Is it worth?
Heat pumps provide thermal comfort at a highly competitive price, in comparison with other traditional systems (radiators, fan-coils, boilers, etc.). But it is important to be aware of how they work. These systems do blow hot air into rooms in a pre-programmed way (convection), and the feeling is different to that produced by, for example, a radiator.
Does it pay off? Economically yes. Will you be comfortable? A matter of taste.
Should I change my boiler for a condensing one?
From an efficiency viewpoint, yes. They have efficiency over 100%!! On the other hand, it requires an evacuation piping for condensed vapour. Nevertheless, many countries (in UE, for example) oblige to install condensing boilers in new constructions - when existing - and refurbishments. Check it out! It may be already compulsory in your region.
Does wall insulation really make a difference? If so, what is the best insulation material?
A wall without insulation is like trying to save money in a hollowed pocket... In winter, we wear coats. In summer, we use parasols. A wall needs insulation for the same reasons. It is not just a matter of energy efficiency, but of thermal comfort.
Regarding the type of material, there are tens of them with different features. Choosing one or another depends on technical, economic, and health issues. We strongly recommend professional assessment to avoid unnecessary expenses and unexpected results.
Ecodriving means driving slower
Wrong. In fact, at lower speed a regular driver (and most automatic vehicles) tends to use lower gears, which consumes more fuel. On the other hand, too fast causes aerodynamic resistance, with similar effect.
The fundamentals of ecodriving bend for anticipation to adapt the characteristics of our vehicles to the circumstances we find on the road, to minimise the squandering of fuel.
People in general mistake driving smoothly with driving slowly. But the fact is that little or none of delay has been detected via ecodriving yet over 15 % of fuel can be saved plus other expenses such as maintenance, stress, traffic, insurance costs...
what is the difference between a solar collector and photovoltaic?
Both use solar radiation, and may have similar physical appearance at a glance, but there are important differences. A solar collector is a device that concentrates radiation to produce hot water for sanitary and/or heating purposes. On the other hand, photovoltaic panels transform solar radiation into electricity.
Are renewable energies always the best option?
In environmental terms, energy efficiency, renewables, and bioclimatic solutions, are the key to sustainability and should always be considered first. However, they must comply with our objectives, and other factors such as economic viability, technical feasibility, or aesthetics will weight significantly.
Are all renewable energies economically advantageous?
YES ... if they are properly chosen and designed. Initial investments can be rapidly returned by saving energy costs. Besides, projects to install renewable energies, depending on the country and the region, usually receive grants.
Ecodesign is about designing stuff to plant-like look using natural materials?
If we had had a cent for each time we have heard that... Some people think ecodesign as some sort of environmentally inspired design style, or the like. Integration of products and installations in the environment is important, but it is more than that.
Ecodesign is an engineering style that integrates environmental issues in the design process to minimise the impact products and services have in the environment. You may find more information here.
Eco-efficiency is only environmentally oriented
Wrong. "Eco" stands for "ecologic" but also for "economic". An eco-efficient design does respect the environment, but also implies economic profit, along with other benefits.
Our company already recycles and has an EMS. Does it mean we practice Industrial Ecology?
Industrial Ecology is, in itself, an EMS. But its dimension is such that makes the company behave as an ecosystem with other companies and the environment. Recycling would be, then, a little (yet important) practice in its performance.
Integration of enviromnental mindset in our organisation takes much money and time. Why should we care?
Well, it implies some investments and effort, but it pays off. Practising "green" management you will avoid penalties, reduce energy and material consumption, improve corporate image, and be prepared for complying with future legal requirements - which, by the way, will gradually become quite tougher when it comes to the environment.
Most probably, your competitors have already considered it, and started to profit from it...