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From thermostats to solar panels, get the most out of new home technology

Many people struggle to get to grips with the operation and maintenance of ventilation, solar, heat pump and control systems commonly used in today’s homes. Published by NHBC Foundation, Home Comforts: Guidance on using ventilation, heating and renewable energy systems, gives homeowners much-needed free advice on how to use these systems.

The incorrect use of home ventilation, for example, can lead to increases in condensation, mould and air pollutants, which can affect health and the comfort of the home.

The guidance has been developed for inclusion on the NHBC Home User Guide (HUG), a secure online portal for homeowners containing all of the information about their NHBC Buildmark warranty and insurance policy as well as useful guidance about moving into and living in a brand new home. HUGs are provided free of charge to new home buyers and are also freely available for house builders and housing providers.

Home Comforts is a practical, easy-to-understand guide on the operation and maintenance of:

  • Ventilation
  • Solar energy systems
  • Heat pumps
  • Heating controls

In each case the guidance explains what the particular system does, how it works and its main benefits – enabling homeowners to take full advantage of the benefits these technologies bring.

Previous NHBC Foundation research shows that new homes use around half of the energy used by a typical (improved) home built in the Victorian era, however many of these systems are relatively recent introductions with technology that may be unfamiliar to homeowners. As a result, patterns of use can vary between different households, sometimes resulting in poor or disappointing performance. Understanding how to operate and maintain these systems is vital in ensuring they work effectively and efficiently.

Neil Smith, Head of Research & Innovation at NHBC said: “New homes offer excellent levels of comfort and energy efficiency, but some homeowners are left baffled by the latest ventilation, heating and energy saving systems. So that these systems work properly, it’s essential for people know how to use the controls, can make sure their homes are properly ventilated and understand how renewable technologies operate.

“From the basics of thermostat control to the maintenance of solar energy systems, this practical guide from the NHBC Foundation enables homeowners to take full advantage of these technologies.”

To download and read the guide, please click here

To find out more about HUG, please click here