Learning Resources

Multimedia Learning Resources

Green Meal

Pellets in the system 1

Pellets in the system 2

Backfire effect

Infra red view of
backfire effect

Pellets from big room to boiler

Pellets moving from
small container to boiler

System of three

Fixing chimney
with the pipe

Fixing chimney with cement
Save Water
(opens in new tab)

Soojustakistus ja soojusjuhtivus (.xlsx)

Tips for using

Combustion Tests

How to maintain the
pellet heating system

How to use your
washing machine?

Winter is coming!
Be prepared!

Eco House serious game

How to Change Oil
Boiler with Pellet
Boiler? (video)

Project Deliverables

Fuel and Combustion (PDF)

Overview of EcoHousing Project (poster)

Optimization of Existing Office (poster)

Industrial Research of Condensing Unit of
Natural Gas Boiler House (poster)

The Development of Industrial Symbiosis Networks in Latvia

Ecoinnovation Diffusion
in the Building Energy Efficiency Market

The Challenges of
Zero-Energy Buildings

Future Energy Efficiency Benchmark of Renovated Multi-Apartment
Buildings (poster)

Quality parameters of biomass fuel (PDF)
Biomass combustion processes (PDF)
Biomass combustion processes. Biomass

technologies (PDF)

Introduction to Renewable Energy Sources

Activities of EULS

Fuel Analysis and Combustion Tests
Project Report

EcoHousing Market
Survey Report

Conserving energy when choosing and using domestic appliances

Using biofuels and wood based appliances: tips for
potential biofuel users


Washing machines
How much laundry can be loaded into a washing machine? Does 11 kg fit into the machine?
Front load washer
When washing colours or whites (cottons) the drum is reasonably loaded when hands fit in straight to the drum up to the wrists. When using easy-care programme or programme for sensitive garments the load should be half of the full load.Top load washer
The machine is suitably loaded when there is 5-10 cm space between the laundry and the hatch and the hands will fit on top of the laundry.Washing laundry with full load is energy efficient, therefore it is worth thinking what size machine is needed. Most of the washing machines have a load capacity of 6-7 kg, but some manufacturers advertise even 11 kg load capacity. According to research, the load capacity reported is often too big in practise. The wash result will worsen if there is not enough space for the laundry to move in the drum. The load capacity is usually counted by a filling ratio of 1:10 or even 1:7. However, the most optimal wash result will be reached by loading the machine with a ratio of 1:13. That means 13 litre drum space for one kilogram laundry.
The rinsing result of the new washing machine is poor. What can be done with it?
Nowadays washing machines consume only small amount of water. New machines have two, maximum three basic rinses, depending on the type of the machine and the chosen programme. That is not enough to rinse the detergent out of the garments, because the water in Finland is so soft that it does not bind the detergent as the hard water does in Central Europe. In the countries with hard water, it is well enough to rinse only couple of times. In Finland you can improve the rinsing results by decreasing the amount of detergent and by trying out different kinds of detergents.With some washing machines it is possible to choose extra rinses or to increase the amount of water when rinsing. Between the rinses there are usually one or more spins, which will help to remove the detergent. Some machines have foam detection system to control the rinse and they perform extra rinses automatically when needed. In spite of the increased energy consumption the ability to re-choose the rinse after the programme or to choose extra rinse programmes are important features because of the overdose of the detergent, poor rinsing results or allergies.
Due to the renovation work of the bathroom the sink will be installed in a higher position (80 cm) than before (70 cm). The outlet hose of the washing machine will be lead to the sink. Will the height cause problems in removing the water?
The required height of the outlet hose is machine specific. The rule of thumb is that the outlet hose assembly needs to be in at least 30 cm and at most 100 cm altitude from the bottom of the machine. It is best to check this from the instructions for use, the store representing the brand or the service company.
Does the tumble dryer wear out garments?
The tumble dryer will collect the loose fluff into the fluff filter. The fluff filter needs to be cleaned after the drying programme. People often think that the dryer will wear out garments, because there is so much fluff in the filter after the drying. However, the wear out impact of the dryer is small, as the total amount of the fluff depends on the materials of the garments and fabrics, habits of using as well as the strength of the mechanical treatment of the washing programme. The amount of fluff due to the dryer alone is only 10-15%, as the dryer will vacuum the loose fluff from the garments.
The washing machine smells, what is the problem?
The reason for the washing machine to smell may be originate from washing laundry mainly in low temperatures and from using detergents containing zeolite. To remove the smell it is worth running regularly also washing programmes using hot water. After each programme it is good to clean and wipe the porthole collar and leave the door ajar.
How to do Citric acid treatment to washing machine?
Dose 100 g / 1,3 dl citric acid to the detergent dispenser. Choose a programme using the highest possible temperature and start the programme. The citric acid treatment will be done with empty machine without laundry. Repeat the treatment using high temperature programme with laundry detergent (not zeolite-containing detergent). Grimy dregs can be removed with citric acid. Repeat the acid/alkaline treatment when needed.
Dish washers
The dish washer smells and the inner surfaces have gone grey. How to make the washer clean and fresh again?
Chalk may accumulate in dish washer in time if the water is hard. The formulation of chalk can be prevented a bit by using rinse aid. To keep the washer clean it is also good to run regularly high temperature programmes. There are also special detergents for cleaning the inner surfaces. However, the simplest way to remove chalk or other grimy dregs is to use citric acid. That can be bought from pharmacy. Citric acid is nontoxic and it will decompose in the nature.
How to do Citric acid treatment to dish washer?
Dose 50 g / 2-3 tablespoon citric acid to the detergent dispenser. Choose a programme without prewash, using the highest possible temperature and start the programme. The citric acid treatment will be done without dish. If possible, do not choose or run drying programme, as it will attach the remaining dregs to the inner parts of the machine. After the treatment start the washer with dish using high temperature programme with normal detergent. The detergent is alkaline and will carry away the dirt removed by citric acid. Repeat the acid/alkaline treatment when needed.
Note: you may put in some clean, cutlery or other items of steel – the treatment will brighten them.
The old dishwasher causes fractures into glasses, although the glasses are not old. The glasses have cracks and crevices after the wash. Our previous dishwasher was connected to hot water, and we did not have problems then. This one is connected to cold water.
Glassware can get fragmented if the washer is connected to cold water, especially when there are thin glasses and the thickness of the glasses varies. Dishwasher connected to cold water will heat the water up to the chosen temperature, for example 65 degrees. After the wash the machine will pump the hot water away, when the dish will be hot. Thereafter the machine will take cold water for the rinse. In wintertime the water is very cold and when it showers onto the hot dish there will be a temperature shock. A fierce change in temperate can break a glass. Usually thick household glassware can tolerate changes in temperature, as well as casseroles of glass, that have been designed to tolerate strong temperature changes.Another thing that affects the fractures is how the dish is placed into the basket. It is worth to note, that the water shower should not give too strong pressure to the glasses, so that the glasses may rub each other. The pressure of the shower is stronger in the lower basket than in the upper basket. For some glassware it is forbidden to be washed in dishwasher, or it is not recommended.
Can old dishwasher cause health problems?
The old dishwasher cannot cause health problems if it has been used and taken care properly. Dishwasher detergents are strongly alkaline and when the dishwasher is used in temperatures over 60 degrees, the hygiene level at home is sufficient.
How often the refrigerator needs to be defrosted and cleaned?
Almost all refrigerators have automatic defrost function. If the device has not got a freezer, even the frost free system is unnecessary. In some cases, for example if the door has been left ajar, there can be so much frost accumulated into the evaporator unit that it does not have time to melt away. Then the device needs to be defrosted manually. If the device has a push-button type of defrost function, the function needs to be performed weekly. Even though the fridge has auto-defrost function, it needs to be cleaned regularly.
How to Clean up the fridge?
  • Gather together the tools for cleaning: bucket, cloths for cleaning and drying and detergent. Do not use rubbing cloths or detergents. The dishwashing detergent for hand wash (pH 6-8) is suitable.
  • Start cleaning when the frost has melted away from the evaporator unit. Release the plug from the socket and empty the fridge.
  • Release the shelves, the vegetable shelves with door and other parts that can be loosen. Wash, rinse and dry the parts. Clean. Some parts can be washed in dishwasher, that can be checked from the instructions for use.
  • Clean and dry the inner and outer parts of the fridge, the door and the door seals. Do not use strong detergents for the seals, only water will be enough. Do not splash water onto the control panel or light.
  • Check the melt water pipe for possible jams. If there is water at the bottom of the fridge, it may mean that there is a jam in the pipe. The jam can be removed with a bendy wire rope.
  • The underside and the background of the fridge need to be hovered once a year. At the same time, it is good to check the condition of the condensation water container on top of the compressor and make sure that the end of the melt water pipe is on the container.
How to get rid of bad smell?
To remove the bad smell one can try vinegar (10 ml per one litre water) or chloramine that can be bought from pharmacy (2 g per one litre water) wiping the fridge with the mixture. Also soda (sodium bicarbonate, 1-2 table spoons) will absorb smell.
Can a freezer be located in the balcony?
No. By following the instructions for use one can ensure the safety, durability and the correctness of the storage temperatures of the freezer. The freezer needs to be located in an environment where the minimum temperature is +10 or +16 degrees. If the temperature is colder than recommended the device can function, well or poorly, but if the device will get broken the responsibility lies with the user. The manufacturer or the insurance company is not obliged to give any compensation when the device has been located incorrectly or not according to the instructions for use.

When the temperature is just above zero, there is a big risk for the humidity to concentrate into the electric components of the freezer. Malfunction caused by the cold environment can also create a fire, as the overheating protection of the device may not function properly in cold environment. The device may also be dangerous for the user. For example the electricity cord stiffened by freeze can be bent or it can be caught under the device, when the protective insulation breaks and there is a risk for an extremely dangerous electric shock.

Fridge freezers and especially American style fridge freezers, where there is no independent temperature control for the units, will always require a minimum of +10 degrees temperature for the location environment. If located in colder than this, it may happen that the freezer will melt into the same temperature as the fridge before the compressor of the device will start again after the repose.

How does the induction hob function? Does the magnetic field of the induction zone affect people’s health?
The magnetic fields of induction hobs have been researched plentifully during the product development. The magnetic field is restricted is precisely between the copper wire coil and the bottom of the cooking vessel. The manufacturers do guarantee that the induction hobs are safe to use. However, in theory there is a small risk that a person that uses heart pacemaker can have symptoms if he/she works very close to the induction zone.The function of the induction zone is based on magnetism. Underneath the ceramic cooking hob there is a spiral-shaped induction coil, which together with the capacitor of the hob will induce an electrical current. The transformer of the hob will transform the electricity from the network into high-frequency alternating electric current that will be lead into the electric circuit. An electro-magnetic field will be produced between the cooking vessel and the coil when a cooking vessel containing ferromagnetic metal is put on the cooktop and the swirls of the magnetic field will heat the bottom of the cooking vessel. The electrically and magnetically passive ceramic cooktop surface is heated only as a result of the heat coming from the cooking vessel. That also means that the stains do not burn onto the cooktop. The power setting is done by variable power level control and the heat area will react quickly, similar to gas burners.
Can a gas burner hob be installed side by side with an electric stove or a traditional wood oven? What are the important things to notice? How to locate the gas bottle?
An electric stove and a gas burner can be located side by side. It is recommended to leave a couple of centimetres space in between. Installation requirements differ by device and need to be checked from the instructions for use. The distance between the cooker hood and the gas burner needs to be minimum 700 mm.There are security requirements set for the assembly of the gas bottle and the hose. The temperature of the bottle cannot arise above 40 degrees, hence the distance between the gas bottle and the heat source has been regulated as follows:

  • The distance between the gas bottle and the oven, wood-oven or similar must be minimum 1 meter.
  • The bottle must be installed and stored in upright position.
  • When there is a radiation shelter of non-flammable material between the gas bottle and the fireplace, the distance can be 0,5 meters.
  • The distance between the bottle and the gas burner, electric stove or a radiator must be minimum 0,2 meters.
  • The bottle can be stored in a closet if there are ventilation holes both in the lower and upper parts of the closet (for example a 400 mm wide table closet).

Assembly with a gas hose:

  • With a hose one device can be assembled into the gas bottle.
  • The hose must be designed for liquid gas usage: the length maximum 1,2 meters, the inner diameter 10 mm. On the both ends of the hose there needs to be a hose tightener.
  • The hose needs to be suitable for use in minus 30 degrees temperature.
  • The gas hose cannot be lead through the outer wall. This kind of assembly always needs to be done with a gas pipe.


Renewable energy, General
Heating your home with renewable energy sources
Overview on possibilities for the use of renewable energy sources for heat supply at buildings.
Author: Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Riga Energy agency
Renewable energy
Overview on different renewable energy sources and possibilities for their use in energy production.
Author: Vides projekti Ltd
The costs of heating: which fuel to use for cost efficient heating
An investigative story that compares various means of heating, to determine the most cost effective and environment friendly one.
Author: Latvian Independent Television JSC
Renewable energy, Pellets
Quality analysis of different pellets
An investigative story that compares quality of pellets from different sources.
Author: Vides Projekti Ltd
Straw pellets for heating
An investigative story about the possibilities to use straw pellets in heating.
Author: LABVAKAR Ltd
Research of Formation of Nitrogen Monooxides during Pellet Combustion
In this study the effects of pellet quality parameters and pellet chemical composition on emission of NO from a 15kW Latvian produced pellet boiler have been analyzed.
Author: Žandeckis A., Rochas C., Blumberga D., RTU
Research of Combustion Efficiency of Pellets
This paper shows how the final combustion efficiency is affected by the pellet quality parameters and how much this is evident in the final products of the combustion test.
Author: Romagnoli F., Rochas C., Žandeckis A., RTU
Research of Link between Nitrogen Oxides and Efficiency of Pellet Boilers
This paper presents experimental research, goal of which was to test pellet boiler and to determine pellet quality characterizing parameters.
Author: Žandeckis A., Blumberga D., Bolonina A., Rochas C., Siliņš K., RTU
Renewable energy, Biomass
Production of wood fuel from forestry waste
Overview on various types of wood fuels, guidelines for harvesting and collection of forestry waste, preparation of wood chips.
Author: Vides projekti Ltd
Possibilities for the use of biomass in energy production.
Author: Ekodoma Ltd
Renewable energy, Heat pumps
Use of heat pumps for heat energy supply at buildings
Overview on various types of heat pumps, good practice examples of applying heat pumps in Latvia and Norway.
Author: Riga Energy agency, Baltic Environmental Forum
Possibilities of the use of heat pumps for heat supply in urban environment
General introduction to heat pumps, experiences of using geothermal heat pump in Riga.
Author: Baltic Environmental Forum, Riga Energy Agency
Chimney gives way to the heat pump
The movie about a kindergarten in Riga where a geothermal heat pump has been installed replacing old coal-fired stove.
Author: Baltic Environmental Forum, Riga Energy agency, Vides Filmu studija
Renewable energy, Oat
Oat pellets for heating
An investigative story about the possibilities to use oat pellets in heating.
Author: LABVAKAR Ltd
Renewable energy, Combisystem
Innovations for residential building heating solutions
Information about first installed combisystem for multi-family building in Latvia and information about internet tool to design individual heating options for modular houses.
Solar – pellet combisystem for multi-family building in Sigulda
Information about first installed combisystem for multi-family building in Latvia.
Author: Vides Projekti Ltd
Solar – pellet combisystem for multi-family building in Sigulda
Information about first installed combisystem for multi-family building in Latvia.
Author: Latvian Independent Television JSC
Possibilities for Utilization of Solar Thermal Energy in Multi-Family Buildings in Latvia
Description of the solar and pellet combisystem installed for a demonstration pilot project; the main parameters of this system are identified and the performance data for the first month of operations is analysed. An economic analysis for different heat supply scenarios from simulation data and real performance of the system is shown.
Author: Žandeckis A., Timma L., Blumberga D., Rochas C., RTU
Ecological buildings, Construction materials
Building ecologically
Guidebook on application of environmentally friendly construction and finishing materials.
Author: Latvian Rural Tourism Association Countryside Traveler
Ecologic construction materials
Introduces selected aspects of ecologic construction materials, gives guidelines for selection of materials for a building.
Author: Baltic Environmental Forum
Reduce climate change: use wood!
Life cycle analyses of wood and overview on wood application possibilities.
Author: European Confederation of woodworking industries
Energy efficient housing
How to use electricity more efficient?
Advice for efficient use of electricity (e.g., household appliances) at households.
Author: Latvenergo JSC
Energy efficient housing and sustainable consumption patterns
Practical examples for energy efficient housing and sustainable consumption patterns from Central and East European Countries and Germany.
Author: Baltic Environmental Forum
Energy smart living
Advices for citizens how to use energy in more efficient and rational way.
Author: Baltic Environmental Forum, Riga Energy Agency
Principles of Energy efficient planning
Overview on main aspects to be considered when planning an energy efficient building.
Author: Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Riga Energy agency
Changing energy use in old buildings
Overview on measures to improve energy efficiency of buildings.
Author: Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Riga Energy agency
Solutions for environment
Information about energy efficiency of buildings, heating systems and renewable energy resources.
Author: Latvian Environmental Investment Fund
Heating your home with renewable energy sources
Guidelines for procurement of efficient lighting
The guidelines give advice for lighting equipment purchase. Guidelines describe the most popular types of lighting, energy and environmental labelling related to the purchase of lighting and give advice for everyday energy efficiency.
Author: O. Ö. Energiesparverband
Guidelines for procurement of efficient office equipment
The guidelines give advice for office equipment purchase. The energy consumption tendencies and data about energy consumption of different equipment, and the calculations for potential savings are presented.
Author: Berliner Energieagentur GmbH
Guidelines for procurement of efficient household appliances
The guidelines give advises for household appliance purchase. Guidelines describe the most popular types of household appliances, energy and environmental labelling related to the purchase of household appliances and give advice for everyday energy efficiency.
Author: Berliner Energieagentur GmbH
Thermal Bridge Impact on the Heating Demand in a Low-Energy House
In this paper thermal bridges in the first one-family low-energy building in Latvia are investigated in order to determine the proportion of the transmission heat losses due to thermal bridging in low-energy buildings in general.
Author: Pelss M., Blumberga A., Kamenders A., RTU

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