Indoor environmental quality in relation to socioeconomic indicators in Slovenian households
Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) is related to many factors resulting from continuous interaction between location, building characteristics, installed heating, cooling and air conditioning systems and user specifics. Many recent studies claim that socioeconomic status of the household has a significant effect on IEQ. A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted in order to assess the possible correlations between socioeconomic status and perceived IEQ in Slovenian households (n = 714). Information on these is an aid in defining recommendations towards comfortable and healthy indoor environments. The unit of observation was a household in Slovenia, reported by an individual member. The study period was May–July, 2017. The survey consisted of 36 questions, divided into five sections: personal and demographic details, characteristics of households, energy efficiency, self-perceived IEQ, occupant behaviour, everyday activities for improving IEQ. Response rate was 64.9%. An univariate statistical analysis was followed by a Chi square test. The analysis showed that there exist a correlation between socioeconomic status of households and perceived IEQ. No correlation was found between socioeconomic status of households and performed energy efficiency measures, whereas improved building energy efficiency contributed to higher level of perceived IEQ in households. Opposite to scientific findings, the most important reason for investing in energy efficiency measures was found to be the reduction of energy consumption and not the improvement of IEQ conditions. The findings are important not only for single renovations, which should be primarily aimed at ensuring quality indoor environment, but also for determining policies and strategies at the national level, taking into account the socioeconomic indicators.
KeywordsEnergy efficiency Households Indoor environmental quality Socioeconomic indicators
The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Slovenian Research Agency (Research Core Funding No. P2-0158, Structural engineering and building physics).
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