Households

Greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutant from households.

Trends in greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants from the household sector have been balanced since 1990. More information on emissions trends from the household sector in Slovakia.

Total emissions

Emissions from household heating are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutant. This part of the inventories is a serious problem in many countries, including Slovakia. A large part of Slovak households uses individual combustion equipment for heating. In addition to the required heat, the combustion of solid fuels in the household, also produces gaseous and solid pollutants that escape into the air. Fine aerosol particles, which are divided in size into PM10 and PM2.5 particles, pose a health risk. Larger particles can cause irritation of the upper respiratory tract, smaller particles settle deep in the lungs and cause more serious diseases.

Residential heating (households) is the main source of NMVOC emissions, accounting for up to 35% of total NMVOC emissions. Their largest decline occurred mainly until the year 2000, mainly due to the reconstruction of houses and the introduction of more energy-efficient heating equipment. Nevertheless, in 2020 this area had a share of up to 80% in total PM2.5 emissions in Slovakia. Emissions are affected by factors such as the level of renovation of buildings, climatic conditions, heating practices, fuels used and combustion equipment used. PM10 emissions are also closely linked to this part of energy sources. Households have been the largest contributor to cadmium emissions since 2004, along with pulp, paper and printer production. The reason is the use of biomass as a fuel. They also produce 48% of PAHs emissions and are the most significant source of HCB emissions, despite declining in the early 1990s.

When households are heated with solid fuels, but especially with wood, emissions of solid pollutants, non-methane volatile organic compounds, heavy metals and benzo(a)pyrene are released into the air. All these substances are harmful to the human body as well as to ecosystems and can cause serious damage. For example, benzo(a)pyrene is a substance with a proven carcinogenic effect.

With the gradual improvement of thermal insulation conditions of Slovak households, emissions of these substances are gradually decreasing, but in some areas with geomorphological conditions that prevent ventilation of the area (especially narrow basins such as Jelšava), burning mainly wet wood in high-emissions combustion equipment in households caused smog situation during winters.

Despite the fact that the legislation prohibits the incineration of waste, this activity in households is still a serious issue in our country without proper regulation. The combination of incineration of municipal waste or plastic bottles in domestic incinerators creates a number of harmful substances depending on the composition of the incinerated waste. A frequent result of this ill-considered action is the emergence of emissions of persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals, many of which are carcinogenic. Under poor scattering conditions and inversion, which are common in winter, these emissions are concentrated in the basins.

More information on emissions from households as well as the methodology for their determination can be found in the publications of the SHMÚ.

 

Trends in emissions by individual types

Trends in emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants from the household sector by individual types of fuels have been balanced since 2014.

Emissions by fuels

The table shows the distribution of consumption of individual types of fuels and energy media used in households in Slovakia.

Trends in emissions by energy and fuels from households:

Household consumption %

Natural gas

Electricity

Heat

Biomass

Solid fuels

Liquid fuels

Total

2014

50,18%

17,38%

26,47%

0,11%

5,62%

0,24%

4 819,7

2015

48,84%

16,69%

27,94%

0,16%

6,14%

0,23%

5 009,2

2016

48,59%

16,60%

28,20%

0,17%

5,98%

0,45%

5 130,4

2017

49,93%

16,06%

26,71%

0,15%

6,72%

0,42%

5 502,2

2018

50,23%

17,57%

25,69%

0,13%

5,97%

0,40%

5 067,0

2019

51,28%

18,42%

23,63%

0,15%

6,05%

0,47%

4 993,3

2020

52,10%

18,34%

23,69%

0,15%

5,38%

0,35%

5 054,6