Biting cold outside, cosy warmth inside. This does not have to be a luxury despite rising energy prices. With simple means, anyone can heat cheaply. The KlarMacher have 9 tips for saving money, which also work in your home. This way you save your household budget – and the environment.
1. seal windows and doors
In apartments with leaking doors and windows there can be a strong draught. In windy weather they let cold air into the room, in calm weather warm air outside. In both cases you have to heat unnecessarily. For windows, however, self-adhesive rubber strips, which you attach to the inside of permeable frames, help. A larger gap between door and floor can be closed with a special rug.
But do not overdo it, because a certain amount of air exchange is important for a healthy living climate. This is why even modern windows are not completely tight. If you are not sure whether there is a draught in your home, it is best to ask a heating specialist.
2. close the room doors
Open doors also invite cold and warmth for hiking. Heated rooms cool down, unheated rooms warm up. This should be clear to everyone, but is sometimes forgotten. So always remember: if you want to save on heating costs, it is best to keep the doors in your home closed. If it becomes too stuffy in a warm room, you can let fresh air in through a window for a short time. Which brings us to our next tip.
3. ventilate properly
Proper ventilation is very simple: During the heating period, open the windows as far as possible for only a few minutes several times a day. This is called shock ventilation. This allows fresh air to enter your home quickly.
It is even quicker if you open the windows of an opposite room at the same time, thus ensuring a draught. Advantage: In both cases, the heating system only has to heat the exchanged air, because the walls do not cool down in the few minutes.
4. Keep the radiators free
If radiators are covered by furniture or curtains, their heat can spread poorly or only unevenly. So make sure that the radiators can radiate freely when you are setting them up. If there is no other place for the sofa or cupboard, the furniture should be at least 30 centimetres away from the radiator.
By the way: radiators cannot do their job optimally with a thick layer of dust on the ribs either. Heating favourably therefore also means cleaning the radiator more often.
5. let off steam
Glucking in the radiators may relax some people. But it should not, because it signals that air has accumulated in the pipe casing. Where it is, the hot water from the heating system does not reach it. Then parts of a radiator remains cold. Why? Because air stores and conducts heat much worse than water. The consequence: the more air there is in the system, the longer the heating system has to work. And yet a room in question cannot get really warm because too much heating energy is lost because of the air. This increases heating costs.
To change this, you should let the air escape. To do this, open the air valve with the thermostat fully turned on, using only an air vent key. You can find this on almost every radiator. The air trapped inside escapes hissing. Caution: It can be hot!
The radiator is vented when heating water sprays out of the valve. Therefore, you should hold a small container or cloth in front of it during the process. The water should also be at a high temperature! When the air is out, close the valve.
6. insulate heating niches
In older buildings, the radiators are often installed in niches. This saves space, but increases heating costs. The reason: the wall is thinner in the recess. Therefore it shields the cold from the outside less effectively. To change this, you have three main options:
- Move the radiator and fill the empty niche with insulating material.
- Insulate the wall behind the radiator.
- Insulate the outside wall in front of the radiator. This is a good idea if the façade is to be insulated in the course of a modernisation project anyway.
You should carry out this work conscientiously. Otherwise, mould could form in the apartment. Therefore, if in doubt, it is better to have the conversion work done by experts.
And while we are on the subject of insulation: A lot of heat is lost via exposed pipes in unheated rooms, for example in the cellar. This also applies to uninsulated roller shutter boxes. Both should be sheathed or insulated if necessary.
7. heat even on holiday
This may sound a bit exaggerated, but it still helps to save heating costs: Do not turn off your heating at home while you are on a winter holiday for a few days. Of course it doesn’t need to be running at full speed, but it should provide a basic temperature of 15 degrees. This is like a buffer against the cold from outside. Otherwise the apartment can cool down considerably. To heat it up again after returning home would use disproportionately much energy.
But it is also clear: If you are away for several weeks, the bill could not be paid and you would pay more than you save. If you are going away for a longer period of time, it is best to turn the knob until the star symbol appears. In this way, you avoid unnecessary costs and at the same time prevent frost damage to your home and heating system.
8. adjust the thermostats correctly
Most radiators have knobs for adjusting the heat. There are several markings on these so-called thermostats. Each corresponds to a certain room temperature.
Star: 5 degrees (for frost protection)
1: 12 degrees
2: 16 degrees
3: 20 degrees
4: 24 degrees
5: 28 degrees
However, these are only rough guidelines. How warm it really gets in the room depends, among other things, on where the radiator hangs and whether it is exposed or concealed (see tip 4). This is why the thermostat’s handpiece has symbols and not exact degrees.
Besides the usual mechanical radiator thermostats for manual operation, there are now programmable models. This often makes it possible to heat more cheaply. Especially in households where the daily routine is often the same. Professionals, for example, can set the thermostats so that less heating is required during their working hours. And before they leave home, the heating is turned up to the comfortable temperature. Several such settings are possible for each day.
Even more practical are so-called smart thermostats, which are controlled via the Internet. Users can remotely control the temperature and switch the heating on or off at any time via smartphone. Simply via smartphone or tablet app for the smart home. This makes networked thermostats more flexible than programmable models.
9. optimally set the room temperature
Favourable heating means not least finding the optimum temperature for each room. The following guide values are advisable:
- Living room/study/children’s room: 20 to 22 degrees, thermostat setting between 3 and 4
- Kitchen: 18 to 20 degrees, thermostat setting between 2 and 3
- Bedroom: 16 to 18 degrees, thermostat setting between 2 and 3
- Bathroom: 24 to 26 degrees, thermostat setting between 4 and 5
In rooms that you do not use permanently or temporarily, temperatures around 12 degrees are sufficient. You can check with a thermometer whether the desired values are reached. If it shows too much or too little, readjust the thermostat accordingly.
And another tip on how to save heating costs: If you find it too cool in a room, simply dress warmer before turning up the heating. Because on average, one degree less saves about six percent on heating costs.
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