Tips to save energy
Most of the energy consumed in households is for heating (about 65%). This is where saving is especially worthwhile. And this does not mean anyone must feel cold.
Each degree less saves 6% of energy.
Therefore, adjust the correct temperature in the following areas: 24°C in bathrooms, 16°C to 18°C in bedrooms and corridors, 18°C to 20°C in the kitchen, 20°C to 22°C in dining and living areas. Furniture or curtains in front of heaters take away up to 15% of the heat emitted.
If you are away for a longer time, the heating can be turned down or — even better — set to the frost protection position of the thermostatic valve (in most cases marked with "*"). If you are away for one or two days, set the average temperature to 15°C, if longer, set it to 12°C. Bedrooms and guestrooms also need not always be heated.
A weather-dependent heating control system helps you save energy. However, you should never let your rooms cool down completely.
You can, and should, reduce the room temperature by up to 5°C at night. This saves energy which otherwise would not be used anyway. You may reduce the room temperature already two hours before you go to bed. Intelligent or easily manageable heating control systems help you do this.
If a radiator no longer gets really hot although the thermostatic valve is open, air may have accumulated in the heating system pipes during the non-heating period. The radiators then need to be bled: close the thermostatic valve, open the air-bleed valve at the radiator, put a vessel underneath and wait until water comes out. Then close the air-bleed valve and set the thermostatic valve to its original position.
Heat recovery systems ensure constant supply of fresh air and discharge of used air regardless of windows. Dust and noise stay outside and the heat contained in the exhaust air is transferred to the fresh air.
To completely exchange the used, damp indoor air by fresh outdoor air, windows must always be opened completely. Air all rooms out thoroughly in the morning (5 to 30 minutes depending on season, short in winter and long in summer). Turn the heating off before and during airing. Ideal: Air the rooms out even three or four times a day depending on use and season.
When shut, they keep the heat in the room and provide better protection against the cold air outside.
Of course, doors should be as tight as possible to not waste heat but sometimes a little air still comes in under the front door. You can use a draught stopper to stop this waste of heat. Of course, you may also install a Kältefeind* [enemy of cold] or completely new doors but draught stoppers are a good and quick possibility to save heating costs without construction measures.
*A Kältefeind* is installed under the door. An automatic mechanism lifts the door seal when the door is opened and then lowers the door flush with the floor, providing better tightness, when the door is shut again.
Should your windows and doors not be completely tight, seal them with self-sticking sealing tape. They adjust to the open spots and fill them out. Of course, this is not as good as a new, tight element but it is a quick and inexpensive remedy to stop valuable heat from escaping.
(Be cautious if a room is heated by a stove! Carbon monoxide which may be generated in the combustion process must be able to get out of the room!)
If a heating system is more than ten years old or if renovation work is planned, it should always be considered to install a modern heating system such as a condensing boiler and to improve the thermal insulation. Up to two thirds of the heat energy can be saved by insulating the outer walls, the basement and the attic and by installing windows with high-grade insulation glazing. Such renovation should always be carried out by experts as even minor faults may substantially reduce the insulating effect and cause damage to the building.
Advice for fire application users
We have the following advice for those of you who own or operate a heating system:
Central heating systems must be inspected and serviced at regular intervals. This includes a check whether air is in the system as well as an inspection of the correct adjustment of the burner.
As soot deposits in the boiler increase exhaust gas temperatures and energy consumption, boilers should be cleaned once a year at the start of the heating period.
- the radiators in rooms not used have been turned down
- the normal setting for daytime operation and the night setback settings are correct;
- the temperature in the boiler room is not higher than 18°C if possible;
- the pressure in the heating system is correct;
- the hot-water temperature is not higher than 69°C; and
- the inlet temperature corresponds to the set value.
Not correctly or poorly insulated heating and hot-water pipes in the basement cause substantial loss of energy and sometimes also undesired heating of basement rooms. Heating and hot-water pipes should be well insulated and at least meet the requirements of the Energy Saving Ordinance. Insulation measures are comparably cheap, especially if you carry them out yourself. The insulating material costs about 6 € to 12 € per metre. If installation is carried out by craftsmen, it will cost about twice this amount, in particular if the pipework has many bends and shut-off valves.