The heating season begins: How to heat more economically without freezing

Dress warmly or pay extra: heating costs are rising sharply.

The heating season begins: How to heat more economically without freezing

Dress warmly or pay extra: heating costs are rising sharply. In most households, however, energy can still be saved. Here are a few tips that are guaranteed not to mean a loss of comfort.

The time has come: We turn up the heating. And as a result, our energy costs may increase immeasurably. But we can at least improve our situation: almost everyone can save some heat without having to freeze. Some saving measures even increase comfort.

Tip 1: Keep radiators free

Take a look around your rooms: can the heat spread well from the radiators? If curtains hang over them or furniture is placed in front of them, this hinders the heat dissipation into the room air. Because then the heat accumulates behind these obstacles and the room stays cool.

This can save up to twelve percent of energy costs, according to the campaign "80 million together for the energy change" of the Federal Ministry of Economics and an alliance of associations. The consumer centers advise that a sofa should be at least 30 centimeters away from the heater. Radiator covers should also be avoided.

By the way: If it feels colder than 20 degrees at home, even though the heating is set accordingly, it may also be because the thermostatic valves are covered. Then they cannot measure the room temperature correctly and regulate the heat output incorrectly.

Tip 2: Spring instead of summer temperatures in the room

Reaching for a warmer sweater instead of a t-shirt is a good and easy way to save at home. According to the non-profit consulting company CO2-Online, just one degree less reduces heating costs by around six percent on average.

What you can also clarify: Often you heat the room too much. The recommendations for good heating and comfort temperatures are well below the highest levels 4 and 5 on the mechanical thermostat. Among other things, the Federal Environment Agency advises a more spring-like 20 degrees in the living rooms during the day (level 3). Since heat is produced in the kitchen when cooking and baking anyway, setting the thermostat to 18 degrees (level 2 to 3) is sufficient here, and 17 degrees in the bedroom with warm blankets to snuggle under (also level 2 to 3).

Even heating breaks help: At night, you can lower the heat control by 5 degrees, and set the room temperature to 18 degrees for short absences.

Tip 3: Briefly ventilate

Even on bitterly cold days, you have to ventilate regularly, otherwise mold will form in the rooms. Quite apart from the fact that we feel better with fresh air. But it is sufficient to open the windows only briefly - but then not only to tilt, but to ventilate intermittently or even crossways. So it's best to even open windows on the opposite side so that a draft pulls through the room or entire parts of an apartment and the air is exchanged more quickly.

The non-profit consulting company co2online advises to ventilate the room three to four times a day. For about 5 minutes on the coldest days, for about 10 to 15 minutes in autumn. Not only the low exchange of air in a short time speaks against the tilted position. If you leave the windows open for longer, the walls around the windows cool down, which draws additional heat from the rooms.

Tip 4: Close the doors

This tip is obvious, but we often forget it in everyday life: keep room doors closed. Keeping doors between heated and unheated rooms closed saves on heating costs. Of course, this also applies to doors to the hallway, basement and attic. According to the "80 million together for the energy change" campaign, savings of up to five percent are possible.

It is also a bad idea to heat cold rooms through open doors when it has gotten too warm in one room: This usually means that hardly any heat gets into the cool room, but all the more humidity. And that can encourage mold on the colder walls.

(This article was first published on Sunday, September 25, 2022.)

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