Today, it’s official: goodbye to the autumn, and welcome to winter! Accompanied by the high cost of heating homes, offices and factories. Of interest to everyone at this time of the year, is how best to economise on heating. A recent survey conducted by Marplan revealed that 36 percent of Germans plan to snuggle up with each other to reduce costs! But as we are all aware, that will not be sufficient to keep the frost and snow at bay. Occupants of oil-heated homes, offices and factories must face the prospect of a steep increase in costs. However, it makes no difference if the heat comes from oil, gas or a district-heating source, anyone who uses the heating system effectively – whether at home on the workshop – can make significant savings. Advice on how to do so can be found at the internet portal Heizspiegel.de:
1. Set an appropriate room temperature: every extra degree raises the cost by several percent.
2. Make sure that doors and windows are properly sealed around their edges: as time goes on, plastic seals around doors and windows become porous. Old seals release warm air and admit the cold. Plug the gaps with a foam rubber strip or new rubber seals.
3. Minimise the local accumulation of heat: do not put furniture or machinery close in front of radiators; allow heat from radiators to migrate unhindered into the room. If obstructed, the radiator has to work harder than necessary. A 20 cm gap between radiator and furniture or machine should be sufficient.
4. Regular maintenance: even a small soot residue and an incorrectly adjusted burner send up the costs unnecessarily. Also, if the heating system hydraulic balance is correctly adjusted, this will save energy and money.
5. Check consumption figures: consumers can only check if they have saved money by keeping a careful record. Get an expert to check the heating bill; if you think you may be using too much, find out why.
6. Bleed air from the radiators: air trapped in the heating system prevents uniform release of heat from the radiator surface. Get an air bleed key from the local DIY-store and allow air to escape until the valve starts to drip.
7. Don’t heat the walls: a layer of insulation behind the radiator minimises heat loss through an outer wall. Suitable insulation foil is also on sale at the home improvement store.
8. Take a break: if the house or home is to be unoccupied for a while, turn down the radiators to minimum to prevent freezing. Heating cycles can be programmed with electronic thermostat valves and reduce energy consumption by about 15 percent into the bargain.
9. Ventilation: Tilt windows provide very little fresh air, but at the same time cause the adjacent walls to cool. The best way to ventilate is to open wide, and briefly. This is important, since it releases moist air and prevents the formation of mould. As a general rule: if the outside temperature is about freezing, then three to five minutes suffice. If the weather is warmer, then ventilate for ten to 15 minutes. Prior to and during the ventilation process, turn down the radiators.
10. Close the bulkheads! Very often, old window frames are badly insulated. So if you have outside shutters, it is best to let them down just after dusk. This greatly reduces heat loss.