To the dismay of many customers, gas prices have risen drastically several times in the recent past. Not least because of the escalation in the Russia-Ukraine crisis, experts believe that the price spiral may continue upward. In order to cushion the additional costs, it is now necessary to reduce gas consumption as quickly as possible. To a certain extent, simple measures that can be implemented immediately can help here.
Those who have not already vented their radiators in the fall should do so now. Air in the pipes is not only annoying, but also energetically inefficient. With the help of a vent wrench, you can open the vent valve on the radiator itself. The air escaping from the radiator can be recognized by a hissing sound. If there is no more air in the radiator, water escapes – then the valve must be turned off again quickly.
Do not cover radiators and thermostats with curtains
It is also important that the radiators and thermostats are not covered by curtains or that a sofa or other piece of furniture is placed in front of them. The distance must be at least ten to 15 centimeters. The radiator should be able to give off heat well and the sensor should have good contact with the air in the room. In addition, all thermostats in the room should always be set to the same level – turning one radiator fully up and the other fully down is inefficient. A little more complicated, but at least as important, is the correct setting of the heating curve on the heating system. You can test yourself to see if everything fits.
To do this, all the radiators in the house are turned up to full for several hours. If the room air temperature is clearly too high, the heating curve should be adjusted downwards. The latter is either left to the specialist or one studies the operating instructions oneself.
Solar collectors on the roof?
In addition to these immediate measures, homeowners should think about how gas consumption can be reduced in the medium and long term. This includes, for example, the installation of solar collectors on the roof as a supplement to the gas heating system. Smaller solar thermal systems (as solar collectors are known in the trade) can provide hot water from May to September. The gas heating remains completely switched off in this time. Approximately 1.5 square meters of collector surface per person are sufficient for this purpose. With a collector area of ten to 14 square meters, the heating system can also be supported for heat generation in the transitional months. The state takes over 30 per cent of the investment costs for the solar thermal system.
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If you are planning to replace your heating system, you should think about changing your fuel. The goal should be to move away from fossil fuels such as oil or gas and toward renewable energies. For houses with a high heat demand that will not be renovated for energy efficiency in the foreseeable future, a pellet heating system is a particularly good solution. It may also be possible to connect to a district or local heating network that is operated on the basis of climate-friendly fuels. And for those who already have underfloor heating and only need low flow temperatures for their heating, a heat pump is an interesting option.
The most costly but most sustainable measure for reducing gas consumption is energy optimization of the building envelope. Insulating the roof and facade, replacing the old windows – this may cost a lot of money, but it increases living comfort immensely and reduces energy expenditure most significantly in the long run. With the help of an energetic building renovation, the heat requirement can be reduced by 70 to 80 percent. Energy price increases thus lose their horror in the long run. And from the state it will surely give for it soon again attractive subsidies, even if at present the promotion was just interrupted.
To the person: Martin Sambale is managing director of the Allgau Energy and Environment Center, or eza for short!