Heating: 10 simple tips to save heating costs

Consumer turns his heating on the thermostat to level 3

Set the thermostat to the desired room temperature. If it is higher than necessary, you will consume energy unnecessarily. And every degree less lowers your consumption by about 6%.

Stage 1 corresponds approximately to a temperature of 12 degrees. The distance between a step is about 4 degrees, the small lines in between mark one degree each. Stage 5 corresponds therefore already approximately 28 degrees.

In the living room, a comfortable 20 degrees is perfect, in the bedroom often only 18 degrees are enough, in less used rooms even 16 degrees! It should not get any lower than this, otherwise there is a risk of mold.

A programmable thermostat will help you save money. Here you can set the exact temperature or set times when you want to heat. For more information on thermostats and instructions on how to easily replace it, see our article "Save on heating costs: Setting and changing the thermostat correctly".

2. Vent the heating system so that it does not gurgle

Your radiators are not getting warm properly or are getting warm differently? There are gurgling noises? Then there might be air in the system – this consumes more energy. With a vent key you can easily let the air out of the hot radiator yourself.

Before you open a vent valve, place a small container underneath it to catch any escaping water, and have a cloth ready. Now turn the thermostat valve all the way up (usually level 5) and let the radiator get warm. Then briefly open the vent valve until the air has escaped and only hot water comes out. Then close the valve tightly again. Now you can turn down the thermostat again.

Before and after bleeding, check the pressure in the heating system and add water if necessary. In an apartment building with central heating, this requires consultation with building management or administration. If your apartment extends over several floors, it makes sense to ventilate the lower radiators first and then the upper ones.

If this does not help, other causes may be the reason: The heating curve of the heating control is not set optimally or a hydraulic balancing is necessary.

3. No furniture and curtains in front of the radiator

Do not hide your radiators behind curtains or furniture. Because then the warmth behind it accumulates and is not delivered correctly to the area. The room does not get warm evenly.

For your interior, this means that each radiator should be clearly visible.

A sofa, for example, should be at least 30 centimeters away from the heater. Curtains on windows with radiators underneath should not be floor-length, but should end above the heat emitters. Do not use radiator coverings either.

Also important: Keep the radiators clean – lint and dust can also reduce the heat output.

4. Turn down the heating when you are absent

If no one is at home, it does not have to be comfortably warm there either. Lowering the temperature when you are away saves energy.

If you don’t want to operate each heating valve individually, you can use programmable or networked thermostats. You can replace a thermostat quickly and easily yourself – even in a rented apartment! Read our article "Saving heating costs: Setting and changing the thermostat correctly".

5. Set the heating correctly

How often have you adjusted your heating system? Fact: Settings on the heating system are often no longer changed. In extreme cases, the control system may even still be in the factory setting at the time of delivery and has never been adapted to the building in question! If you adjust the heating system correctly you can save 10 to 15% energy.

You can save the most by a time control tailored to you. In most cases, you can program so-called setback times, for example at night or during the day when you are working. With a weekly program you can compile your personal heating profile.

On the other hand, it is not advisable not to heat at all instead of lowering the temperature. The interior walls cool down too much and the risk of mold increases.

In summer, however, you can switch off the heating system completely or switch to hot water-only operation for your hot water. It is somewhat more complicated to set the flow temperatures correctly. These should be set as low as possible by means of the heating curve. Ideally, the temperature should be selected so low that the room is still sufficiently warm when the thermostatic valves are fully open. A specialist company will be happy to help you. You can find more information about heating optimization here.

6. Insulate heating body niches

Especially in buildings from the 1960s and 70s, radiator niches in exterior walls are very common and have not yet been insulated. Due to the thinner wall and the high temperature of the radiator on the inside of the wall, heat loss is particularly high. Up to 15 euros of heating energy is lost per square meter of radiator recess per year!

If the radiator is to remain in its previous location, you can work with high-performance insulation materials such as polyurethane panels or aerogel mats. It is very important that the insulation is connected airtight to the wall on all sides. Since this cannot always be guaranteed, there is an increased risk of mold. For further savings, it is good to have aluminum lamination on the insulation. It reflects the heat radiation to the room side. Depending on the material, the cost is 50 to 80 euros per square meter.

It is energetically more favorable to move the radiator and to fill the radiator niche with a mineral insulating material or to fill the radiator niche with a mineral insulating material. to be lined with aerated concrete.

If you want to renew the facade in the foreseeable future, it might be better to insulate the outside wall from the outside.

7. Insulate heating pipes quickly and easily by yourself

Insulating your heating pipes and heating fittings is not only compulsory, but you can save up to €14 per meter of pipe per year – so it pays off even if you only have a few meters. With pipe insulation you ensure that in the long run no heat is lost on the way from the cellar through the house. The insulation pays for itself in less than a year!

You can find out how to easily insulate your heating pipes yourself and other tips on optimizing heating in the article "Optimizing heating and saving heating costs".

8. Seal windows and doors

Leaky windows or exterior doors cause unpleasant drafts and heat loss in the home. This is a quick and easy way to check if your windows and doors are tight:

Clamp a sheet of paper between the window frame and the window sash. If you cannot pull out the paper when the window is closed, the window is tight at this point. Repeat the paper test in several places.

With windows, it is usually enough to replace the seal or adjust the window sashes. In the case of apartment or house doors with an open door slot, a seal – a so-called cold foe – can often be installed subsequently. If you have a porch, you should always keep it closed in cold weather.

9. Insulate roller shutter boxes

Uninsulated roller shutter boxes are a weak point in many buildings, as they only have very thin walls and, due to their construction, never close completely windproof. In many cases an insulation is possible with small manual expenditure. It’s worth it: every square meter saves up to 10 euros a year.

The insulation can be made with an individual molded part or a flexible insulation board, which is fitted and fixed into the existing box. However, high-performance insulation boards made of polyurethane or phenolic resin are better, as they have a lower thermal conductivity. They must be cut to fit and installed. Depending on the material and insulation thickness, the cost is between 15 and 30 euros per square meter. The belt passage and the roller shutter gap can be provided with a brush seal to reduce drafts. The cost is 10 to 15 euros per roller shutter box.

In a rented apartment, you should first consult with your rental company.

10. Correct airing helps with economical heating

Proper ventilation is not difficult at all and saves energy. The most important rule in the heating period is: several times a day shock ventilation instead of permanent tilt ventilation! If possible, open the windows completely for a few minutes. So the air in the room is exchanged quickly without the walls cool down inside. If the windows are closed again, the heating system only has to heat the fresh air afterwards, not the solid components. This is much faster and requires much less energy. By the way, air exchange is even faster and more economical if opposite windows or doors are opened at the same time, i.e. if there is a draught.

You can find detailed tips on airing in our article "Heating and airing: How to do it properly."

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