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Save money and protect the climate

In the kitchen and in play and work rooms, the ideal temperature is 18 to 20 degrees; this corresponds to level 2-3. (Laura Buschhaus / BUND BW)

For a few days now it has been very cold in Baden-Württemberg, especially at night. In many apartments and houses, the heaters run at full speed to ensure a cozy feeling. Since heating in the household consumes by far the most energy and heating costs are currently rising rapidly, this is particularly noticeable on the account during these weeks.

Heating is not only expensive, but also harmful to the climate if the system is operated with fossil fuels. Then it causes the largest amounts of climate-damaging carbon dioxide in the household. But with a few simple tips and small measures, consumers can heat up properly while protecting their wallets and the climate.

Tip 1: the right room temperature

The right room temperature is not only important for well-being, it can also save energy and money. Because with every additional degree, the heating costs increase by around six percent. “In most rooms, the thermostat never has to be set higher than heating level 3, which corresponds to 20 degrees Celsius,” recommends Fritz Mielert, environmental officer at BUND Baden-Württemberg. “At night or when nobody is at home, the residents can set the temperature in the rooms three to five degrees lower, one level lower. It is not necessary to turn the radiator on fully, as the valve then controls a very high target temperature. ”The desired room temperature is quickly exceeded and a lot of energy is wasted.

The temperature in the rooms should not drop below 13 degrees when it is freezing outside, otherwise mold can form on the cold walls.

What many do not know: In order to warm up the apartment more quickly on cold days, it is of no use to fully turn up the thermostat on the heating. This only has an effect on old on-off valves. Since it is very difficult to regulate the room temperature with such valves, the BUND recommends that a specialist company replace them with modern thermostats.

Recommended temperature in the living rooms:

  • Entrance hall and hallways: 13 to 16 degrees; corresponds to level 1-2
  • Bedrooms: 16 to 17 degrees; corresponds to level 2
  • Play and work rooms: 18 to 20 degrees; corresponds to level 2-3
  • Kitchen: 18 to 20 degrees; corresponds to level 2-3
  • Living rooms: 20 to 22 degrees; corresponds to level 3-4
  • Bathroom: 22 to 23 degrees; corresponds to level 4

Tip 2: release the radiator

Radiators and thermostats should be freely accessible. If curtains, curtains and furniture are hanging or standing directly in front of it, the heat cannot be distributed in the room.

Tip 3: seal windows and doors

Up to 20 percent of the energy can be lost through leaky windows and doors; you can often feel the loss of heat when you touch the permeable area with your hand or stand in front of it. In the building trade there are rubber and silicone tapes for windows and brush seals for doors – an investment that pays off!

Tip 4: Ventilate properly

Especially in times of corona and colds, it is essential to ventilate regularly and well without all of the heat escaping into the open air. “It is ideal to ventilate the room three times a day for about five minutes, but it is best to turn off the heating,” advises Fritz Mielert. If the windows are constantly tilted, the surrounding walls cool down and mold can form. In addition, a lot of energy is wasted. It is particularly important to ventilate the room after showering or bathing so that the warm, moist air can escape.

Tip 5: Insulate inside too

Windows, balcony doors and roller shutter boxes can become thermal bridges. That is, they direct energy outside. The heat loss through the window can be reduced by around 20 percent at night if the residents lower the shutters. Drawn curtains further enhance this effect. It is also important to close the doors of heated rooms so that the heat stays in the room.

The BUND also recommends protecting exposed heating pipes with pipe shells and using aluminum-coated insulation panels to insulate radiator niches. This way, less heat is lost.

Tip 6: vent the radiator

If radiators gurgle and don’t get really warm even though the thermostat is fully turned up, there is air in the radiator, which wastes unnecessary energy. Radiator keys for the vent valve are available from hardware stores for around one euro. Simply turn it up and collect the draining water in a container.

Tip 7: efficient heating pumps

Old heating pumps often run for a long time and use too much energy. Modern heating pumps, on the other hand, work automatically as required. That The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) promotes the exchange with large grantsif the new system uses at least some of the renewable energies.

Regardless of whether it is an old gas boiler or a new heating pump: It is worthwhile to have the heating system set correctly (“hydraulic balancing”). There is also for that Government grants.

Tip 8: choose a well-insulated apartment

In order to keep small and well-insulated apartments warm, naturally less energy is required than with large, draughty houses. Of course, especially the people in metropolitan areas are happy if they can find affordable accommodation at all. However, anyone who is about to move or buy a home has the opportunity to include such aspects in the decision-making process. In the long term, a lot of heating energy could be saved if more people lived in apartments in low-energy or passive houses.


pictures can be used free of charge with the name of the photo author and in connection with reporting on the BUND. Please note the references in the file names.

Additional Information:

Contact for questions:

Fritz Mielert, Environmental Protection Officer BUND Baden-Württemberg, (0711) 62 03 06-16, Fritz.Mielert (at) bund.net

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