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Germany: 8 ways to save on heating costs

Save on heating costs with these simple tips.

Guides to living in Germany. The major rise in energy prices in Germany has many people anxious about the heating cost this autumn and winter. Here are some of the most simple ways you can save on your energy bills:

1.Make sure your radiators are not blocked

Radiators can be unpleasant to look at, but it can be costly to cover it up or conceal them with furniture, as the effectiveness works when its uncovered.

So a simple solution to this would be to let your radiator free, and your heating costs will decrease.

2.Check whether your windows are sealed

The most common way a home loses heat is through unsealed windows.

To check whether your windows are well sealed, insert a sheet of paper between the frame and sash (the part which moves and holds the glass panes together). When you pull it out and the paper doesn’t rip, then its a sure sign air can enter through the gap the same way.

The seal may have become brittle or damaged for older windows, meaning the only way to fix this is to get a new seal.

To do this, remove the old seal and thoroughly clean the surface making sure there is no adhesive residue left. You can get replacement foam and rubber gaskets from any hardware store and stick it on easily yourself.

3.Insulate your radiators

Most older buildings in Germany, radiators are usually installed in niches under the window. The thinner walls in this part of the building are often a weak point, where you can lose precious heating energy.

As a tenant you can quite easily remedy this situation by yourself by insulating the wall behind the radiator.

You can buy prefabricated insulation panels – Styrofoam panels laminated on one side with aluminium – from most hardware stores.

With the installation of these panels behind every radiator, you can reduce heating losses by up to 90 percent.

4.Make sure pipes are covered

A surprising amount of heat can be wasted by exposed or uninsulated heating pipes.

However, there is a simply solution to solving this problem. You can buy special pipe insulation materials and insulating tape in most DIY stores for only €3 to €10 per metre.

5.Choose the right heating method

Currently electricity costs in Germany are at an average of 30 cents per kilowatt hour, compared to oil and gas costs of 15 cents per kilowatt hour. This means that using electric heaters would be almost double the cost of using a radiator and should be avoided.

Nevertheless, people should keep an eye on gas prices because it is likely they will soon increase, meaning electrical heating could end up being cheaper by winter.

READ MORE: Germany: Chancellor Scholz announces new relief package, state to aid gas giant Uniper

6.Take shorter showers instead of long baths

Heating water in Germany accounts for about 13 percent of heating costs. Although luxury baths are a treat many individuals look forward to during winter, it might be best to do without them as often as possible and settle for quick showers.

7.Invest in a water-saving shower head

After switching from baths to showers, you can improve your heating cost further by getting an economy shower head. These devices either simply reduce the flow of the water, or use technical means to treat the water so that, despite the reduced volume, it feels like a full shower jet.

These special shower heads go for as little as €20.

8.Ensure proper ventilation in your home

Though it might seem unreasonable, ventilating your home at regular intervals can also help reduce heating costs, as humid air warms up less quickly than dry air.

Short bursts of ventilation with the windows wide open are optimal – preferably three to four times a day. 

Source: The local