The arrival of low temperatures is also synonymous with turning on the heaters in the home, where we now spend much more time as a result of the recommendation of reduced mobility and the curfews as a consequence of new wave of Covid-19 infections or telework, which, in the third quarter, 10.3% of employed workers had been developing.
For this reason, UCI (Union of Real Estate Credits), an entity specializing in sustainable housing financing, through its Green division, collects the keys to incorporate in a home and our daily routine at home to contribute to the heating savings during this unusual autumn-winter:
1. An isolated house
The houses have more or less insulation from the outside depending on the type of floors, walls and windows. A house will be more insulated if it has walls with insulation, floors with thermal insulation or wood and windows of hermetic closure and double glass. But these elements are not common in all homes, despite the fact that good insulation saves up to 30% of household spending. In addition, small gestures such as opening the blinds to take advantage of the sunlight or lowering them at sunset and placing weatherstripping under the doors, can reduce heat loss.
2. Ventilate without reaching excess
Due to the pandemic, one of the most repeated recommendations by experts is the need to ventilate all spaces. It is important to ventilate the rooms of the house for a few minutes and to close doors and windows again so as not to have significant losses of heat offered by the heating.
3. Radiators visible and in good condition
We must avoid the bad practice of cover the radiators because they do not fit in with the decoration, since that causes a reduction in their performance. It is also not a good practice to put wet clothes on top to dry. Radiators work by convection and the heat goes from bottom to top, so it is common to place them near windows. Before turning on the heating, it is advisable to bleed the radiators to remove the accumulated air bubbles and make a quick check that they are in good condition. As well as putting heat reflective panels behind the radiators to enhance their effect and save between 10% and 20% of the cost.
4. Contracted power in electricity
For heating systems that work with electricity, it is recommended to review the contracted electricity power, that is, the number of appliances that can be plugged in at the same time without the power going out. In most cases, the contracted power is usually much higher than the real need, so a higher cost is paid than it is actually consumed.
The key is to add the expense of all electrical appliances and depending on the result, hire the necessary power. Electric heating is one of the devices that draws the most light and needs between 1,000 – 2,000 W of power, although if it is low consumption heating, the necessary power drops to 400-800 W. The oven, dishwasher and washing machine are the appliances that need the most power, with 1.200-2.200 W, 2.200W y 1.500W, respectively.
5. End point to polluting energies
It is still common to see in Spain coal or diesel heating systems, energy sources that are not respectful with the environment, polluting and expensive for our pocket, which could be replaced by other cheaper and more sustainable ones. In systems that run on gas and use boilers, the most optimal are those with low consumption, such as cogeneration. For communities of owners there are also grants for the renovation of more efficient boilers.
6. Efficient heating
Renewable energy sources are the most suitable for the use of heating at home, with systems such as: aerothermal (heat pump that uses air and depends on the outdoor weather conditions), which can mean a saving of between 40-70% on the bill, or geothermal energy (water heat pump that comes from the interior of the subsoil), which saves up to 75% of energy compared to other systems. Deciding on one system or another depends largely on the location and type of the property, so it is best to have an expert to help with this choice.
Radiant floors are also increasingly common, which work with aerothermal or geothermal energy, and have a system with a very low water supply temperature (30-45ºC) compared to traditional radiator systems (70-75ºC). which contributes to savings.
Another source of renewable energy is thermal photovoltaic panels, which absorb heat from the outside of the building, so they are especially suitable for houses with direct impact from the sun and areas with high temperatures.
7. Do not abuse degrees
The higher the number of degrees, the more heating costs. On average, for each degree less, between 7-11% of energy is saved. The ideal temperature is around 19-21 degrees, so putting the heating much higher would be a waste of expense and energy. What’s more, experts recommend turning off the heating or not exceeding 16º at night or if it goes out for a short time and thus saving up to 13% of consumption.
8. Winter clothes at home
Many times the heating is very high and typical summer clothes are worn at home rather than this period, for excessive heat accumulated in the home. The ideal is to wear comfortable winter clothes that also allow you to keep body heat and not exceed the recommended heating temperature.
9. Programmable systems
The most optimal mechanism is to have a programmable thermostat that allows you to regulate the temperature and that automatically turns on the heating for a while before you get home so that it warms up. In addition, it helps to avoid sudden changes in temperature and the widespread bad practice of turning your heater to a high temperature when you get home so that it heats up faster, which is costly and less time efficient.
10. Heating for rooms
If there are rooms in the house that are not used, it is not necessary that they be warm, even if the heating is central. So, close or turn off the room radiators that are not used so as not to waste.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.