Checklist for saving energy in the home

Ever-increasing energy prices and a changed awareness in dealing with nature move many private consumers to want to save valuable energy within their own means. By the way, it is basically irrelevant that, from a physical point of view, no energy can be "consumed" within a closed system. For consumers, however, reducing energy consumption means that, according to contracts with energy suppliers, the counted amount of energy documented within a billing period should be reduced as much as possible.

Regardless of the technical and physical background, it is possible for private individuals to save energy in many areas. Above all in the own household, in addition, in the occupation and the remaining public life can and should the conscious handling with energy be practiced. Energy includes not only electricity, but also drinking water, hot water and heating. Therefore the following tips are structured according to these energy forms.

Thermal energy – less is more

The generation of thermal energy is a very complex process, which is correspondingly cost-intensive. In addition, fossil raw materials are very often used to provide heat. Therefore, it is doubly useful to control one’s own behavior when dealing with heat. In the first place within the own four walls can be heated meaningfully. Here it is important to pay attention to a healthy room climate. Permanent airing is therefore just as little meaningful, as the complete renouncement of fresh air, in order to "store" the warmth in the dwelling.

It is much more important to heat to a sensible extent. The dwelling should be always evenly warmed up, because rapid temperature sinks, for example during the night, have the consequence that in the morning by a comparatively high expenditure again to the target temperature must be heated up. That is very complex and cost-intensive. This practice is only recommended for modern heating systems in combination with a high energy standard. In addition, it is important to decide which rooms should be heated and to what extent. Basement rooms, technical rooms, storage rooms and other adjoining rooms require less heat than living rooms such as the living room, kitchen or bathroom. But also in these rooms should be paid attention to a moderate heat output. It has been shown that in many cases heating is too strong and ventilation is too infrequent. In order not to let the humidity inside the apartment rise, it is recommended to cross-ventilate several times a day for a few minutes. Both windows and doors should be opened completely for a short time so that all rooms are well ventilated. During this time the radiators should be turned down. This shock ventilation causes an exchange of air in the apartment without the building fabric cooling down. This is why the temperature of the living space very quickly returns to the previous level.

In addition, a room temperature between 18 and 23 degrees Celsius should be achieved, depending on the room in question. For example, it is reasonable to heat the sleeping area to 18 degrees Celsius, while a higher temperature is appropriate in the bathroom. Basically, it can be said that an average of 21 degrees Celsius in the living area is appropriate. If the room temperature is lowered by one degree Celsius on average, this means an energy saving of 6 percent. It is also advisable to avoid heating neighboring rooms as well, although excessive temperature differences between the individual rooms should also be avoided.

Beyond the air temperature, the so-called surface temperature in the home has an important influence on the comfort of the rooms. This means that a comparatively high air temperature can be perceived as uncomfortable when the surrounding walls are significantly cooler. Therefore sensible heating is particularly effective if it is accompanied by optimized building insulation. Proper insulation of walls and wall openings reduces heat loss from the interior through so-called leaks and means a lower risk of thermal bridges forming.

In addition, in order to reduce the energy demand, attention should be paid to a properly functioning heating system. This means that the heating system must be correctly set up and optimized from a professional point of view. The radiators of older systems should be vented at regular intervals. In addition, it is generally advisable in the long term to consider investing in a modern heating system. Compared to older models, new generations of heating systems are much more effective and economical.

Save "heat energy" checkpoints:
– Uniform heating of the apartment throughout the day
– Shock ventilation instead of continuous ventilation
– Avoidance of large temperature differences between individual rooms
– Aim for an average temperature of around 21 degrees Celsius
– Regular maintenance and renewal of the heating system
– Avoiding thermal bridges and leaks in the building’s outer shell

Hot water and drinking water – Conscious use helps to save money

Responsible use of drinking water not only means sustainable consideration for nature, but is also reflected in the water bill. In addition, it is possible to reduce personal consumption of drinking water and hot water with just a few simple steps, without any major loss of comfort. In the case of the latter, there is also the fact that further energy is required to heat the water. It is therefore advisable to pay special attention to the hot water so that it is not "wasted. However, the scientific aspect of the fact that globally "consumption" of water is not possible should be dispensed with at this point.

In order to reduce the individual need for fresh water, it is worthwhile, for example, to replace old and, above all, defective fittings in the house with new, more economical ones. This will eliminate unwanted water losses and reduce water consumption in daily personal hygiene. The faucets of the washbasins, bathtubs, showers, bidets and the like should be checked for proper functioning. This includes both the technical connections, but also the seals and openings.

Electrical terminals that use water should also be checked for wear and tear, leaks and defects. Apart from the fact that defective devices represent a safety risk, old and defective machines in particular require significantly more water than modern and intact machines. Before "messing around" with old appliances, replace them with new ones. This investment can be particularly worthwhile for washing machines and dishwashers, as they require less electricity and, above all, less water, but with the same output. Even in the case of extensive renovation work, care should be taken to ensure economical consumption when selecting appropriate appliances. Especially in the bathroom and in the kitchen there are many possibilities to use economical appliances. In addition to these devices, an economical toilet flush should also be selected.

However, there is enormous potential for savings in the use of drinking water and hot water through our own consumption behavior. Although everyone has a fixed natural need for drinking water, it is also possible to use this precious resource sparingly. In personal hygiene, care should be taken to ensure that no water ends up "pointlessly" in the sink. If no water is needed, water dispensers should be switched off immediately, even if this period is only very short. By the way, lever faucets in the bathroom tend to tempt people to set and use them in the middle position. When washing hands, this means that the water used is at most moderately heated, because the period of time the water is used is too short to get newly heated water. This hot water often remains in the pipe and cools down unused. So it makes sense to do without the described middle position of the lever faucet for washing hands.

"Pointless" water use also often happens when washing dishes. Washing dirty dishes under running water is strongly discouraged. It is also much more sensible to shower instead of bathing. Saving drinking and hot water is not just limited to your own home. If a garden is cultivated, rainwater should be collected by means of rain barrels and cisterns in order to water plants and flowers. Thus, at least outside of longer dry periods, the use of fresh water can often be dispensed with.

Water-saving measures are particularly effective in new buildings and modernization projects. For planners and engineers are trained accordingly to use modern, economical devices and end users. But even in existing and old buildings, individual consumption can be sustainably reduced through the conscious use of fresh water. In this way, every person can make their own contribution to the economical use of this valuable resource, both at home and on the road, and help to save money.

Save water" checkpoints:
– Replace defective fittings and end devices or have them professionally repaired
– Use economy faucets and dispense with the middle position on lever faucets
– Turn off water dispensers even for short periods of time when they are not needed
– Use rainwater for gardening
– Showering instead of bathing

Saving electrical energy – Simply switch off

In the everyday lives of modern people, there are countless devices and machines that consume electricity throughout the day, even when they are not actively being used. In addition, the question justifiably arises as to whether every electrical appliance is actually needed, or whether it can be dispensed with without major losses. In daily life, there are therefore numerous opportunities to significantly reduce personal electricity consumption.

The kitchen in particular is a major power guzzler. There is no question that refrigerators and freezers must be left on without interruption. But for all other devices, it is recommended to disconnect them from the mains after use without any restriction. But refrigerators and freezers also offer savings potential, because even these consumers should function properly and be regularly replaced with modern appliances. This also applies to small appliances for cooking, baking and heating.

The stove requires a great deal of energy to heat and cook food. When cooking, use high-quality pots and pans that can be closed with a suitable lid. If hot water is needed, it should be heated with a kettle. If boiling water is to be used, this is also practical, because the water in the pot also boils faster and significantly less energy is required. The residual heat from the stove tops of older stoves should also be used. It is therefore advisable not to switch off the hobs at the end of cooking, but a few minutes beforehand to use the remaining heat. Alternatives to the stove should also be used to heat food afterwards, such as the microwave oven. The often recommended preheating of the oven, for the preparation of ready meals and for baking, can also be confidently dispensed with. The result is identical, dispensing with the heating power of the oven, which is useless in advance.

But it is also possible to save electrical energy in the rest of the home and at work. Traditional incandescent lamps should be replaced with energy-saving lamps. However, even less electricity is required if light bulbs are not used. Here, the almost quaint advice applies: "The last one to turn off the light"!". However, switching off electrical appliances after use does not only apply to lamps and lights.

Above all, electronic devices such as computers, printers, televisions, hi-fi systems and other consumer electronics should be disconnected from the power supply after use. Because the stand-by mode does not mean that the power consumption of these devices is zero. These appliances should therefore either be switched off completely or disconnected from the mains. Here multiple plug strips can be meaningful, which can be switched off as needed and are provided with their own fuse. Thus the juice is turned off so to speak many dumb power guzzlers.

Save "heat energy" checkpoints:
– In the kitchen are especially many, large power guzzlers, which should function properly and be modern
– Look for energy-saving alternatives to the stove for cooking
– Avoid stand-by mode and switch off appliances completely or disconnect them from the power supply
– Old and defective electrical appliances against new exchange
– Instead of using electrical appliances, electricity-free alternatives should be used

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