Energy Saving Tips:  Natural Gas

Condensing Boiler

When the old boilers are modernized one can save a lot– up to 20 – 40 %.  Mainly in older houses there are often still installed real energy wasters.  Therefore, we recommend to upgrading the heating systems with condensing boiler technology. These are using also the heat of the exhaust gases, instead of blowing it unused in the air – as the old ones are doing. You should also check whether other kinds of heat production are worth considering, like e.g. geothermal energy, solar energy and wood pallets. Upon request you will also get information with respect to condensing boilers by your local heating installer.

Thermal insulation

Also a good thermal insulation will help to safe gas and money. Mainly old buildings are losing too much heat and are thus wasting much energy. This can be demonstrated very well with a thermal imaging camera. In addition hereto, in the building there often arises the problem of mould growth at thermal bridges. Cold air which hits warm air generates condensed water, which in return, may result in mould growth in a building. A new thermal insulation will amortize very soon, but you should also look for possible subsidies. Thermal insulation is in any case a good solution.

Reservoir

Another item which should be controlled is the reservoir, because older versions use to heat the cellar rather than providing the warm water to the heater. The best way to have this controlled is to check the temperature in the boiler room.  If the boiler room is very warm,  money seems to be blown in the air.

Circulation pumps

A circulation pump has one advantage: the warm water circles constantly through the pipes and hot water is at disposal directly at the points of use.  At this point you should consider whether you can do it also without a circulation pump, because the temperature of the water will go astray during its way through the pipes  - because even a very good, extremely insulated pipe system cannot provide a 100 % insulation – the more, the circulation pump will consume electricity. Old pumps will need even 30 to 80 watt.  When the pump is operating continuously, it will generate costs amounting to approx. 60 €, provided that it is the 30 watt pump. With the 80 watt pump one will have to spend the impressive sum of 140 € per year.  If one does not want to forego the comfort of a circulation pump, one should use a modern pump, which will only need approx. 6 watt. In addition hereto, it is recommended to installing a timer, which controls the circulation pump to only run during normal times, because it should not work at night or during times of absence.  In many buildings it works without using a circulation pump, when the hot water pipes are installed almost even in height.  Thus, warm water is enabled to ascend while cold water descends.  Thereby a natural circulation is provided and a circulation pump is not necessary.  At that point you should be flexible and test it out, switch-off the circulation pump and check where the water gets warm very fast.  When this works at the appropriate take-off points, you will no longer need a circulation pump.

Heating Pumps

Also with heating pumps you should control the consumption and change the heating pump by a modern version. Due to the fact that such pump operates in dependence from the boiler automatically, there will be no consumption during non-heating intervals.  Therefore, it will be worth to ask the installer at the occasion of the next regular check.

Cleaning and Maintenance

You should attach great importance on these two terms, because purely from a legal point of view you are obliged to have the system checked once a year by an expert. It will be good to ask him at this occasion for optimization potential, because if the heating system is not working properly, money is wasted.  Also the chimney sweeper has a lot of knowledge in this respect, because there is no doubt that only an optimal maintained heating system is functioning energetically perfect.

Boiler Settings

Each heating system is accompanied by a small leaflet, from which explanations to settings can be seen. All further settings should solely be done by an expert; otherwise one may easily make mistakes, which, in return, can waste even more gas. Airing means that fresh air gets into the building and hereby also old, stale air is exchanged. Therefore, one should provide fresh air into rooms in bursts – which means, short but with drafts, about 5 minutes will already be sufficient.  One need not be frightened that the building will cool down, because already shortly after having finished the airing the room temperature will be stable, again.  By tilting windows the heat gets out step by step – and, theoretically seen, it has the same effect as trying to heat the garden.  The windows should always be closed in rooms which are not used, because otherwise all efforts of insulation are without effect.

Heating Habits

Most people are feeling comfortable with a room temperature of 20°, some like it a bit warmer or a bit colder. But one has to take into consideration that every degree less temperature also means less 5 % of the heating costs.  Therefore, one should heat to a somewhat lower temperature and, particularly at night use the night reduction, which will save a lot of money, because the heating system will only provide about 10 – 12°. In most cases, your boiler will already be optimized in that way and will not deliver hot water after 10.00 p.m.

Radiaors

All radiators should be installed as open as possible, enabling the air to have a better circulation. When you are using radiator covers you should pay attention to the ventilation slots. When you hear a bubbling there is obviously too much air in the radiator, which you can release by using a special wrench; you should do this at least twice a year – one time before the heating period and after it for the second time.  Air in the radiator means that the warm water is not provided optimally into the air.

Change of the Gas Provider

The last hint cannot be repeated enough – you should check by comparison whether it will be possible to save money from the gas prices by changing the provider. Changing the provider will actually always be a good solution, because the whole procedure is much easier than – for example – subscribing for a new telephone connection.  Respective information you will find on every trustworthy gas web page.  The one who is concerned of the gas costs but does not change his provider, do in fact not need to be angry, it is at his disposal to change the situation. Things can only change if the competition among the providers is forced by the customers, looking for the lowest prices.  Moaning alone does not help, but the more consumers change the more livelier becomes competition, otherwise even price increases may happen.