Saving gas – tips for everyday life & modernisation
Saving gas – reducing gas consumption with simple tips
Whether energy crises, the global political situation or the desire to use natural gas in a way that conserves resources, the motives for wanting to save gas are manifold. The solution begins with a look at one's own heating habits and everyday routines and ends with a well-planned heating system modernisation. In the following guide, you will find various tips – from the simple ones that can be implemented in the short term to the somewhat more complex ones. However, there is no need to shy away from the latter tips. With the right Viessmann partner at your side, modernisation and conversion to new energy sources, as well as combinations with renewable energy solutions, can also be managed.
A few simple tips to reduce the cost of gas
To reduce gas consumption and thus costs in the short and medium term, it is best to start directly with your heating habits. A temperature reduction of just one degree without additional measures in an existing building reduces consumption by up to six percent. But that doesn't mean you have to sit in the cold. The optimum temperatures depending on the use of rooms are crucial here. You can use the following values as a guide. However, individual circumstances should always be taken into account.
- Living room: 20 to 22 degrees Celsius
- Bedroom: 16 to 18 degrees Celsius
- Hallway and kitchen: 18 degrees Celsius
- Child's bedroom: 22 degrees Celsius
- Bathroom: 23 to 24 degrees Celsius
To set the correct temperature on a classic radiator with thermostatic head and 5-step scale, we recommend the guide on "Setting the thermostat correctly".
It can also be helpful not only to set the temperature optimally for each room and thus save gas, but to optimise the entire heating circuit. This allows the heating curve to be readjusted. It is also useful to select different heating programmes such as summer mode or night setback. The best way to do this is described in the operating instructions, which you can find under ViBooks. Alternatively, have a local installer instruct you.
Maintenance and bleeding of the heating system
However, it is not only the optimum room temperature that has to be considered, but also the ideal heat distribution within the heating system. To ensure this, regular maintenance is essential. A service appointment is best scheduled for the warmer months. Less heating is required then and any repairs do not restrict living comfort as much as during the heating season, so this period is suitable for an annual system check. This may involve additional adjustments to the heating system control to reduce gas consumption at a central point.
In addition to maintenance, you can also help to ensure that the heat distribution in the heating circuit is optimal. Bleeding radiators may be necessary especially after longer periods of inactivity of the system, such as after summer. Air bubbles can accumulate in the hot water in different ways. These can not only cause annoying noises in the heating system, but also uneven heat distribution. Often radiators remain cold near the bottom, and sometimes even whole rooms cannot be heated properly. In this case, bleeding the heating system is recommended.
Tip: You can also ensure optimum heat distribution in the room by ensuring that radiators are unobstructed and not covered by long curtains or drapes. Above all, the temperature sensor of the thermostat should not be covered.
Insulating and draught-proofing to save gas
Especially in existing, older houses, it is also worthwhile to look at the insulation and draught-proofing of windows and doors and the insulation of heating pipes. For doors and windows, insulating tape, sealing tape or draught excluders can help. Exposed heating pipes can cause a lot of heat to be lost before it reaches the actual living space, or cellars or other rooms can become unnecessarily warm. Particularly where there are comparatively long distances between heat generator and radiator, a closer look should be taken. During a heating check or heating system service, you can take a closer look at these aspects with an expert on site and discuss remedies.
Saving gas when heating domestic hot water
In addition to heating energy, the gas heating system also supplies the household with domestic hot water. Depending on the type of building, the state of insulation and the occupants' behaviour, the percentage of gas consumed for heating domestic hot water varies greatly. On average, it is up to 12 percent for an older building. In new buildings, this percentage can be much higher because much less heating is used, but hot water consumption usually remains the same. To save gas and thus costs, it is therefore advisable to shower rather than have a bath. An economy shower head can also be useful. You can find more tips in our guide on optimising hot water consumption.
Do not forget optimum venting
Correct heating behaviour also includes venting. Especially in the heating season, you should avoid venting by keeping windows tilted. This causes heat to be permanently lost and radiators have to be set higher and higher. In addition, this type of manual venting does not provide a complete air exchange. Venting in bursts and cross-venting is recommended instead. To do this, ideally open opposed windows fully. A few minutes several times a day is sufficient. In addition, make sure to turn down the radiators during this time. Heat is not lost to the outside and you save on gas consumption. An alternative to manual ventilation is a mechanical ventilation system. Depending on the type, heat in the extract air can be used to heat rooms.
Combining and modernising to save gas
In addition to the numerous little things that can be done to reduce gas consumption, there is also the option of technically implementing them on a larger scale. A gas heating system that is too old and no longer corresponds to the state of the art – i.e. condensing technology – should be replaced. An already installed gas condensing boiler can also be supplemented with a heat generator using renewable energy. Ultimately, there is also the option of fully converting to an alternative. In all cases, you will save gas in the long term and become increasingly independent of fossil fuels. This not only conserves resources, but also has a positive effect on both your own energy costs and your carbon footprint.
Supporting a gas heating system with solar energy and other possible combinations
A solar thermal system, which uses free solar energy to heat hot water and/or support the heating system, is considered the optimum complement for a gas heating system. You can supplement an existing system or plan a new one with solar technology from the start. You can find out more about this in the section Heating with gas and solar.
A gas heating system can also be combined with any other energy solution based on renewable energy sources – pellet heating, wood heating in general, heat pumps and fuel cell heating systems. The combination of a gas heating system and a heat pump is very popular. In this, the gas heating system acts as a peak load boiler if the heat demand is higher than normal or the outdoor temperatures (when using an air source heat pump) are very low.
Modernising a gas heating system and opting for alternatives
A considerable proportion of the heating systems installed in Germany are outdated. To save gas, it is advisable to use the latest condensing technology, which utilises up to 98 percent of the energy contained in the fuel by utilising the heat concealed in the flue gas. In the course of modernisation, hybrid versions should always be considered in order to save additional gas.
Another option is to go entirely for an alternative to gas heating systems. This way, you do not just use less gas, but none at all and become independent of price fluctuations. This makes it easier to plan running costs. It also helps to conserve fossil fuels. In the long term, you will also reduce your energy costs.