THE KOBOLD Magazine

Airing properly + Heating properly = Saving money & Living healthily

Effective airing and heating are mutually dependent. Here are some top tips to create the perfect living environment that will save you money at the same time.
Living
Whether you rent or own your house, at least once a year, when the heating bill arrives, you’ll probably ask yourself : “Am I heating the house properly or am I literally throwing my money out of the window?”
You might feel even more uncertain when you discover patches of mildew on your ceilings and walls, caused by incorrectly airing your laundry. This could mean that hefty bills for getting rid of mildew could be in store. Airing and heating are closely related, and are vital for a healthy living environment. So let us bust several myths and offer you some tips to avoid that mildew – and those sky high bills! 

Well aired, is half done

Depending on a person’s age and sex, their body is composed of 50 -70% of water. Of this, the body uses a minimal part for cooling by perspiration or excreting waste substances. This is normally not a problem, provided there is sufficient air circulation.

In winter, people tend to go outdoors less frequently, preferring to stay inside their cozy, well insulated homes. According to the Federation of German Consumer Organisations every person loses around 76 grams of moisture per hour performing light activities, which, calculated for a standard household of four people, corresponds to a daily amount of 12 litres of water! Other sources of moisture in your home include plants, cooking and washing. Add all this up, and up to 30 litres of moisture can find their way into your home in just one weekend!

If the the humidity level in your home starts to exceed 60 percent, this is when you need to be aware. From 70 percent moisture onwards, the first signs of mildew can become visible in corners and on the walls. The good news is, provided mildew spores have only spread to wipeable surfaces, you can still use anti-mildew products yourself to get rid of them. However, once the masonry is affected, only professional help will do the trick – and cue those big bills.

Here’s how you can help prevent mildew build up in your home:

  1. Air your house two to four times daily, especially in winter.
  2. Never leave your window tilted, but open it wide, and, ideally create a draft. After two minutes you can close the window again, or after seven minutes without a draft.
  3. If you want to be sure, you can purchase a hygrometer at a DIY warehouse at an affordable price. These instruments measure the relative humidity and indicate when the danger of mildew has been averted. Usually a value between 45 - 60 percent is fine.
  4. Dehumidifiers are necessary in exceptional cases only. Before you purchase one, consult an expert, otherwise these ’little helpers’ can start to use a lot of your electricity without helping all that much.

So how does proper airing reduce your heating costs?

If you don’t air your home enough in winter, your heating costs will rise. The simple reason is, badly aired homes are moist homes and moist air does not warm up as well as dry air. Therefore, keeping your air dry by frequently airing your home reduces your heating costs.

Tips for clever heating

Whether you heat with gas central heating, an open fire or anything inbetween, there are some clever tricks that will help you save money.
The temperature at which we feel most comfortable is generally between 18 and 23 degrees. If it's cooler, not only does it feel cold, but the humidity rises due to a lack of condensation, and your home will feel ’clammy’. Temperatures above 23 degrees might feel cosy, yet in the long run, your mucous membranes will dry out.

Our expert tips:

  1. Bathrooms are fine to be a little warmer (approx. 23 degrees) than living rooms, which should be around 19 - 21 degrees.
  2. Experts recommend keeping your bedroom temperature at around 18 degrees for a healthy night's sleep.
  3. In rooms that are rarely used, like storerooms or utility rooms, try not to let the temperature drop below 14 degrees. Otherwise moisture can condense and contribute to the formation of mildew.
  4. Provide constant conditions: adjust your heating control once and only reduce it if you are absent for more than twelve hours. Frequent reheating of rooms uses up more energy than constant heating.

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Kobold VK200 Upright Vacuum Cleaner

A rule of thumb for clever savers: 

According to the Federation of German Consumer Organisations, lowering your room temperature by just 1 degree saves around 6% on heating costs!  

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