In addition to the climate and orientation, there are two factors that have a decisive influence, according to the data of the Ministry of Development, in the energy consumption of your home's heating: the date on which it was built and whether it is a flat in a block or a single-family house. Of course, the chalets spend much more energy to warm up than an apartment. The age of the building, meanwhile, determines the type of materials, the enclosures, insulators, etc. that were used in its construction and that can cause heat leaks.
Most of the buildings in Spain were built between 1961 and 2007, and it is precisely those that have the highest average energy consumption for heating; an expense that is reduced considerably in the later constructions and that is more moderate in the previous ones. Against the defects of the materials there is little that can be done without getting into reforms, but there are eight tips that can be followed so that our house consumes less energy and, incidentally, save on the heating bill.
1. Insulate doors and windows with weatherstripping
About 25% of the heat of the house leaking through doors and windows. In addition, they generate that small stream of air that causes us not to know where the cold is coming from. To avoid this, an expert will first recommend that you change the windows as soon as possible with double or triple insulation. If it is not within your budget, there is a solution for which you will not need to call any handyman. It involves placing some strips in the hole that forms between the leaves of the window and the frame, on the hinges, or on the rails of the sliding doors.
For the window frames you can use polyurethane foam strips that cover spaces up to five millimeters thick and 15 millimeters wide. There are also doubles, which are the best reinforcement for the side of the hinges. For heavier doors and windows it is advisable to go directly to the more resistant and compact rubber cords. There are two types, according to the firm that draws the end of the strip: profile P and profile E. The first is for larger leaks, for example on the sides of the windows. The E is perfect for sliding window rails. Finally, for the slit that is at the bottom of the door, foam rolls can be used, which are fixed on both sides and prevent the current from passing, or finials with swab or rubber, depending on the floor, for doors They look outside.
2. Purge the radiators
It will do no good if we put the heating on and it is at full throttle, if the radiators are full of air. The boiler heats the water in the heating circuit and this, in turn, transfers the heat to the plates that are responsible for tuning the room. Over time, heating circuits fill with air, which does not conduct heat with the same efficiency as water.
To get that air out, you have to open the cap of each of the radiators (it is usually located on the opposite side of the cap used to turn the radiator on or off), by turning the screw with a screwdriver. Close it as soon as the air stops flowing and water starts to flow out. It is convenient to do the operation with a handyman. When finishing with all radiators, check that the boiler pressure remains at the level recommended by the manufacturer (usually between 1 and 1.5 bar).
3. Do not cover the sun inputs
The operation in the cold months is the opposite of the summer months. If in July and August, the windows should open at night, after keeping them closed in the hottest hours, in winter you have to take advantage of the last ray of light that can enter the house and close the blinds or curtains as soon as the sun disappears.
Therefore, it is advisable to keep the space around the windows clear, so that there are furniture or plants that prevent the entry of light.
4. Ventilate: five minutes is enough
The ventilation of the house should not aim to eliminate odors, but to renew the air. To get the latter, just open the windows five minutes in the morning, 10 if they are very small. At that time, experts calculate, a medium-sized room, and more if there are windows that make current, the environment is filled with the necessary oxygen. With regard to the former, it is better to prevent: use the hood of the kitchen (make sure it works correctly), do not use chemical perfumes, wash the textiles as often as necessary ...
5. Put an ivy on your balcony
Deciduous plants in temperate climates, such as in Spain, provide shade in summer and, in winter, protect from the cold while allowing the sun to warm the walls. It happens not only with trees, but also with vines, whose stems act as a natural layer against low temperatures.