It can be expensive to save on the heating bill

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With heating and electricity bills skyrocketing, it can be tempting to lower the temperature a few degrees at home.

But before you turn the radiator all the way down, there are some things you should be aware of. It can have consequences for both you and your home if you turn the temperature further down than 18 degrees. This is the warning from housing manager at the insurance company Topdanmark, Helene Ibsen.

“There are currently many good reasons to save on heating and electricity, but I would encourage you to keep the temperature in the house or apartment at a minimum of 18 degrees, as otherwise there is a risk of moisture and mould, especially in older properties, which has less insulation,’ she says.

As an insurance company, Topdanmark can end up with the bill if many Danes get mold in their house. But the call from Helene Ibsen aligns with . The National Board of Health also recommends that “The room temperature should not be lower than 18 degrees and must be the same in all rooms of the home” to avoid a bad indoor climate.

“A bad indoor climate can cause confusion, fatigue, headaches, irritation of the mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tract, but can also be the cause of or worsen serious illnesses,” writes the Danish Health Authority on its website.

“Exposure to molds can also cause hypersensitivity reactions and with repeated exposure, allergies can develop, which typically manifest as asthma and allergic rhinitis or hayfever.”

Check behind pictures

Tine Sode, building designer and subject editor at the Knowledge Center Bolius, agrees with Topdanmark that one must be careful not to lower the heat too much. She explains to Berlingske that a temperature that is too low to begin with can form mold on the outer walls and then later on the walls inside the home.

“Most people can smell mold. It’s that sour basement smell or the smell of an old towel. But that might not be the first thing you notice. At first, you may notice that stains, shadows or gray or pink markings appear on the outer walls. It is especially in the corners, down by the floor or up by the ceiling, because this is where there is the least ventilation, so that is where mold likes to live best,’ she says.

In addition, you must also pay attention to whether it starts to spread inside, also behind pictures and furniture that are close to the wall.

“People create warm, moist air. If you cool down a house too much, then this warm, moist air hits the cold surfaces, condensation forms, and condensation is moisture. Mold thrives precisely on moisture,’ says Tine Sode.

She further explains that one of the ways to remedy the problem is to ventilate thoroughly, so that the moist air is replaced with something new from outside.

18 degrees is not a magic number

The usual recommendations are that you do not lower the temperature below 18 degrees, precisely to avoid problems with moisture. But according to Tine Sode, 18 degrees is not a “magic number” but a good guideline for most people.

“You could also have set the recommendation at 17 or 19 degrees. It depends on how much ventilation you have in your home. So the 18 degrees is if you have average ventilation,’ she says.

“You can probably go further down if you have very effective ventilation, which ensures that all the moist air gets out,” she adds.

Should the summer house be closed down?

For Danes with summer houses, the energy crisis has also raised a further question: How much must the summer house be closed down for the winter?

Here, Helene Ibsen from Topdanmark advises that you turn off the water completely at the well and ensure that the house is kept frost-free.

“There can be good raison in saving extra on heating if the summer house is closed for the winter. If it is cold outside, we would still recommend that you heat your summer house so that it is frost-free to minimize the risk of frostbite, even if you turn off the water,’ she says.

Topdanmark further points out that frostbite and mold attacks, which are caused by a lack of heating of the home, are not covered by the insurance. This is because it is your own responsibility to ensure that the home has a healthy indoor climate.

Source: by

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