Friday, January 27, 2012

Odd German Way No. 9 - The Daily Airing

The German apartments do not have ventilation. This means that you must open the windows for a while each day to let the fresh air in. Even when it is cold outside. But, I quote Cara's blog post, "Ten minutes of cold is worth not having the mold".

I once saw a German TV program about lousy tenants. One of the tenants had not done the airing in the apartment and the window frames and bathroom ceiling were covered in mold. The tenant said it was the house owners problem, but the house owner showed that all tenants had been provided with instruction sheets, where the daily airing procedures had been explained. So, even though we haven't been given any clear instructions, I have realized that it really is our duty to keep the air fresh and dry.  

"Exhaled 3742 times,  cooked 1 liter tee water, watered the plants,
slightly sneezed 3 times, washed 2 pairs of socks and
cried 1.6 minutes while peeling onions... hmm...
according to my calculation the window should be kept 2.5 cm open now for 4.3 minutes..."

Source: Passivhaus Institut

I have previously thought that tumble-dryers are useless, but now I have changed my mind. As the weather here is very moist, you cannot dry your laundry outside most of the time. And because of the lack of ventilation, it takes ages to dry it inside. Plus the air inside gets very moist.

The only thing helping in refreshing the air are the small ventilators/blowers in the bathrooms. Usually these work so that when you put the light on in the bathroom, also the ventilator starts. It helps to dry the air a bit when you take a shower, but it does not actually give any fresh air.

The fact that Fräulein takes her nap on the balcony, resolves the problem of airing for us. I always keep the balcony door open a crack while she is sleeping, so that I hear when she is waking up. I also keep the bathroom ventilator on and the door open so that the air circulates a bit. Although this isn't based on any complicated calculations, I hope it is enough...

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