Tuesday, December 2, 2014

2014 Germany Trip - German Turn and Tilt Window

Location: Germany

Itinerary and full experience of my visit to Germany can be accessed through the link below:

I would have to say that my most surprising and eye-opening encounter during my German stay remained the way they could open their windows. The window has a handle, which is nothing out of ordinary, except that it can rotated into 3 different positions - downward, sideward and upward.

The window is in a locked position when it is pointing down, and rotating it to point to the side will enable the window to swing open. So far so good, nothing wrong. However rotating the handle to point up (when the window is closed), yielded no obvious effect except that the window remained locked. I thought to myself, it must have been designed to suit the preference of the user on whether he wanted the handle pointing up or down when locking it.

That would be until I tried pulling on the upward pointing handle, and the top of the window disengaged from the frame. I must have broken it somehow...

Looks like someone broke the window... or not... If the handle is rotated to point upward, the window could be open in a tilted position, allowing air circulation without letting in a strong draft.

In reality that not was the case. The tilt and turn design, as it is commonly known, is a design originating from Germany and used in some European countries. This has an obvious advantage in a seasonal country, especially so when the temperature drops and heaters are switched on to overload. A heated room would be stuffy as the air turned warm and dry at the same time, which compared to our tropical conditioned air which is cool and dry could be unbearable.

A nice picturesque view outside will need to be enjoyed with closed windows as night falls and temperature drops.

So if the weather was sunny, one could tilt the window open so that the heater could be switched to low or off while the cool air from outside flow in. Why not just open the window fully then? During colder seasons, the wind could be quite strong and it would feel colder if it blows straight into the room. By tilting the window open, only a slow draft is allowed to enter.

Unfamiliar with the ways of seasonal countries, I left my heater turned up to max in those mornings which I decided to stay indoors rather than venture out to the outdoors. With the sun up in the sky, the room got warmer and rather stuffy so I switched it off and tilted the window open to let the air circulate. The air in the room was fresher and with the heater turned up only slightly, I got a warm yet freshly cooled room.

Fellow travelers from the tropics like me would be well advised to leave the heater turned half full and the window tilted open before you leave for your daily adventures. This prevents an oven of a room and freshly circulated air greeting you when you return. If the heater is not an efficient one, you may want to leave it at max but leave the windows tilted anyway.

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