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About Shenandoah

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  • Location USA
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  1. Fredadi,   Yes, the landlord may not have received the final, annual costs for the apartment for 2020.     I own an apartment in Berlin and have received the "draft" 2020 costs for the house and my apartment from the property management company.  There will be an owners meeting sometime before the end of 2021 and the 2020 house costs will be finalized after that meeting.  Last year, the owners meeting was at the beginning of November for the 2019 house costs.   S.
  2. fredadi,   If the apartment was in a building with a Hausverwaltung, your landlord may not even have the final house costs for 2020 as of yet. That could be why your Kaution has not been returned/refunded.  Once the landlord has the annual costs for 2020 from the Hausverwaltung, he can determine if your Nebenkosten cover the 2020 costs for your time there.  If the costs are higher than what you paid each month, you will owe the difference.  If the costs are less, you should be refunded the difference.  The landlord can't calculate the amount he owes you until he has the 2020 annual costs.  You should get a copy of those annual costs (and should have in the past) from your landlord.    I'm sure others will post with additional information regarding this.     S.  
  3. Loud banging from heating system

    El Jeffo,   No offense taken.  I'm in the US but have a couple of rented apartments in Berlin in an "old building".  I spend a month or so in Germany every year (if I can).  I am very familiar with the house and the heating system (in Germany).  I will take another look at the boiler when I'm in Berlin next month and post.     S.
  4. Loud banging from heating system

    Folks,   Normally an auto-fill valve has a backflow preventer (to prevent supply water contamination).  It also does not allow "over pressurizing" the boiler.  The water supply pressure is higher than the boiler system pressure.   The expansion vessel/tanks (in a boiler system) prevents the boiler system from over pressurizing when the water is heated.  The expansion tank usually has a rubber diaphragm with air/nitrogen on one side and water from the boiler on the other side.    You also have a water meter located before the auto-fill valve to monitor how much water is being added to the boiler.     S.  
  5. Loud banging from heating system

    AberMiranda,   There should be an auto fill valve for the boiler/heating system that would keep the system full and under pressure during operation.     S.
  6. Loud banging from heating system

    AberMiranda,   You don't bleed the air from the heating system in the Keller, you bleed each radiator.  Since you're on the top floor, any air in the system will make it's way to your radiators.  There should be a air bleed valve on the top side, opposite the temperature/flow valve.  Usually there is a "key" used to open the valve and let the air out of the radiator. When the heating system is on, you should open the valve slightly until you hear the air escaping. Once water flows out, close the valve and you should be good to go.    You might search YouTube for "how to bleed radiators" to see what need to be done.  Keep in mind, you may have to do this on a regular basis since you are at the top of the system.    S. 
  7. @rodisi,   I mentioned in my post above that I went to the CovidZentrum and did the free Buergertest/Schnelltest.  I am a US citizen that was visiting a family friend.  It was still free.  I used my US passport as identification as they put that information in the test results you get.  That way at the airport they can match the passport number to the test results.     S.
  8. Travel to the US and back.

    Metall,   I'm from the US and visit Berlin a couple times of year (if I can).   I flew to Berlin from Washington Dulles on July 26th.  For my flight to Berlin I needed either 1) a negative PCR test within 72 hours of my ARRIVAL in Berlin or 2) proof of vaccination.     For my return flight to the US, I did a Schnelltest at the CovidZentrum the day before my flight.  I printed the results at the local copy center.   In the US you can get a free PCR test at CVS and Walgreen's.    S.     S.  
  9. Travel to the US and back.

    Folks,   I just included this information on another post about covid tests.  I'm in the US and was in Berlin a couple weeks ago.  I needed a negative covid test for my flight back to the US.  I signed up for the free Buergertest (Schnelltest) at:  I signed up online and put the address of where I was staying in Berlin.  I also put my US passport number in for identification.  At the test center, they checked my passport, did the test and 15 minutes later received an email with the results.  I went to a copy center and printed the documents for my return flight to the US.     They also have two different PCR tests for 49,90 and 69,90.  I only needed a Schnelltest for the return flight to the US.  It was free.  I am not a German citizen nor do I have residency permit.  I was visiting same as a tourist.     S.
  10. Folks,   I'm in the US and flew to Berlin a couple weeks ago.  Here's where I booked my Schnelltest in Berlin for my return flight to the US:   I signed up for the free Buergertest, which was all I needed for flying back to the US.  They emailed my results in about 15 minutes and I stopped by a copy center and printed the documents.  They also have PCR tests which are 49,90 and 69,90 Euro.     S.
  11. Best way to heat apartment with electricity?

    If you do an online search on heat BTU comparison, you should find a calculator that shows the costs of different fuels for heat.  Coal is one of the cheaper ones.  It also shows  the amount of BTUs in a given unit (gallon/pounds/tons/therms/kw).  I'm not in Germany, but I know electricity is about 3 times higher there than in the US.     As MikeMelga mentions, electric heat is 100% efficient.  Other sources are less efficient as you lose heat from combustion, flue/exhaust gases, etc.     S.
  12. Travel to the US and back.

    Folks,   I'm from the US and flew to Berlin on July 26 on Iceland Air.  I checked in online, but was not issued boarding passes.  At Washington Dulles they required proof of vaccination (CDC card) or a negative Covid test.  I had two negative PCR tests that were done on July 23 and July 24.  IMPORTANT:  The negative test must be done within three days of your scheduled arrival date, NOT the departure date.  In my case I was leaving in the evening of July 26 and arriving in Berlin on July 27.  The July 23 PCR test was not accepted, however the July 24 test was.      I flew back to the US on August 3.  I signed up for a Schnelltest at one of the sites in Berlin.  It was free and I had the results in about 20 minutes.  There were several testing centers all over Berlin, but I went with the site just to be safe.  I printed the paperwork (3 pages) at the local copy center and brought that with me when I checked in at BER.  Customs in the US did not check my Covid paperwork.     S.
  13. Using a German cell phone within the U.S.

    DoubleDTown,   Thanks for posting your results, it's always good information when you find out how things worked.  I was just in Berlin this past week (first time since March 2020).  I activated an AldiTalk sim card and used that for calls and data.  Great price.     S.
  14. Travel to the US and back.

    MollyWolly,   We're in Virginia but I don't think that matters as CVS and Walgreen's are nationwide.  My wife and daughter got free PCR tests just last month (June) when they traveled internationally.  I'm not sure when they started offering free PCR and rapid antigen tests.     S.
  15. Travel to the US and back.

    You can get a free Covid test (PCR or fast/schnelltest) at Walgreen's and CVS in the US.  You'll have to sign up through their website in order to make an appointment.  My wife and daughter recently traveled internationally (we're in the US) and needed a PCR test.  They signed up through the Walgreen's website, scheduled an appointment and had the PCR results the next day.  The results are emailed and available online under your account.  No health insurance is required.   S.