Heat loss makes your HVAC system work harder than it should to generate the desired level of comfort. By evaluating your home for heat loss and fixing any leaks, you’ll improve your comfort and save your system from unnecessary wear. Here are the areas you should pay special attention to.
Hot air rises, which makes your attic a prime escape route for heated air. You need to ensure your attic is properly insulated. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t be able to see the floor joists below the insulation. If you see that your attic needs more insulation, you can use the same material to top up, or use a different type such as loose-fill insulation.
If the insulation is wet or moldy, you’ll need to replace it. Survey the attic for gaps and holes that allow air leaks. Seal them with spray foam, batts and loose-fill materials.
Poorly-insulated windows can be a significant source of heat loss. Consider installing double-glazed windows. If new, energy-efficient windows are a costly option, you can install inexpensive plastic sheets over your windows. Check window frames for gaps and cracks. Adding caulking or weatherstripping will seal these leaks.
Your home can lose heat through drafty doors and entrances. Check for damaged weatherstripping and gaps between exterior door frames and siding. Place caulking and weatherstripping over gaps and open spaces.
Poorly-fitting or missing dampers allow free movement of air up and down your chimney. To test for air leaks, close the flue and light a piece of paper. Watch how the smoke moves. If it moves up the flue, there’s a leak. Seal fireplace dampers with weatherstripping between uses. Also, keep the damper and glass doors closed when not in use.
Cold air can seep through electrical outlets. Minimize this by installing foam gaskets.
Fixing heat loss in your home may require you to part with some money, but you’ll see the reward of the investment when you get your energy bill. For more information, contact Stack Heating & Cooling. We serve the Northeast Ohio area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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