Energy costs continue to rise, and there’s nothing on the horizon to suggest that they’ll go down in the future. Having an energy-efficient home is more important than ever for trimming ongoing utility costs, especially those associated with cooling and heating your home. Improving its energy efficiency involves addressing the four major components that work together to resist thermal change indoors. They are:
- Insulation. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends from 13 to 16 inches of insulation in the attic to help your home resist temperature changes. Fiberglass batts or loose-fill fiberglass or cellulose will help your home stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. If you add more yourself, be sure you don’t cover the air vents in the attic that provide necessary ventilation.
- Air infiltration. Air entering or leaving your home will undermine its energy efficiency. Look for leaks around window and door frames, in the attic, around the foundation of your home, and the dryer vent and vent stacks leaving your home. Most leaks can be sealed with weatherstripping, caulk or expanding foam, depending on the situation.
- Windows. Windows can be a major source of energy loss because glass is a poor insulator. Thermal windows contain a gas between the panes that stops thermal transfer, but if those aren’t in your budget, heavy drapes will cut the heat gain and loss through the windows. Solar window film also slows thermal transfer both summer and winter and you won’t block the view.
- Ductwork. Tightly sealed ductwork is a must for an energy-efficient home. When they leak, you not only have higher conditioning bills, but your indoor air quality will be compromised. Leaky ducts may pull contaminants from the areas they run through, and if you have a gas water heater or furnace, the leaks can pull carbon monoxide into your home’s air. It’s important to have your ducts checked periodically by a pro, especially if yours are hard to access.
To learn more about creating an energy-efficient home, please contact us at Stack Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided outstanding HVAC services for homeowners in the Greater Cleveland area since 1976.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy efficiency and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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