Thwarting heat loss in your home may require a small investment in time and money, but it’s one worth making. Heat is constantly moving to cooler temperatures and this natural force makes your heating and cooling system work harder year-round. By sealing the air leaks, dealing with the windows and addressing the insulation, you reduce the movement of heat.
The most effective way to find the weaknesses in your home for heat gain and loss is by having a professional energy audit. Between the blower door test and the thermographic measurements that licensed HVAC professionals use, you’ll know exactly where your home needs air sealing and more insulation.
Without an audit, you can still examine your home for cracks, crevices and gaps around the exterior walls, the foundation and the attic. Your home should have at least 10 inches of insulation in the attic, and the U.S. Department of Energy recommends 20 inches for the best thermal protection.
Home improvement centers offer a variety of caulk and expanding foam to seal leaks around window frames and pipes, wires and cables that enter or leave your home. When choosing weatherstripping, match the new product with the existing weatherstripping to make sure that doors and windows close tightly to prevent heat loss. If you’re sealing around vents for the water heater, furnace or chimney, use metal flashing, fire-rated foams or silicone caulk.
Unless your existing insulation has deteriorated due to water damage or mold, you may be able to add a layer of the same insulation over the top of it. If you’re adding batts, lay them perpendicular to the existing layer. Sometimes loose-fill insulation shifts over time, and you can even it out by using a rake before adding new blown-in fiberglass or cellulose. Whether you do the job yourself or hire a contractor, increasing the depth and quality of insulation improves energy efficiency immediately.
To learn more about preventing heat loss, contact CCAC, providing outstanding HVAC services for Coastal Bend homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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