Minimizing your home heating load does take some effort, but it’s well worth the time. The load refers to the amount of heating the home needs to maintain a comfortable temperature. It includes its overall energy efficiency and features that impact your comfort.
- Air leaks. Look around your home’s exterior walls for cracks around window and exterior door frames. You may also find holes and gaps around entry points for pipes and wires. All of these permit air infiltration that drives up heating costs. Seal with caulk, and in the case of door frames, weatherstripping.
- Insulation. Measure the amount of insulation in the attic by using a ruler or metal tape measure. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that you have at least 10 to 16 inches to retard heat transfer year-round.
Look over the condition of the insulation. It shouldn’t be compressed or show signs of mold or mildew. Each of these conditions reduces its effectiveness. Experienced do-it-yourselfers may be able to replace or increase the insulation, although it’s one of the most affordable improvement projects to use a contractor.
- Windows. Old and single pane windows do little to lower your home heating load. If replacing them with thermal or Energy Star windows isn’t an option, use insulating window treatments. Open the drapes or curtains on a sunny day and close them tightly at night.
- Fireplaces. Nothing is cozier than using the fireplace in the winter, but if you leave the damper open 24/7, it will pull out considerable amounts of heated air. Close it after the coals are no longer hot.
- Hard surface floors. While there is much to be said about hard-surface flooring on the first level of your home, it can make your home cooler in the winter. As the soil temperatures fall in the winter, the cold seeps through. Area rugs will keep the floors warmer.
Besides lowering your home heating load this winter, these tips will also make it easier to cool. For more information, contact CCAC, Inc., providing trusted 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). For more information about your HVAC system, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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