Choosing an efficient furnace makes a lot of sense in our climate where winters are usually long and cold. You’ll reap even more benefits from the furnace when you improve your home’s energy efficiency. It can even make a difference on the cost of your new system. A home that’s well insulated and tightly sealed requires less heating so you might get by with a smaller system.
The federal recommendation for insulation in the attic is between 16 and 20 inches for our region. Insulation is relatively inexpensive, highly durable, and effective immediately against thermal transfer between inside and outside. The most common type used in attics is fiberglass batt or blown-in insulation. Each of these has an R-value of approximately 3 per inch of insulation. The R-value stands for “resistance,” which is what insulation does. The 3 indicates that each inch can resist temperature change for 3 hours.
If your attic doesn’t have enough space for that much insulation, you can use rigid foam board that has a higher per inch R-value, or opt for sprayed foam insulation. The R-value of these products is significantly higher than cellulose and foam insulation.
Air leaks can be a significant source of energy inefficiency, nullifying the promise of lower heating bills that an efficient furnace brings. Air leaks around window frames can be sealed with caulk from the outside. Fresh weatherstripping will stop leaks around door frames, as will a door sweep or draft blocker placed at the base of a door. Weatherstripping should also be applied to movable parts of windows.
Other leaks in your home’s exterior envelope occur in the foundation, the attic, and anywhere that pipes, cables or wires enter your home. The larger holes can be plugged with expanding foam that’s easy to trim once it’s dried. If you’re sealing around chimneys or flues, start with metal flashing and seal with silicone caulk for the greatest fire safety.
To learn more about getting the best from an efficient furnace, contact the pros at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve provided top-notch HVAC services for Greater Indianapolis homeowners for more than 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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