Managing heat loss in your home is the most important thing you can do to cut heating bills. It’s a challenge because heat always moves to colder temperatures, regardless of the season. The effectiveness of your home’s insulation and the tightness of its envelope make a big difference in amount of energy your home loses from heat transfer year round.
The easiest way to learn where the weaknesses in your home are is with a professional energy audit. Auditors use a blower door to test for air infiltration and thermographic cameras to find exactly where the leaks are and insulation is lacking.
You can perform a simplified audit looking for cracks, gaps and crevices throughout your home’s envelope, focusing on the window and exterior door frames, the foundation and the attic. A close inspection of the attic will show where insulation is lacking.
Sealing Air Leaks
Materials like caulk, expanding foam and weatherstripping help you seal air leaks of various sizes. When selecting caulk, read the manufacturer’s suggestions and directions to find the best product. Expanding foam works well for larger gaps, but use caution on the type you choose, since sealing around electrical wires or vents requires fire-rated foams.
When replacing the weatherstripping around door frames, choose a material that’s similar to the original material to get the tightest door seal. Draft stoppers or door sweeps will stop incoming air at the door’s base.
The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that homes in this region have a minimum of 16 inches in the attic to slow heat loss, and recommends 20 inches for the greatest efficiency. The most common types of insulation include fiberglass batts, blown-in cellulose and loose fiberglass.
Inadequate wall insulation can drive up energy costs, and professional contractors can blow in loose cellulose or fiberglass insulation. You can also use spray foam to insulate smaller cavities in the attic or walls.
If you’d like to learn more about stopping heat loss, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve proudly provided HVAC and home 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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