Evaluate Your Home for Heat Loss Before it Costs You this Winter

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November 26, 2015

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Evaluate Your Home for Heat Loss Before it Costs You this WinterYour home’s heat can escape through gaps and even the smallest cracks, but heat loss doesn’t stop there. Heat travels toward cooler areas, and if its path isn’t properly blocked by insulating materials, it will be conducted and transmitted out of the home through exterior walls and window glass. By discovering heat’s escape routes and eliminating or reducing them, your home will feel more comfortable, your heating system won’t have to work as hard and you will save money.

Where to Look for Air Leaks

Common places for air leaks include the attic, windows, doors, baseboards, plumbing, electrical wiring and outlets. The best way to discover all leaks is to have a contractor conduct a blower door test. Until that happens, look for leaks by visually identifying obvious gaps around windows and doors and in external walls and the foundation.

What to do:

  • Weatherize windows with caulk and weatherstripping and add insulating drapes and storm windows.
  • Seal leaks around doors using weatherstripping and install a door sweep at the bottom.
  • Add foam gaskets to electrical outlets.
  • Use expanding foam to seal gaps around pipes and ducts entering the home.

Preventing Heat Loss with Insulation

Remedying poor insulation is just as important as fixing air leaks to combat heat loss. Check the attic first because this is where adding insulation can make the biggest difference. Attic insulation needs to be a higher R-value than insulation in other areas of the home. The R-value is simply an indicator of insulation’s ability to block heat flow. Regions with cold winters, like Indiana, need at least R-38 in the attic.

What to do:

  • Have a contractor check the insulation in the attic and exterior walls to determine if more insulation should be installed and where.
  • One of the fastest ways to determine areas of heat loss due to poor insulation or air leaks is to have your contractor perform a thermographic inspection using a special device created for this purpose.

For more information about reducing heat loss in your Fort Wayne home, please contact us at Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “FuzzBones/Shutterstock”

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