If you’re intrepid enough to explore the nooks and crannies of your basement and attic, you can uncover many energy-efficiency trouble spots and fix them up yourself. Here are the top spots to check out.
- Insulation: In an unfinished basement, it’s easy to see if the walls and rim joist (upper perimeter of the walls) have insulation. Rigid foam or spray foam are the best types of insulation for basement applications. If you find that insulation is lacking, hire a professional to install more.
- Exposed dirt: Bare dirt introduces large quantities of moisture to your home, which damages indoor air quality, promotes microbial growth and introduces a musty smell. Lay down a durable vapor barrier to block off exposed dirt.
- Heating equipment: One of the most common energy-efficiency trouble spots is the heating equipment. If your furnace or boiler is more than 15-20 years old, it’s time to consider a replacement for improved comfort and efficiency.
- Ductwork: Wherever it’s installed in your home, make sure ductwork is sealed and insulated to prevent air leaks and heat loss or gain through conduction.
- Water heater: Note the water heater’s age, looking for leaks or drips if it’s more than 10-15 years old. Turn down the temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees F to save energy and prevent scalding without risking microbial growth in the tank.
- Insulation: The entire attic floor should be covered in at least 11 inches of fiberglass or cellulose insulation to achieve an insulation rating of R-38. Even the hatch should have six to eight inches of rigid foam insulation.
- Air leaks: Attic floor penetrations have the potential to leak. Seal these with expanding spray foam. (Windows and doors are culprits as well. Seal leaks in these areas with weatherstripping and caulk.)
- Moisture: This can be a serious problem in Portland area homes because of our high rate of rainfall. Attic moisture leads to mold growth, leading to degraded insulation, moldy rafters and other problems.
To learn more about tackling these energy-efficiency trouble spots, please contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling. We provide superior HVAC service to Portland area residents.