You can view heat loss as money flowing out of your home because in many ways, that’s exactly what it is. Every fall and winter, many Portland homeowners experience high energy bills, many of which could be lowered by better winterization of the home. Here are steps you can take to keep your home warmer and your bills lower.
Keep the Heat in Through Insulation
Poorly insulated homes lose heat in winter via conduction through the walls, ceiling, floors, and attic. This occurs because heat travels towards cooler temperatures, which means warmed indoor air will seek the colder outdoor air. Without good insulation, this process is unimpeded.
Insulate these areas to prevent this type of heat loss:
- Attic – Attic insulation is the most important because so much heat can be lost in winter through this area. Make sure you also insulate the attic access hatch.
- Exterior Walls – Additional insulation can be professionally blown into exterior walls if this is needed.
- Floors – Floors over unconditioned areas, such as those over garages, should be insulated.
- Ductwork – Ducts that are in unconditioned crawl spaces or attics should be insulated to prevent heat loss from the ducts to the cooler surrounding air.
Prevent Warm Air from Escaping Through Leaks
Your home’s heated air can exit through any openings leading to the outside. Prevent this by doing the following:
Look for air leaks by conducting a visual inspection for leaks around pipes or ductwork entering the home, around window and door frames, flues, and fireplace dampers. You can also check for leaks that aren’t so visible, such as drafts beneath baseboards, by holding a stick of lit incense close to the area, and by having your HVAC contractor conduct a test for air leaks, called a blower door test.
- Keep fireplace dampers closed when you aren’t using the fireplace.
- Winterize windows, doors and flues with weatherstripping, caulk or foam sealant.
- Seal around skylights and other openings in the roof, exterior walls or floors.
For more information about protecting your home from heat loss, please contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling.