Some energy experts speculate that up to half the energy consumed by the average American household either leaks away or doesn’t even make it into all of the rooms. This means that you have to pay for heat you don’t even get to use. To soften the blow to your bottom line, this article shows you how your home loses heat and what you can do about it.
In the largest percentages, these are the five main pathways by which heat escapes your home and costs you more money:
1. Inefficiently sealed windows and doors. Improperly sealed windows and doors can mean a larger heating bill for you, especially if you have large or many windows. To deal with the problem, you have two options. You can call a window installer to check for cracks or possible leakages–but this only takes care of the windows, of course. Your best bet is to call a heating and cooling specialist who is well versed in making homes energy efficient.
2. Holes in the exterior walls. These holes include the almost imperceptible gaps where windows, doors, or walls, are not joined together perfectly. Heat seeps out from these holes in small leaks that add up over time.
3. Leaky ducts. Unfortunately, heating system ducts are not like water pipes: they aren’t always sealed “watertight.” Although heat leaks don’t cause the same problems that water leaks do, leaking air still means that instead of keeping your bedroom nice and warm, that air is escaping into the walls instead. A heating repair technician can fix those leaky ducts and get that air going to where it belongs.
4. Wrong-sized heating systems. It stands to reason that different sized furnaces are designed to produce different quantities of heat. One of the most common problems homeowners experience is having a furnace that is too big for their home. For example, if you have a home that is 1,500 square feet but your furnace is designed for a home that is 3,000 square feet, that furnace is producing heat you won’t use. The kicker? You’re paying for it anyway. Have your furnace correctly sized by a professional. Chances are, you’re overpaying when you don’t need to.
5. Poorly insulated attics. Just like the human body, a house’s heat escapes from the top. To trap the heat inside where it will be of most use to you, make sure your attic is properly insulated. Doing so is also the most cost-effective way to deal with heating issues.
If you’re still concerned about your home’s heat loss, have a specialist perform a home energy audit. This way you can get the best information and tools to heat your home efficiently and affordably.