Whenever you picture your home, the images that you conjure up are of a warm, cozy place with your near and dear ones. Hopefully. However, keeping the house warm is not an easy task. If you have just moved into a new, spacious residence after living in an apartment or a much smaller house, you may be taken aback at the cost of heating your new abode. The increase in your electricity bill may be due to living in a larger space, which will naturally cost you more to keep warm. But, do take a close look at that bill to determine if the increase is simply due to a larger house or if your house is losing heat in some way leading to a wastage of money and energy.
The ceiling, floors, windows, attic, and basement are all vulnerable spots when it comes to a house losing heat.
1.Saving Money and Energy
Insulating the house is a prudent way of ensuring that there is no loss of heat. City regulations mandate an inspection before you can be given a permit. There are also specifications about the kind of insulation you can put in and where the insulation can be installed.
The ceiling, floors, windows, attic, and basement are all vulnerable spots when it comes to a house losing heat. Each of these must be thoroughly and minutely inspected to figure out where the heat loss is taking place. It is most likely to be a combination of two or more spots rather than only one location.
2.Locate the Vulnerable Spots
Take a slow walk around the inside and outside of your house, pausing at doors, windows and other such openings and spot the places where you feel the hot air is escaping and cool air is finding an inlet. Look at the ducts of your HVAC system closely which are often found to be culprits if they are leaking. Holes in the exterior walls are yet another thing to look out for. An attic that has not been adequately insulated can let heat escape outside. One lesser known reason is the size of the heating system in your home. If the heating system is either too large or small, it will not function as efficiently as it should.
3.Stopping Heat Loss
Once you’ve pinpointed how your house is losing heat, all you have to do is stop it from happening. There are many ways of doing it depending on what the problem areas are. If holes or gaps in the walls are responsible, then you can close them up with caulking or weather stripping especially around the windows. For gaps under the door, you can put in door sweeps. Directions on installing these are given on the product or you can ask the staff at your local hardware store for some tips.
4.The System should Match Your Home
If poor insulation is the culprit, then you must put in new insulation or update your existing one. Incorrect installation of insulation can also result in heat loss, so it might be better to seek professional help in this. If you do not have energy-efficient glass in your windows, this might be a good time to have them put in. Though the initial cost may seem steep, it will be profitable in the long run especially if you are losing money on high heating bills in their absence. If you have a furnace which is a mismatch to the size of your home, you should replace it. For instance, if your home is 2,000 square feet and your heating system is designed for a 3,000 square foot home then it is producing significantly more heat than you need. The heat that is not utilized in your home is being wasted and you end up paying for it anyway.
If you want to find out exactly how much heat your house is losing, you can hire the services of a home energy auditor. They will also provide you with a list of fixes that you can opt for depending on your budget and requirements. A cheaper alternative is to do an audit on your own home with the help of guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Energy.