Take Charge of Heat Loss in Your Home
Heat loss makes your heating system work harder than it should to keep you warm on those cold winter nights. This means you’ll pay more than necessary in energy costs. Finding and fixing air leaks, improving insulation and taking other energy-saving steps in your home can cut those energy bills back down to size, and you don’t have to be the handiest homeowner to do it.
Following are a few quick and simple household improvements that can help reduce heat loss (and the bonus is that most of these steps also will improve cooling efficiency in the summer):
- Change those air filters – A dirty air filter will slow airflow through your heating system. Changing your filter regularly – every 30 to 60 days for most systems – keeps heat moving from furnace to living space quickly, reducing heat loss along the way.
- Keep vents clean – Dust and debris often collect in heating vents. Check them regularly and vacuum as necessary to ensure proper airflow.
- Wrap that storage tank water heater – Water heater insulating blankets greatly reduce heat loss, cutting energy use by up to 10 percent. If you have a newer water heater, it likely came with insulation preinstalled.
- Insulate exposed hot water pipes – Heat loss is a common problem with hot water pipes, too, especially if your water heater and its adjoining plumbing are installed in a chilly basement. Insulating them can keep your water warmer and save you on those winter energy bills.
- Look over your home’s exterior – Check your siding and foundation for cracks or holes that need sealing, paying particular attention to areas around outlets and pipes and spots where building materials connect. Caulk or spray foam will seal these gaps.
- Check your shingles – Damaged or missing shingles can allow heat to escape your home, not to mention creating potential water leaks.
- Check windows and doors – The most likely place to find air leaks is at the joints of windows and doors, where daily use has weakened seals. Test for air leaks by holding a lit stick of incense near those seals – an air leak will make the smoke dance, especially on a windy day. Use weatherstripping to seal these leaks.
For more tips on preventing heat loss, please contact Sobieski Services, Inc. Our goal is to help educate our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC & plumbing systems).
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