As we move from fall to winter, your furnace usage is going into overdrive. When the temperatures dip, it’s nice having a heating system kick in and ensure every room in your home stays warm.
But how well does it work? Is your heating system operating as efficiently as possible?
Depending on how old your home is, the answer is probably no. From the moment your home was built, everything inside starts aging. The foundation settles. The furnace is subjected to wear and tear. New products come on the marketplace that are even better than before.
And as all of that happens, your heating bills continue to rise.
Homes lose heat in a variety of ways.
- Cracks in walls, windows, and doors
- Basement walls
- Basement floor
- Framing walls
Of course, this isn’t true for all homes. Not all homes lose energy efficiency in the same manner. But if you haven't had an energy audit performed on your home, you may be missing easy fixes that can have a big impact on how much you pay for utilities each month.
The biggest culprit is drafts that form in your walls, windows, and doors. These tiny cracks aren’t noticeable to the naked eye; you don’t see air transfer moving from inside to out. As your house settles, it can cause tiny differences in the way your home’s doors and windows form to the surroundings. Even tiny gaps can let in an unbelievable amount of cold air.
Air looks for ways to move throughout your home. If it finds space through the ceilings, walls, windows, doors, or down through the basement walls or floors, it will do so. That means it’s your job to stay on top of leaks as they form, and seal them up as quickly as possible to reduce the impact on your heating costs.
The US Department of Energy recommends sealing cracks with caulk or foam, using weatherstripping around movable parts such as windows and doors. It also recommends upgrading insulation as appropriate.
When was the last time you performed an energy audit on your home? If you want to make your home warmer, a more efficient place to live, it’s the best place to start.