Greatest Sources of Heat Loss in Winter
When the fall days and nights get chillier, and with winter right around the corner, now is the time when many homeowners check to make sure they’ve done everything to ensure their homes are safeguarded against heat loss and that they will keep everyone warm and cozy—as well as energy efficient.
The truth is, even if you have the best insulation already in place, there are several areas of the house that are notorious for heat loss or letting warm air escape.
Some homeowners ignore their unfinished basement, writing it off as the coldest room in the house. But do you realize how much heat you’ll lose if there’s no insulation? If you have a concrete floor—concrete is known as a bad insulator—with cinder block walls, that’s the R-value equivalent of particle board! While it’s not energy efficient to insulate the ceiling of the basement, it is a good idea to insulate the walls. An important note: Just because you don’t feel the cold, doesn’t mean you’re not losing money by having your heat source running more often than it should.
There is the old saying that “heat rises.” However, this principle doesn’t work when it comes to crawlspaces. And here’s why: Heat always moves from warm to cold. The greater the difference in temperature, the faster the heat will move. So, for instance, if your crawlspace is thirty degrees colder than the main living areas of your house, the warm air will move faster out of your living areas. In homes without basements, if the floors are cold, that’s a sure sign that you need more—or better—insulation.
We’ve mentioned it before—there’s an approximate 10% loss of heat through windows. With doors, it can be as much as 11% heat loss. For those DIY-ers out there, gaps around windows can often be taken care of with a few good supplies at home improvement stores. Caulking and weather stripping products are quick fixes. Weather stripping materials come in rubber, vinyl, foam tape, and even metal. These products are sold by the foot or in kits.
Air-Conditioning Window Units and Other Areas
Fall is the time of year to remove air-conditioning units from windows. If you can’t remove them, it’s best to seal around them with caulk or get a window insulation blanket to be more effective.
Other culprits for heat loss include laundry ducts, vents and plumbing pipes—not always the first things homeowners think of when air is escaping from their home. Spray foam insulation, which we recommend, is excellent for getting around these tricky, hard to reach areas and expanding to close every gap.
This fall, be sure to prepare your home for the colder months ahead. If you have questions about how to insulate your home properly, keep checking our blog for more tips. When you’re ready to have insulation installed, contact the professionals at Superior BES Company for a consultation today.