When the colder weather arrives, our heating bills can hit the roof if we are not careful. Did you know that there are some prevalent mistakes that homeowners make that can have a considerable impact on the amount of heat they retain inside their home? In this blog post, you will explore the common mistakes homeowners make that can actually make heat escape from their homes. With these tips, you can ensure that your home heating system functions optimally, and you save those extra dollars on your energy bills.
Energy efficiency is a crucial aspect that resonates with almost everyone. Firstly, it plays a significant role in cost-saving and by enhancing the energy efficiency of our homes, we can significantly decrease our utility bills. Energy efficiency is also paramount to environmental sustainability. Lower energy consumption equates to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, thus helping in the fight against climate change.
Here are some of the common mistakes that homeowners make that reduce the efficiency of their home heating measures.
Leaving Windows Unsealed
Unsealed windows can cause tremendous heat loss. As heat rises, it passes over and through window seals, leaving you with a cold draft. Sealing windows is an easy fix that requires minimal effort. Get caulking and seal all gaps between the window frame and walls, and use weather-stripping tape to cover the gaps and stop drafts.
Window seals can become worn due to a variety of factors, primarily associated with the natural aging process and weather exposure. Over time, the materials used in the seals, whether it’s silicone, rubber, or vinyl, begin to degrade, often becoming brittle and less effective at retaining heat. Exposure to harsh weather conditions, such as extreme temperatures, strong winds, and UV radiation can accelerate this process. Also, regular opening and closing of windows can put strain on the seals and contribute to their wear and tear. It’s vital to regularly inspect and maintain these seals to ensure optimal home insulation.
Not Properly Maintaining Your Home Heating System
Your home heating system can run efficiently only if it is properly maintained. Be sure to clean the furnace or boiler filters, check the thermostats, and replace all the broken parts. A dirty or damaged heating system struggles to heat your home effectively, leading to a rise in energy bills.
Getting your furnace inspected professionally is an integral part of maintaining your home heating system. A professional inspection can help identify any potential issues or malfunctions in your furnace before they escalate into more severe problems, thereby preventing inconvenient breakdowns during the cold weather. Not only does an efficient furnace and using furnace repair services keep your home comfortably warm, but it also reduces unnecessary energy consumption, leading to lower energy bills. Moreover, regular furnace inspections can enhance the lifespan of your heating system, providing long term savings by delaying the need for costly replacements. In essence, regular furnace inspections are a small investment for a significant return: a warm, comfortable home with minimized energy costs.
Leaving Doors Unsealed
If there are gaps under doors, hot air can leave the room, and cold air can make its way in. An easy fix for this is to use draft stoppers that can be placed at the bottom of doors or to seal the gaps with weatherstripping. Homeowners can also use door sweeps that run along the bottom of the door to keep the drafts in check.
If your doors are old and you find that sealing the gaps isn’t enough, it may be time to consider replacing them with more energy-efficient options. Modern doors are designed with insulation and energy conservation in mind. For instance, fiberglass doors, though slightly more expensive, provide excellent insulation and are highly durable. They are resistant to warping and cracking, making them a long-lasting investment. Composite doors, made from a combination of materials such as PVC, wood, insulating foam, and GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic), are another great option. They offer superior thermal performance, durability, and security. Steel entry doors also have insulating foam and are a more affordable option, without compromising thermal performance.
When choosing a new door, look for features such as multiple layers, thermal breaks, and energy-efficient glass panels. Always check the door’s energy performance rating to ensure you’re making an energy-smart choice. Upgrading your doors can significantly reduce heat loss, increase comfort, and lower your energy bills.
If you don’t have adequate insulation in your home, expect to see a significant increase in heating bill expenses. The best way to fix this mistake is by upgrading your insulation. Proper insulation ensures that warm air stays in and cold air stays out. Insulation is relatively cheap and can easily be installed by homeowners or an expert in the field.
Identifying the best insulation measures primarily depends on the climate, type of heating and cooling system you have, and the part of the house you wish to insulate. Blanket Insulation (Batts and Rolls) is the most common type of insulation, made from materials like fiberglass, plastic fibers, or natural fibers. Spray Foam Insulation is sprayed into place and then expands to fit the space. Spray foam offers high thermal resistance and is great for hard-to-reach areas, like around ductwork or wiring. Rigid Foam Insulation is made of polystyrene, polyurethane, or polyisocyanurate, rigid foam insulation provides a high insulating value for relatively little thickness. It can be installed on interior or exterior walls. Blown-In Insulation is made from cellulose, fiberglass, or mineral wool, and is blown into cavities or attics using special equipment. It’s an excellent option for adding insulation to existing finished areas and around obstructions.
These are just a few of the most common mistakes that homeowners make. By learning from these mistakes and applying the tips discussed above, you can reduce your energy costs, maintain your home heating system properly, and keep your home warm. It’s high time to start taking energy bills seriously by monitoring your energy usage and protecting your home against losing valuable heat.