The average American household expends far more energy on heat and air conditioning than any other home system. It’s an unfortunate fact of life, but it beats sweating bullets all summer long and freezing in the winter. There are a number of steps that homeowners can take to lower their bills while keeping their homes comfortable all year round, but one tactic in particular will make the biggest impact for most homes: upgrading the insulation. Read on to learn why.
Don’t Let Your Heat and Air Conditioning Go to Waste
It should go without saying, but it’s wasteful to spend money on heat and air conditioning, only for that treated air to escape from your home and into the great outdoors. That’s where insulation comes into play, as it will help keep the hot and cold air in your home where it belongs.
There are two primary avenues through which treated air gets wasted -- leaks and holes in your home, and conduction through the actual walls and roof. Insulation can help with both problems, and can actually be a very affordable solution depending on the extent of your heat loss.
Hunt Down Leaks and Shore Up Your Attic
To find leaks in your home, you can purchase a draft detector from your local hardware store, which emits a thin plume of smoke that can help indicate where air is getting in or out. Pay particular attention to areas around doors and windows, and anywhere you have outlets or holes for pipes or vents. For small leaks, inexpensive insulation like caulk or spray foam can put a stop to the waste.
For some homes, particularly those that are more than a few decades old, you may need more extensive intervention to get the most for your heat and air conditioning dollar. Since heat rises, you can make a big difference by overhauling or adding to the insulation in your attic to prevent hot air from escaping through the roof. Conversely, don’t forget to make sure the insulation in the basement is also up to par, to prevent drawing cold air into your home that you then have to pay to heat.
Get the Most from Your Heat and Air Conditioning
Most modern homes are built with a more secure envelope, so you have fewer worries about losing treated air, but it’s always worthwhile to double check for leaks and make sure that you have adequate insulation, especially in the attic.
For a thorough checkup on your heat and air conditioning efficiency, or for advice on how to strategically improve your insulation, call a qualified HVAC technician today.