The cold is coming and with it your thermostat temperature will rise to keep you warm and comfortable. Propane costs are lower right now as is heating oil. Electric furnaces generally cost more to heat a home than natural gas or propane. And if your home is not properly insulated or sealed, you’ll lose money in energy costs no matter what type of equipment you are using to heat your home.
Did you know that 30-50% of the heat loss in a home is due to air leakage and improper seals in your home? Using a Blower Door testing, it can be determined the amount of heat loss (or cooling) and report of where a home may have specific leaks and poor air seals. How well your windows, doors, etc. are sealed can be detected using a system that was first developed in the 1970’s. The Blower Door system uses a variable speed fan that is mounted in a panel that is set up in a doorway. The fan moves air inside the home and the pressure is measured by gauges inside and outside the home. Creating exaggerated air leaks with the Blower Door Test, can them be seen by either smoke puffers or infrared cameras. Once the leaks are discovered, they can be properly corrected to increase the efficiency of the seals and reducing energy wasting heat loss.
Insulation and Snow on your roof
A good indicator of effective attic insulation is to step outside after a light snow. Look to your roof before the sun has had a chance to melt it or the wind has blown it around. What do you see? If you see the snow covering your roof, you will also see that the snow has not been affected by the heat of the house and proof that the attic is reasonably airtight and your attic insulation is efficient.
If you observe that the snow on your roof is gone and the snow on your next door neighbor’s roof is intact, your heating bills are being used to melt the snow of your roof. Your attic insulation is not effective and you are in need of insulation to properly insulate your home and reduce energy costs for the rest of the winter. You may even notice that some parts of your roof are still covered with snow whereas other sections are not. This could also indicate a proper amount of air ducts in in a home versus a part of your home that is in dire need of more ventilation. Remember, a properly ventilated attic cools your in the summer and heats in the winter.
Ice dams- pretty to look at bad for your house
How do ice dams form and why are they bad? When your attic is not properly insulated, the snow melts (no snow on the roof) and as the warmer water runs down the roof line, it will hit the colder area of the edge of your roof where it will freeze and back up under the shingles or roof tiles. This can cause water to accumulate in your attic or run down the interior walls of your home and cause a lot of damage.
Making sure your house is properly sealed and your attic well insulated is like going outside with a coat when it’s 19 degrees. A goose down or thermal insulating coat protects your body from the cold by keeping the heat of your body inside the coat!