A drafty, poorly insulated home is costly, especially during the winter when you rely on your heating system to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. As the cold air creeps into your living quarters, your furnace is forced to work more than necessary, which leads to high energy bills.
Why heat loss occurs in a home
Northern California’s HVAC experts and insulation expert Sharpline Mechanical says heat is lost from homes through gaps around the windows and doors, crevices in the wall, and poorly insulated roof and attic. However, there are ways to reduce heat loss and increase the energy efficiency of your house.
Heat loss occurs in homes through three processes, namely, conduction, convection, and radiation.
Conduction. It’s the movement of heat through a medium or passage; this is why heat escapes from drafty windows and doors and poorly insulated walls, floor, and attic.
Convection. In simple terms, this process occurs when the heat is transferred by the movement of heated air (or water).
Radiation. It is a type of heat loss through infrared rays, meaning heat is transferred from one object to another without any physical contact.
Now that you know why heat loss occurs in homes, the next step is to learn the areas where this problem occurs.
Roof and attic. This area is where most heat loss occurs since hot air tends to rise, whereas cold air, which is a bit “heavier,” settles to the bottom. Fortunately, you can insulate this through a DIY task involving the use of fiberglass batt (blanket form) that comes in small and pre-cut sections that you can install by yourself.
Walls. Homes and establishments built after the 1930s have cavities where insulation materials could be easily installed without the need to tear down the wall. Instead, technicians simply drill a few holes where they can put a nozzle and inject blown-in cellulose or spray foam into the cavity.
Blown-in and spray foam methods are best reserved for pros because they involve the use of a special machine.
Basement and subfloor walls. While around 21% of heat loss occurs in this area, it is not uncommon for homeowners to skimp on insulating it. To address this problem, the wall needs to be adequately insulated or at least covered with cement. When finishing a basement, you can choose from a multitude of insulating materials, namely, fiber, foam board foils, concrete blocks, blanket batts and rolls, foils insulation, etc.
Walls. Cracks and crevices in the wall are the areas where most heat loss occurs, plus they allow pests to enter your home and wreak havoc on your property. To fill in tiny holes and hairline cracks, use a wall filler and repaint it. (FYI, if the cracks appear gaping with extending veins, it could be a sign of structural damage.)
Drafty windows and doors. Hairline cracks are quite common around windows and doors, which you can also correct with a sealant. While they are not a cause for concern when it comes to the structural integrity of your home, they force your heating system to work more than necessary. Aside from sealing their cracks, you can also install foam or rubber around their frame and attach a door snake to the bottom of the door to further improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Conclusion on Heat Loss
Insulating your property is one of the best investments you can make because it significantly slashes your energy cost, prevents excess humidity and mold and mildew growth, promotes a comfortable living environment, and even improves your indoor air quality.
If you want to improve your home’s energy efficiency or replace damaged insulation, contact Sharpline Mechanical now. We use insulation materials with a high R-Value rating, which can significantly reduce heat transfer, allowing you to save money on electricity bills.
Aside from insulation, Sharpline Mechanical provides complete HVAC service, including installation, repair, replacement, and annual maintenance in Northern California to ensure that your home or business establishment is comfortable and energy-efficient all year round.