Staying Comfortable and Saving Money this Winter

With the cold season ahead we are going to (re-)collect some of the important comfort problems and their money saving measures we have been talking about on a regular basis.

We are going to address topics your heating system does not solve; undesirable cold drafts, insufficient insulation and deteriorating duct work. And think of cold draft and insufficient or missing insulation allows cold air into the house, deteriorating duct work causes heating losses before the heat from the furnace is even reaching the target area, your home.

To display the most common problem we are borrowing a picture from the Energy Star website (www.energystar.com). Click image to enlarge.

Insulation:

Where does a house loos energy?Improving insulation is often easier said than done. While increasing wall and ceiling insulation is extremely effective, this measure may not be feasible at this time. Same applies for replacing older and potentially single pane windows. While there is no quick fix for bad insulation, the window problem can be approached with fresh weather strips and heavy curtains. Both together can make a big difference. But don’t forget to remove the curtains during daytime to let the warming sun in.

Undesired Draft:

A drafts of cold air for sure does not contribute to home comfort. However a few do-it-yourself measures will achieve dramatic improvement.

  • – Apply fresh window and door weather strips and caulk around the frame.
  • – Sealing wall leaks with caulk and expandable foam for bigger gaps and around electrical boxes.
  • – Wall outlets and duct cutouts can be sealed of with caulk and expandable foam.

Ductwork:

According to Energy Star about 20% of the air moved through duct work is lost and heating air does not reach the outlet.  Here some not too complicated ductwork sealing will help.  Reattaching ducts and sealing leaks with duct sealant, not duct tape, will accomplish a lot. For some great pictures about failing duct work visit the Facebook site of Benton Green Energy.

Comfort Control:

Most thermostats in older homes are insufficient to provide comfort and energy savings. The temperature difference between on and off is with 3 – 5 degree higher than modern electronic thermostats. And the older models have just one setting. The new generation of thermostats can be programmed by the hour and for the day of the week what allows for energy savings while the set temperature is not needed.

Additional ideas for do-it-yourself fixes can be viewed at the Energy Star website and on the Carolina Heating Facebook page

For more professional solutions and for a talk about your HVAC Comfort System contact our Comfort Specialist at 800-261-0359