Because Texas winters are milder than much of the rest of the country, heating needs are comparatively less. Nevertheless, you may still be experiencing heat loss in your League City home. Heat can escape because of uninsulated attics and faulty windows and rob you of indoor comfort.
Uninsulated Attic Spaces
In many cases, the attic is a major culprit when it comes to home heat loss. Many attics aren’t insulated as well as the rest of the house. The area around drop-down stairs to the attic may not be well-sealed, which creates further opportunities for heat loss. Roof damage and poor attic window insulation are other ways the attic loses heat. The condition of your attic has a lot to do with how much heat you’re losing up there.
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends starting by sealing air leaks and fixing roof issues before moving on to attic insulation. Insulating the attic floor, between and over the joists, to keep heat from creeping through the downstairs ceiling and into the attic. Also concentrate on the door or stairs to the attic, and any knee walls you may have.
Even when ducts are correctly insulated and sealed, they can account for some home heat loss, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. If your ducts are old or damaged, it doesn’t matter how efficient your furnace is, you’ll be losing some of the hot air it produces through these duct problems. Duct damage doesn’t just cause heat loss; debris can find its way into your ducts via holes and perforations, which impacts your indoor air quality.
Inspect the ductwork that’s visible in your home. Look for any signs of damage, which includes problems with the ducts themselves and indications on the nearby walls like streaks of dirt. Don’t try to repair the ducts yourself. Instead, call in an HVAC technician. The technician will examine all of your duct system, not just the parts that are visible to you, to ensure that the entire thing is sealed properly.
Window and Door Drafts
The National Resources Defense Council reports that as much as a third of your home’s total heat loss can happen through your windows and doors. Some experts recommend getting double-glazed windows as a way to reduce heat loss in the home. However, if your doors and windows have gaps around them and are letting air in and out, take care of those problems first. If your windows are made of wood, or if you have window unit air conditioners, chances are you’re letting in considerable drafts.
One of the most effective do-it-yourself solutions for window and door insulation is weatherstripping. You’ll find many material options for weatherstripping, from metal to nylon, and the type of windows your home has will determine what kind of weatherstripping you need. Thankfully, most of it comes in rolls you can get at the hardware store, and you can cut and apply the weatherstripping to your windows yourself.
You can also add shutters, blinds, curtains, and double-glazed glass to further reduce energy loss in your windows.
Even in warmer states like Texas, many homes have fireplaces. If your home has a fireplace, you may be losing heat up the chimney, even if you never use the fireplace. When it’s freezing outside, having a merry crackling fire is heavenly; unfortunately, when you’re not using the fireplace, the hot air your furnace produces will escape from the chimney.
Your damper alone isn’t enough, even if you keep it closed all the time, since air escapes around it. You can buy a draft stopper or a damper balloon that seals up all the cracks around your damper. Just remember to remove it before lighting a fire.
Maxx A/C and Heating is your resource for HVAC concerns, including duct repair. Keep the heat inside your League City home this winter. Call us today at 281-409-3890.
Image provided by Shutterstock