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Energy Efficient Homes Are Good For the Environment
(Wednesday, 28 February 2018) Written by greeniac12738

Heat always moves from places that are warmer to places that are cooler. In this process, some of the heat is lost as the molecules collide with the cooler air. The greater the difference between the warm and cool air, the faster this heat loss will occur. This can be bad news for homeowners, especially in cooler climates, because the warm air of their home does everything possible to escape. It will find any small leak or crack and be lost. This drives up heating costs and is not good for the environment due to higher energy consumption. Your job as a home owner is to find ways to keep this heat loss from occurring in the most efficient way possible. That is why insulating your home is so important.

Heat Gains vs. Heat Losses

A home’s energy expenditures depend on the balance between heat gains and heat losses. Your home’s heating system supplies approximately 80 percent of its heat gains. Solar energy heating the roof and walls, as well as internal sources of heat such as body heat and electronic appliances make up the other 20 percent. Heat losses are split between the walls, roof, ventilation, leaks, windows, floor, and doors. The biggest heat loss sources are the walls, which make up 35 percent of the heat loss, and the roof which accounts for approximately 20 percent. This is why insulating your walls and attic play such an important role in helping you to conserve energy.

Conduct A Home Audit

If you want to save money on your heating bills and reduce your carbon footprint, conducting a home heating audit should be first on your list. Conducting a home energy audit yourself will not be as thorough as hiring a seasoned professional to do it, but you can still get a good idea of the improvements that need to be made.

Heating loss from leaks averages around 10 to 20 percent per year for the average home. Addressing leaks makes a big improvement in making the home feel more comfortable, even if you lower the thermostat. Places to look for leaks include gaps on the bottom and top edges of the walls, as well as anywhere walls come together. Windows and doors are also major sources of heat loss. If you have an open fireplace damper, this is also a major source of energy loss.

To check for leaks, you can do a visual inspection using a flashlight. You should look for objects that the air is moving slightly such as curtains or papers. You can also check using your hand to detect changes in temperature and drafts. Another trick is to use a candle and watch for places where the smoke and flame respond to air currents.

Common Areas That Are Missed

Aside from the major areas that typically account for heat loss, you should also address plumbing fixtures, particularly where they come into the house from the outside. Electrical switches and outlets can also be a source of heat loss. While these sources are small, they can add up significantly, particularly when the weather is very cold.

Another area that people often miss is their garage door. Aside from sealing any leaks around the edges and bottom, insulating it is important. This is especially true if it is metal. This is a big surface area and insulating it makes a big difference. While you are looking at your garage door, be sure to check the seal on the bottom. If you can feel any drafts, then you need to replace it.

Having proper insulation can save you an average of 15 percent or more on your average winter heating bill. Sealing any cracks that allow air to escape can help save you extra on top of that. Money that is not spent on heating bills is money earned. In addition, you will be doing your part to help lower energy consumption and will be making an impact on lowering the burning of fossil fuels. Aside from these two advantages, insulating and sealing your home property will make it more comfortable and cozy in the winter months.

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