Reducing Heat Loss and Gain in Your Home
By: Danny Lipford
Up to 40% of the heat loss or gain in a home is due to leaks in the thermal envelope surrounding the living space. To save energy, make sure the attic has plenty of insulation, and fill any cracks or gaps around windows, doors, plumbing pipes, and HVAC lines. Installing foam gaskets behind switch and outlet covers is another good way to reduce air infiltration in your home.
There’s nothing green about paying bills unless you pay them online or if the company provides recycled envelopes. But, you know, there’s another envelope you should take a close look at, and that’s the thermal envelope of your home, which is your living space. It’s important to have proper insulation; otherwise you’ve got a problem with your envelope. Up to 40% of a home’s heat loss or gain is due to leaks. Insulating the attic is only the start. You need to make sure all gaps around windows and doors are sealed. The areas around plumbing pipes as well as heating & cooling lines also need to be sealed. And don’t forget about any electrical switches and outlets on exterior walls. You’d be surprised at how big of an energy loss they can cause. Simple gaskets can take care of them and it’ll be one of the cheapest improvements you can make.