Are you feeling a draft in the winter? Does your home get chilly and stay that way no matter how long you leave the heating on? You may have some problems with heat loss and heat transfer in the home. Even properties on the West Coast are exposed to cold weather, so it pays to look at ways of improving your efficiency. Whether that be window replacement or simply installing weather-stripping, you have lots of options.
Spots Where You’ll Lose Heat in the Home
Home heat loss is a big problem in winter. As the temperature drops and cold winds start blowing, a normally comfortable home might start to feel chilly. Older properties with little in the way of insulation could even become downright cold.
If your property is like this each year, you can fix it by plugging up holes and updating certain features. You just need to know where to start with this home efficiency improvement project. Here are spots where heat loss is common in homes:
- Windows – Anywhere from 10% to 20% of heat loss occurs around the windows of your home due to old, inefficient materials, damaged or decayed weather seals, cracked frames, and damaged window openings. If the problem is really bad, window replacement may be needed.
- Attic Insulation – If you have insulation in the attic it may be old or there may not be any insulation, which allows a lot of heat to rise out of the home through the ceiling.
- Wall Insulation – Your home’s insulation may not be up to snuff either. It could have reached the end of its lifespan or the builders used a low R-value insulation.
- Chimneys – You could also be losing a lot of heat through the chimney. An open chimney allows up to 70% of heat loss in a room.
Suggestions for Stopping Heat Loss
If you have any of the above problems there are many ways to reduce heat transfer and make your home more energy efficient. Here are a few ideas that vary from simple to more involved:
Close the Chimney Flue Damper
This flat piece of metal lowers over the chimney opening just above the fireplace and helps keep cold air and animals from entering. Only close the damper when the fireplace isn’t in use.
Install a Chimney Balloon
If you aren’t planning to use the fireplace, you can install a chimney balloon. These inflatable balloons completely block the chimney providing more protection from drafts.
Update the Attic Insulation
This project can be completed by a skilled homeowner or a professional contractor. You can remove and replace the old attic insulation with a higher R-value material.
Add Fresh Wall Insulation
A home contractor can also add fresh insulation to existing walls. The process involves cutting small holes in the walls and blowing in loose cellulose or expanding spray foam.
Add Weather Stripping to Windows
Slightly drafty windows can be made a little more airtight with some weather-stripping. Available at local stores, you can apply these thin, foam strips along the window frame and window jamb to create a tighter seal when closed.
Hang Heavy Curtains
Heavy window curtains really do add a layer of insulation to your windows. Consider taking down those lighter weight curtains and hanging ones made with a thicker material.
Add Plastic Films to the Windows
A winter window treatment can effectively insulate and block drafts. These films are secured around the window opening with double-sided tape to ensure an airtight seal. Depending on how strong drafts are and the home’s humidity levels, the tape may start to fail after a few weeks and need replacement.
Get Replacement Window Installation
A wide variety of window types are available with energy efficient features, like vinyl or fiberglass frames, double- or triple-pane glass, and gas fill. Simply updating your windows can be the best way to improve comfort in the winter.
Learn More About Getting Your Windows Replaced
If you are considering window replacement, reach out to Delerio Construction. We’re a Fresno window company with skilled contractors who will help you pick out the most efficient options for your home. Just give us a call or fill out our online form to get started with a free cost estimate.
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