The Heat Is On: Unique Ways To Reduce Heat Loss This Winter

Business Articles

Maintaining your home is important for its appeal, value, and function, but it can become time consuming and costly due all the different tasks to complete. With certain updates increasing your home's appeal and value, others can make your house more energy efficient. Considering more than half of your home's total energy usage stems from heating and cooling, ensuring your system is in proper working condition is smart. Changing filters helps your system work in a more efficient manner, but other projects around the house can decrease heat loss while reducing energy bills. Using this guide of unique ways to improve system efficiency, you can heat your home in a more energy efficient manner.  

Fireplace Fix

If your home has a wood burning or gas log fireplace, you may use it to supplement your heating costs in the winter months. While beneficial for added warmth, your fireplace may actually be a huge source of heat loss.

When using your fireplace, some of the heat may be traveling up and out of the chimney. Although a small amount of the fireplace heat may radiate into your home, your heating system will need to work in more depth to supplement this heat loss.

Applying a sheet of reflective material to the back of your fireplace wall can prevent heat loss. Opt for aluminum sheeting or a piece of cast iron to line the back wall. This material will reflect heat before it escapes, forcing it out into your home.

Updrafts are common problems in older fireplaces. During an updraft, a larger amount of heated air is suctioned directly out of the home. If you are experiencing updrafts, consider replacing your fire damper with a new, updated model.

Humidity Addition

In the winter, your heating system lowers the humidity inside your home. This causes the air to feel dry, evaporating moisture off your skin and making your indoor air feel cooler even though you are running your heat. In most cases, this lack of humidity will cause you to increase the amount of heat needed for your family's comfort.

Indoor humidity levels should range between 35 and 50 percent depending on your overall comfort, so adding humidity to your home during the winter months is smart for your system's efficiency. Thankfully, there are a few ways to increase your home's relative humidity, including the following:

  • Whole House – Technicians can install a whole house humidifier to your home's outdoor furnace. This addition will automatically adjust humidity levels according to the usage of your system.
  • Traditional – Readily available at your local discount or drug stores, a traditional humidifier is an affordable, easy-to-use option.
  • DIY – Increase the humidity in your home only when absolutely necessary by boiling a pot of water on your kitchen stovetop. As the water boils, steam will generate, flowing through your main living areas. This will quickly increase your home's relative humidity.

Outlet Update

While surprising to learn, the cracks and crevices surrounding your electrical or cable outlets may allow heated air to escape. Although this heat loss may not be a great deal, the loss can add up over the course of a year.

To prevent the loss of conditioned air, consider insulating the space behind your outlets. Use inexpensive sheets of foam insulation and cut to the size of your outlet plate covers. Unscrew each plate cover using a screwdriver and place the small piece of insulation behind each wall plate. You do not need to glue or tape the insulation, since reattaching the plate with the screws will hold the insulation piece in place.

Heating your home this winter should not be wasteful or costly. Using these tips and the help of your heating and air technician, you can improve your system's efficiency and reduce the amount of heat loss in your home.    For more tips, contact a local HVAC company like Glendale Heating & Air Conditioning.


29 February 2016

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