When the weather gets colder, you do everything you can to keep yourself and your family warm. Sometimes, however, it seems like no amount of space heaters or thick blankets can shield you from the chilly draft that is penetrating your whole house. You have tried everything, including cranking up the thermostat, but you are simply left with frozen fingers and soaring energy bills. This is likely because heat is escaping from hidden nooks and crannies throughout your home. Here are three areas you should seal off to prevent expensive heat loss.
Because heat rises, it is naturally trying to reach the highest point in your house. If your attic is not properly insulated or has holes or cracks, it could be the source of your chilly frustrations. The Washington Post reports that even attics in seemingly good condition often allow heat to escape. This is because there are small openings intended for pipes, vents and ducts that can unintentionally act as catalysts for severe heat loss. The source recommends inspecting these areas of your attic and sealing them tightly shut with foam spray or caulk.
The access point to your attic could be another driving factor when it comes to heat loss. If your attic is reached by a hatch, you should weatherstrip the edges and add extra insulation to the backside of the door, recommends The Washington Post.
While these rules are in place for safety and efficiency, the spacing creates gaps that promote heat loss. While there are ways you can improve this issue, fireplaces also present a number of safety risks. If you're interested in only heating occupied areas of your home, consider using space heaters and sealing off your fireplaces for good.
2. Flues and chimneys
While fireplaces are often employed to add heat to the house, they can also be points of escape for hot air. House Logic notes that most building codes dictate that wood framing and metal flues be constructed 1 inch apart from each other and 2 inches apart from brick chimneys.
3. Windows and doors
Of course, the largest openings in your home are prime exit points for hot air. If you live in an old home, you may want to consider completely replacing your windows, as they may be too weak to keep heat inside the house. If you do not want to commit to installing new windows, try weatherstripping and caulking your existing ones. House Logic notes that for temporary yet effective weatherstripping, try plastic or rubber. Bronze weatherstripping is a slightly more involved process but typically lasts upward of 10 years.
"When it comes to doors, dimensions matter."
When it comes to doors, dimensions matter. Your door should fit snuggly into its frame, as even small sizing discrepancies can cause major amounts of hot air to escape. The Washington Post explains that having a 1/8-inch gap beneath your 36-inch-wide door might seem harmless, but it actually allows the same amount of heat to escape as a 2.4-diameter hole in the wall would. In addition to installing a more appropriately sized door, weatherstripping may help prevent heat loss in this area.
Lastly, always instruct your family and guests to be vigilant about closing doors and windows when a heat source is turned on. Absent mindedly leaving windows wide open or taking a few minutes to shut the door can cause valuable heat to disappear.
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