Possible Culprits for High Heating Bills

Every winter people see a spike in their utility bill, even with this increase you may be over paying for the heat in your house. The culprit? Air leaks that can happen all over your house. Lucky for you the Energy Savers website publishes a lot of helpful information for homeowners.

To check for draft you can wet your hand and hold it in front of the area, which makes it easier to feel cold air seeping through. The most effective way however, is to light an incense stick, candle or lighted match near to each area.  If a draft is present, you’ll see the smoke or flame waiver.

The obvious places where heat can escape are windows and doors. When testing these areas test all around the frame. Make sure to use caution with open flames and window treatments such as curtains. Old windows and single paned windows are especially prone to leaks and general energy inefficiency.  You can have a contractor replace the window with more energy efficient double paned windows. If you have newer house windows, you may need to re-caulk around them. A sign that heat can get out around your doors is if you can see daylight getting in. Light can only enter through crevices and you better believe if light can do it, cold air can too.  In addition to replacing the weather stripping, installing a flexible rubber door sweep at the bottom of the door will also help.

Once you have the window and doors secured don’t forget about the five less obvious suspects. The first one is wall or window mounted air conditioning units. During the winter these should be removed from windows so it can shut completely. For wall unites use a foam sealant or weather stripping around the edges to seal off air leaks.

Secondly check all your electrical outlets and switches. It may seem like tedious work but these are like have little holes in your walls where heat can exit. Inexpensive foam gaskets can be placed behind your outlets and switch plates to help serve as a cold air barrier.

If your family’s home has an attic that can contribute to the third culprit, attic access hatches. Usually attics are not insulated like the rest of your home. Entries to these spaces allow the cold air inside them to trickle into your house. Weather stripping can be installed to keep this from happening.

Fire places are great for heating your home during the winter months. However, if you do not close the damper after you put the fire out it becomes an open traffic way for heat and cold air to interchange.

The final place to check is baseboards and light fixtures. Use caulk or foam sealant carefully to avoid unsightly residue, weather stripping also serves the same purpose.  Unfortunately, if you detect an air leak in either of these areas, you may need to replace or improve your insulation.

If you still can’t find the source of your problem, a professional thermographic inspection can also help determine where the cold spots are in your Cleveland TN home. For more information on energy efficient solutions for your home, call Window Depot USA at 423-894-0011. 

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