If you’re looking to save money on energy expenses this winter, you should first perform a thorough inspection of your home, identifying areas where thermal energy is leaking out. Allowing your home’s warm air to escape outside, or the cold outdoor air to enter your home, can jack your energy costs up through the roof. Even if your home is well insulated and features energy-efficient appliances, thermal leaks such as this are downright costly. In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the most common sources of thermal leaks in the home.
Have you checked your home’s doors (exterior, not interior) for signs of thermal leakage? This is one of the most common areas where thermal energy escapes. Most builders add a weatherstrip at the bottom of their doors to prevent this from occurring, but over time this weatherstrip will wear down or even peel off completely. If the weatherstrip is gone or damaged on your doors, make a trip to your local home improvement store to purchase more. It’s super cheap and easy to install, as you simply peel off a plastic backing on the adhesive side and press it on the bottom of the door frame.
Another area inside the home where thermal energy frequently escapes is around the dryer vent. Most dryers feature an aluminum duct that’s run outside. The hot air produced by the dryer travels through this duct before it’s released on the side of the house. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for thermal energy to pass around the duct, essentially raising the homeowner’s monthly energy costs. If there’s visible space between duct and the wall, fill it with some caulk to close the gap.
Even when they’re closed, windows can still leak out thermal energy. Cheap, low-quality windows are naturally more susceptible to thermal leaks than heavy-duty, premium-grade windows. In addition to choosing the right windows, homeowners should also check to make sure they function properly, leaving no visible space where energy could leak. When you’re performing an energy audit of your home, go through and add some weatherstripping to windows that don’t fully close.
Lastly, the attic is a serious source of thermal leaks in some homes. Energy travels from the main part of the home up through the ceiling and into the attic where it’s slowly released outside. This is why it’s important for homeowners to properly insulate their attics using a high R-value insulation.