How to stay comfortable this winter without breaking the bank
hroughout the cold days of winter, homeowners are inclined to turn up the dial on their thermostat to maintain a warm, comfortable home. However, homeowners may not realize the presence of drafts and air leaks throughout the home can lead to temperature fluctuation and higher than normal heating bills.
Drafts and gaps in insulation coverage can be a major contributor to increased utility bills, as well as inefficient performance of HVAC equipment. Conditioned air continually escapes the home, leaving the HVAC equipment to work overtime to compensate in an effort to reach the thermostat’s set temperature. Air leakage from walls, windows, ceilings and floors can account for up to 40 percent of the energy lost by your home, potentially costing homeowners thousands of dollars annually. Plus, the U.S. Department of Energy suggests air leakage contributes to potential moisture problems that can affect occupant health and the home’s durability.
Homeowners can reduce air leakage in several ways, and the U.S. Department of Energy recommends homeowners take a comprehensive approach. First, detect where the air leaks are within your home. A certified HERS Rater will be able to help you identify such areas, as well as help assess your ventilation needs for indoor air quality.
Once all sources of air leaks have been identified, air sealing techniques and materials can be applied. Caulking and weather-stripping are two of the most popular and common techniques that can help address air leaks. However, building experts will suggest considering solutions that go further in terms of air-sealing by selecting a high-performance building material like spray foam insulation.
Spray foam insulation, such as Icynene, works well in all climates to seal the building and fill every gap to stop air leakage and help reduce the strain on HVAC equipment. As a solution that performs effectively year-round, spray foam insulation helps maintain a comfortable temperature while helping to control monthly heating and cooling expenses.
Additionally, spray foam insulation helps minimize random airborne moisture and pollutants from entering the home, ideal for anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies once the snow melts and spring arrives. More information on how spray foam insulation can help homeowners minimize air leakage is available online at www.icynene.com.