Think of your home as a thermal envelope. Everything under your roof and behind your doors, walls, and windows is inside the thermal envelope. If your home’s thermal envelope is strong, conditioned air stays inside the home, keeping you and your family cool in the summer and warm in the winter. By trapping conditioned air where it belongs for a longer period of time, a strong thermal envelope can help you save money on cooling and heating your home.
To improve the energy efficiency of your home, focus on the following key areas:
1. Replace single-pane windows with dual-pane models that insulate properly. Windows with cracked panes, missing putty, or sashes that don’t fit well need to be replaced. During winter, leaky and old windows let out more heat than any other part of your home. Hanging heavy blinds or drapes in front of your windows at night will help reduce heat-loss. Pull back the coverings during the day to let in natural light instead of switching on lights.
2. Check that your doors shut correctly, fully sealing out air, sunlight, and water. If they do not, consider having new models installed that both add to your home’s overall beauty and keep the elements where they belong - outside. If a door’s weatherstripping is torn or incomplete, it will let in unconditioned air, reducing energy efficiency. Old-fashioned mail slots tend to let in a lot of outside air.
3. Check the insulation in your attic for proper thickness and coverage. If it appears thin in some areas, built-up heat could be reaching the top of the roof, leading to heat-loss and the formation of ice dams. If bits of insulation appear dark or water-stained, chances are there’s a hole nearby that’s letting in cold air and rainwater. Evenly-applied insulation is key to keeping heating and cooling costs down. An uninsulated attic hatch lets hot air escape, draining it from the house below.
4. Having a damaged or old roof decreases your home’s energy efficiency. If your roof has a lot of cracked, missing, and warped tiles or shingles as well as bent or missing flashing, it’s probably time to have a new one installed. Proper flashing stops water and insects from reaching the inside of your home. If your attic is showing signs of water intrusion such as moldy or dry-rotted wood, there’s a good chance rainwater is finding its way inside.
5. Another way to lower your home’s electricity usage is by unplugging your microwave, television, and mobile device charging cables when they’re not in use.
At AROCON, we pride ourselves on installing energy-efficient doors, roofs, and windows made by industry-leading manufacturers. To have a qualified professional check out your home’s thermal envelope, save money, and improve energy efficiency, contact us today!