In most Canadian homes, heating and air conditioning are the leading power consumers. This is hard for a cash-strapped homeowner to swallow, but the simple fact of the matter is that keeping the home at a comfortable temperature is an absolute necessity for most parts of the year. That doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about high energy bills, though! Making sure your home has the insulation it needs is a great way to keep your power consumption down to a minimum.
Are You Wasting Your HVAC Power?
There’s no sensible reason to spend money heating or cooling air if you’re going to let it escape from your home, is there? The power that you use up conditioning air is simply wasted when that air slips away through cracks and holes. Insulation is an easy solution to this problem: It keeps your treated air — and your heating money — inside, where it belongs.
There are two major ways in which your home can lose the proper temperature. The first is via air escaping from the home. The second is conduction, which can leach the heat right through your roof and walls. Fortunately, proper insulation helps fight against both of these threats. Adding, replacing, or upgrading your insulation can bring your level of heat loss way down and take a big bite out of your power consumption. Depending on the situation, new insulation may pay for itself in just a few years!
Finding Elusive Leaks
If you’re pretty certain that your home is losing conditioned air, you can stop by your local hardware center and pick up a draft detector. This is a device that puts out a stream of smoke. Following the smoke will lead you to weak points in the envelope around your home where conditioned air can escape. You should check openings (e.g. doors, windows, vents, and through-wall piping) with particular care. Minor cracks and holes around these areas can often be repaired simply by adding weather stripping, spray foam, or caulk.
Sealing Your Attic
A lot of homeowners discover, on closer inspection, that they’re losing the majority of their conditioned air through their attic. There’s a reason why attics are the most common space for adding more insulation! Hot air tends to rise, of course, and that means your attic needs to be very heat-resistant (especially in wintertime) to keep the warmth you paid for within your house. Adding more (and more efficient) insulation will help. If you’ve got a basement, been on the lookout for the opposite effect. You need to insulate underground spaces to prevent cold air from seeping in.
Don’t Be Afraid To Enlist Experts
If you’re not sure where to start with upgrading your home’s insulation, why not contact a professional? Any experienced HVAC specialist can help you make sense of your home’s energy efficiency. You might even find that the secret to minimizing your energy bills involves a full overhaul of both your insulation and your HVAC equipment.