Given our sometimes dramatic winter weather in the Texas Panhandle, installing a modern, high-efficiency furnace is a wise investment. But even the most efficient furnace can’t do the job it was designed to do if a home is leaking warm air out and allowing cold air to infiltrate. It’s a process known as heat loss, and it’s a bit like tossing dollar bills out the door during one of our famous “blue northers.” You’re wasting energy and compromising comfort. Here’s some guidance for stopping heat loss in your home.
Locate Air Leaks
You can hire a professional energy auditor with the right equipment and expertise to find and fix air leaks in your home. Or, you can try to tackle the job yourself with a lit incense stick, caulk, weatherstripping and insulation.
Some of most notorious sites for leaking air are along baseboards, around windows and doors, through electric switches and openings in exterior walls, and at the juncture of ceilings and walls. Hold the lit incense stick in front of these places to see if the smoke wavers.
Since warm air rises, you may also be losing heat through recessed lighting into the attic and through the attic hatch cover.
Air leaks often originate from the exterior of the home, where two different building materials, such as as masonry and siding, meet. Also check openings for cables, pipes or wires and examine fireplace dampers for damage.
If your ductwork is accessible, check it for leaks or loose segments.
It’s difficult to test insulation, so you may need to hire a professional to perform a thermographic test and assess your insulation’s R-value.
Preventing Heat Loss
For doors, windows, baseboards, attic hatches and exterior openings around pipes, cables and wires, apply weatherstripping or caulking. Install foam gaskets under electric plates and flame-retardant canisters over recessed lights in the attic. Caulk any gaps between siding and masonry. Fix damaged ducts and insulate them, if possible.
For more on preventing heat loss, contact Amarillo Air Conditioning. We’ve served Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle for nearly 60 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Amarillo, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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