December 23, 2014
Your HVAC system might not be enough to keep you warm during harsh winters.
You need to support the HVAC system in a way that it works effectively without gulping down too much energy. One way that you might be making your heating system’s job tough is by not checking and sealing any drafts that may be present in your home.
Identifying Drafts in Your Home
If you feel a steady breeze or just notice that the drapes keep swinging even when all the windows are closed, it is a sign that there are drafts in your home that need to be sealed. Unless you plug the drafts, you will have to brave the chill under layers of blankets and with chattering teeth.
If you feel you there is a draft problem in your home, identify the culprits first. Most likely the problem is originating around doors and windows, which tend to contract and expand when humidity and temperature levels change. With time, the problem can develop into permanent warping, which creates openings from where the outside air can pass.
Worn siding and roofing can also cause drafts to develop, so it makes sense to have the roof inspected and consider adding attic insulation. Your chimney may also be a source of the problem if it is not properly maintained. Electrical plates, receptacles, and switches can be a source of drafts. If you use a wall-mounted air conditioner, then that too can be a source of drafts if the edges have not been properly sealed.
How to Stop Drafts
To handle the problem of drafts, windows, and doors are a good place to start. You can insulate them by adding weather stripping and using heavy window treatments to reduce heat loss and drafts. Add draft catchers to the bottoms of doors by using fabric tubes filled with stuffing material. These can block the cold air from gushing in and help maintain comfortable temperatures inside the home.
If you have not had the chimney inspected lately, you should get it done now and ensure that the flue is in good condition. Make sure everyone in the family knows how to use the fireplace, as it can reduce the risk of a home fire and also help people avoid drafts by using the heat source the right way. If the electrical system is the culprit, you can use the insulation kits readily available in the market to sell the drafts around sockets and vents. If your air conditioner is letting in cold air, you can either remove it in the winter or check the edges for gaps and seal them.
Do Not Let Drafts Cost You Money
Our St. Louis HVAC technicians remind you that drafts can be a major source of heat loss in a home and can add substantially to energy bills. We hope these simple tips will help you get the best out of your HVAC system this winter and that you will stay warm and comfortable inside your home.