Sources of Heat Loss that Waste Energy – St. Louis HVAC Tips

March 15, 2016


Leaving a window open on a cold, winter day can cause heat loss and waste a lot of energy.

There are other sources of heat loss in every home that are often overlooked. Fireplaces, clothes dryers, and folding attic stairs are also sources of air leakage and heat loss, causing cold drafts and higher energy bills. Air leaks are the largest source of heating loss in any home. Air leaks can occur through small cracks around windows, doors, and pipes. These leaks can be stopped with weather-stripping or caulking to reduce heat loss. Our St. Louis HVAC experts provide tips on sealing and insulating these holes.

Attic Stairs

When a folding attic stair is installed, a large hole is created in the ceiling and the insulation is removed. The hole is then covered by a thin and uninsulated sheet of plywood. The attic space is ventilated to the outdoors, and in cold weather, the attic can be very cold. Only a thin plywood sheet separates the unconditioned attic area from your conditioned home. A low-cost solution to this problem is to install an attic stair cover, which provides an air seal and reduces air leads. Add insulation over the attic stair cover to restore the insulation that was removed at the time of installation of the stairway.

Clothes Dryer Exhaust Ducts

The room that contains a clothes dryer is often the coldest room in the house. This is because the clothes dryer is connected to an exhaust duct that opens to the outdoors. In the winter, heated air pours out and cold air leaks in through the duct. Dryer vents have a sheet metal flapper to reduce air leakage, but becomes ineffective over time because the flapper valve becomes clogged with lint and remains open. Add a dryer vent seal that will reduce air infiltration.

Fireplaces

Many homes have fireplaces. You may not realize that fireplaces are a big source of heat loss. One study shows that an unused fireplace or an open damper in a well-insulated home can increase heating energy consumption by over 30 percent. A simple and inexpensive solution to this problem is the use of a fireplace draftstopper, which seals the damper and minimizes air leaks.

Do you need help with your HVAC system?  – Contact Scott-Lee Heating Company at (314) 200-0788 today!