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How Heat Loss Affects Your Winter Energy Bill

Friday, December 06, 2013

If you're spending more on winter energy bills than your neighbors, chances are your home has a problem with heat loss. A drafty home can really cost you when that cold Texas winter wind starts to howl, making your heating system work harder and run longer than it should to keep you comfortable. Fortunately, there are simple tasks that homeowners can do to control heat loss and reduce energy costs throughout the heating season.

  • See to those air filters – Dirty air filters can be a source of heat loss, restricting airflow in a forced air heating system. Heated air that moves more slowly than it should from furnace to living space will be cooler when it arrives, losing heat as it lingers in your ductwork. Check air filters once a month and change them when they look soiled or every 30 to 60 days.
  • Clear your heating vents - Dust, pet hair and debris can build up in household vents quite quickly, obstructing airflow. Vacuum your vents monthly to keep them clean.
  • Insulate your water heater - Wrapping your water heater with specially made insulating blankets, easily available at most hardware or home improvement stores, can reduce the energy usage by 10 percent.
  • Wrap hot water pipes - Heat lost from exposed hot water pipes can increase water heating costs, a problem that can be resolved with pipe insulation.
  • Check doors and windows - With daily use, seals around doors and windows often weaken. Check for air leaks by holding a stick of incense near those seals. If the smoke dances, you'll need to apply caulk or weatherstripping.
  • Check your exterior - Take that caulk outdoors and check your home's siding and foundation for cracks and holes to seal – especially around outlets and pipes.
  • Check your roof - Cracked or broken shingles can cause heat loss and water leaks.

For more information on controlling heat loss in your home, please contact Texas Air Comfort to find a contractor near you. We've been helping Texas homeowners find the best HVAC service, installation and repair since 1979.

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