Common Threats to Residential Energy Efficiency
When you live in an area subject to extreme temperatures (like Phoenix), every ounce of energy efficiency counts. Weakness in your home’s energy efficiency can cost you dearly, especially as temperatures rise and your HVAC system struggles to keep up. If you feel like you’re burning more energy than you should just to stay comfortable, check out these leading causes of energy loss in homes.
Windows and Doors
Windows and doors represent the most common causes of excess energy loss. An estimated one-fifth of the air that passes through your home does so through either the windows and doors themselves or through leaks and gaps around their frames. If an energy audit confirms this leakage, skilled professionals can seal any detected gaps. You may also want to replace your old doors and windows with ENERGY STAR certified products designed to provide superior thermal insulation. Simply replacing inefficient windows with ENERGY STAR windows can reduce your energy costs by 12 percent.
Homes that feature wood frame walls face certain vulnerabilities to energy loss in the form of air leakage or conductive heat transfer, also referred to as thermal bridging. Research conducted by the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) indicates that the worst leakage in these walls include the wall-to-foundation joints, wall-to-roof joints, and horizontal OSB joints. If you’re losing air through these joints, your frame walls may need more or better internal insulation. A professional energy audit can confirm and pinpoint these hidden issues.
Some of your home’s energy may leak through the ceiling and up into the attic. This problem points to a lack of insulation in the floor joists and any open space between the ceiling and attic. If you have a cathedral ceiling that leaks energy, you may need to add insulation between the ceiling and the roof deck.
Attics may trap the energy lost through ceilings, growing insufferably hot and placing challenges on your air conditioner. If your attic traps heat energy despite reasonable ceiling insulation, it’s time to apply some additional insulation to the attic floor. You may also need to invest in insulation baffles for the roof.
Your HVAC system couldn’t heat or cool your home effectively without the ducts that feed treated air to the various vents. If these ducts develop leaks due to improper installation or natural wear and tear, warm enter can enter this normally closed loop. This extra heat energy undercuts the air conditioning’s efficiency. At the same time, cooled air drifts out through the leaks instead of being directed to the living spaces of your home. Either problem forces you to crank up the system just to stay comfortable. You can solve this problem through duct repairs and/or adding insulation around the ducts.
If you can’t find or fix the source of your home’s energy leakage despite your own best efforts, contact King Insulation. Our experts can perform a thorough energy audit of your residence, locate the trouble spots, and provide top-quality insulation services to increase your comfort and reduce your utility bills.