It’s officially autumn. The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling down, and winter is approaching.
Have you ever noticed that certain areas of your home don’t get or stay warm? Does the expense of heating your home increase each winter? As your family prepares for the holiday season, your home should be prepared, too!
First, check to make sure that none of your vents are blocked. If a piece of furniture or drapery is blocking the vent, warm air isn’t able to circulate.
Next, check the fireplace. Make sure the damper is fully closed when the fireplace is not in use.
Consider having your ducts cleaned. If you’ve done renovations, have pets, or aren’t sure if your ducts have ever been cleaned, it may help to have your ducts serviced to be sure dust and debris aren’t preventing proper circulation.
Other Reasons for Cold Spots
Any place in your home where a heated space meets the cold, there’s an opportunity for heat to escape, leaving a cold spot. This means heat is escaping through attics, crawlspaces, windows, and doors.
Also, If your ductwork wasn’t designed or installed properly, air won’t spread equally to all parts of your home, getting lots of heat to some rooms, but little heat to others.
Finding the Culprit
While you may know where the cold spots are, can you track down the source? Check out your roof after it snows. Patches of melted snow on your roof is a sign that warm air is getting into the attic. In the case of a crawlspace, a cold floor directly above it indicates cool air may be coming in that way.
Warming Up Your Home
It’s estimated that 30 percent of a home’s total heat loss is due to drafts from doors and windows. A simple test would be to hold a lit candle between the window and the trim. If the flame flickers or bends, there’s a leak.
No sign of cold air sneaking in yet? The design or installation of your system could be the problem.
Warming Up Your Home
Image via Flickr by REIKON-DESIGN-BUILD
If you’ve determined that the cold is seeping in through the attic or crawlspace, the solution may be adding insulation to help your home retain heat.
When the heat is escaping through windows and doors, worn-down caulking or weather-stripping might be to blame, and older homes may not have insulated framing around windows and doors. Repairing caulking and weatherstripping, and installing insulated framing may be the solution.
Zoned heating is the most effective solution. Multi-zone, ductless heating divides your home into zones, each with its own thermostat. This means you can set different areas of your home to different temperatures, and there’s no heat escaping through ducts. Heating the rooms you need, and not the ones you don’t, conserves energy and is cost-efficient.
While it might be tempting to make the repairs yourself, doing so can be dangerous and costly. A professional HVAC contractor can find solutions to fit your home and family.