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How Heat Escapes from Your Home

by | Nov 21, 2017

It doesn’t take much of an opening for heat to escape your home. Leaky spots can be hiding under doors and windows, inside wall cavities that haven’t been fully insulated, through the roof, and elsewhere. These leaks can be maddening for any homeowner. Not only can it mean waking up in a freezing room every morning, but it also makes heating your home more financially expensive.

With the winter fast approaching West Michigan, take a moment to consider a few places where you might have sprung a leak:

  • Doors. Weak points can be underneath the door, a cut-away letterbox, or even a keyhole. Fortunately, all these leaks can typically be plugged effectively and cheaply. Draft stoppers for the bottoms of doors, as well as draft-proof letterboxes and keyhole plates, are fairly easy to acquire and install.
  • Windows. Air and heat can escape through gaps between the window and the frame, or caulking outside the frame. The best solution for older homes may simply be to replace your windows with new, energy efficient updates. Lower-tech alternatives include weather-stripping, re-caulking, or hanging heavy, insulated curtains.
  • Fireplaces. Check the dampers to make sure they fit and work properly. You can test by closing the flue and lighting a small piece of paper. If the smoke still goes up the flue, there’s a good chance you have a leak.
  • Walls, ceilings, floors. Air can escape through gaps in insulation, especially around electrical wiring, plumbing, and other obstructions. Fiberglass insulation is notorious for leaving these kinds of gaps. Even when properly installed, the insulation leaves more small gaps than foam and can lose its shape over time.
  • The roof. Loft installation in your attic is one of the most important ways to prevent home heating loss.

If you know you’ve got issues with draftiness and insulation but you don’t know where the leaks are located, you do have options. A home energy audit company can use specialized tools to detect cold spots and air leaks. You can test for leaks on your own, too, by picking up a smoke stick at a home improvement store and placing it near windows, doors and walls on a drafty day—if the smoke starts going sideways, you’ve spotted a leak.

Of course, we here at RetroFoam of Southwest Michigan are happy to examine your current insulation needs and provide a free estimate for upgrading to an energy-efficient foam insulation. To schedule an appointment, fill out our contact form online or give us a call at (269) 751-2000.