With increasing concern over the environment and rising energy prices, many homeowners want to know how they can make their homes more energy efficient.
In order to do so, it’s critical that you can identify the most common places for heat loss in a home, so that you can address these areas specifically, along with any other heat-saving measures you may have in mind. By making your home more energy efficient, you can increase its R-value (i.e., thermal resistance). A property’s R-value states how soon it loses heat with a higher R-value inferring that it takes longer for a property to lose heat than it would with a lower R-value.
Without further ado, here are the key places for heat loss in a home…
One area where heat can be lost is through a floor, especially if it is an old floor. The type of flooring can also influence how well or poor a floor is at maintaining heat. For instance, older homes may have flooring with heat loss of as much as 10%.
In many scenarios, a roof can be overlooked as a source of significant heat loss. Uninsulated roofs and attics can make up for around 1/5th of heat loss in a house. If you live in an apartment with neighbors above you, this is of course, not something you’d need to be concerned with. However, in many cases, homeowners should look at insulating their roof/loft area in order to make their home more energy efficient.
Basement floors can see plenty of heat loss in particular if the cement slab floor is poorly insulated. You should have your cement slab finished by a professional in order to make it better at keeping heat in.
You may be totally surprised to know that windows and doors actually tend to make up for the least level of heat loss in a home! Most of the surface area of a house consists of the walls and its roof, with doors and windows making up a much smaller percentage of the overall surface area of a home.
You may find draughts coming through a door or window to be especially perceptible, but overall windows and doors usually make up a fairly small percentage of heat loss in a home. Having double or triple glazed windows installed can do plenty to make your home more energy efficient but not to the same extent as having your walls or/and roof insulated.
It’s worth considering that while blown window replacement costs are a relatively inexpensive approach to better insulating a home, triple glazing can be lower value for money, than say, wall insulation. Ultimately it will depend on the exact levels of heat loss from different sources in your home in particular. If in doubt, you could always hire a professional to take a look and give you an idea as to how you can spend your money in the most cost-effective way to make your home more energy efficient.
Usually, the main culprit in terms of heat loss in a home is the walls. In fact, poorly insulated walls can be responsible for nearly half of all heat loss in a home depending on the type of property you live in. If you have cavity walls, they will be easier to insulate than solid walls. However, thankfully, it is still possible to have solid walls insulated.
If you have a basement, you should be conscious of the fact that around 1/5th of home heat can be lost through basement walls.
If applicable, having insulation added to your basement walls can do wonders.
Having your basement finished is a great way of improving its ability to maintain heat (i.e., thermal resistance). With that said, insulating an unfinished basement can also do the job. Ways of insulating a basement include foam boards, reflective foils, fiber insulation, and blanket batts and rolls.