Fight the Chill
Preventing Heat Loss in Your Home
When it’s too cold for Canadians to do anything other than complain about the temperature outside, preventing heat loss becomes a top priority. Here are four reliable tricks to keep the heat where it belongs…inside.
Feeling a Draft? Check for Air Leakage
According to Natural Resources Canada, windows and doors can account for up to 25 per cent of total house heat loss. That’s pretty significant, right?
Let’s start with windows. A fix could be as simple as replacing hardware like latches, cranks and locks, or replacing the caulking and weather-stripping. In some cases, you may need to replace the windows, depending on the condition they’re in.
Your doors could also be to blame. Natural Resources Canada suggests that if doors do not fit snugly, to fix or replace the door, frame, hardware, gaskets, and weather-stripping.
And don’t forget about things like Fido’s doggy door, your letterbox, and keyholes. It’s amazing how much heat can escape through these seemingly small spaces.
Check Your Chimney
If your chimney isn’t being used and merely serves as a decoration, you can be sure precious heat is making a great escape.
Consider using a removable chimney balloon (just remember to remove it if you choose to light a fire!) or having a professional install a cap. You’ll be amazed at how much energy (and money) you’ll save.
Dress Up Your Windows
Curtains are a great low-tech method to prevent loss. The U.S. Department of Energy says curtains can reduce your heat loss by up to 25 per cent if you install them properly.
Try keeping them open during the day to let the sunshine in (hello, free heat!) and closing them at dusk. Energywise suggests curtains should be floor-length and touch the floor, and fit tightly against the wall or window frame. One last tip: make sure they’re double layered with a thick lining to get the most bang for your buck.
Inspect Your Insulation
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation says, “A healthy house today is well sealed, well insulated and properly ventilated.”
We happen to agree. A properly-insulated home can save you cash, reduce your home’s energy use and make your house comfy.
“A well-insulated house is a bit like dressing for the weather,” says the CMHC. “A wool sweater will keep you warm if the wind is not blowing and it is not raining. On a windy, rainy day, wearing a nylon shell over your wool sweater helps keep you reasonably dry and warm. A house is similar. On the outside, underneath the brick or siding, there is an air barrier that does the same thing as the nylon — it keeps the wind from blowing through. Then there is the insulation (like your sweater) and a vapour barrier, which helps keep moisture away from the house structure where it can do damage.”
So how do you know your home’s insulation needs some improvement? Here are some signs to be on the lookout for, according to CMHC.
- Walls cold to touch
- Cold floors
- High heating costs
- Uneven heating levels within building
- Mold growing on walls
Replace Your Heating System
If, at the end of the day, you’re still colder than a polar bear’s toenails, it may be time to purchase a new heating unit. We offer great rental and financing options for all of our clients, so be sure to ask us about our options.