How to Improve a Home’s Thermal Envelope for Lower Winter Energy Bills
During the winter season, utility bills tend to spike due to colder weather. While seasonal fluctuations with energy costs are normal, there comes a time when the spikes seem a lot more expensive than normal. If your home’s thermal envelope isn’t properly sealed, you’re losing energy and money at the same time.
The good news is that this is a fixable situation, but it’s important to take action so you can improve indoor comfort and keep more money in your wallet.
What is a Thermal Envelope?
If you’ve never heard of a thermal envelope, this is an element that impacts the amount of energy consumption of the home. There are several working parts of a thermal envelope, and quality products that work together create an energy efficient home.
The thermal envelope prevents heat transfer and keeps the indoor temperature at a comfortable level. If components of the thermal envelope aren’t operating at top performance, homeowners will likely experience energy loss, drafts, and higher utility bills.
The Steps to Sealing a Home’s Thermal Envelope
The idea behind sealing a home’s thermal envelope is focusing on insulation. This doesn’t exclusively mean attic insulation, but generally blocking out drafts and creating an airtight seal to the best extent possible. The area of the home with the most ventilation is the roof and attic, since this is required for adequate airflow and removing moisture.
Step 1: Address the Windows
Did you know that 25%-30% of a home’s energy is lost through the windows? Ensuring that you have energy efficient windows installed in the home can equal greater energy savings all year long.
If you suspect that your windows are losing energy, you have a couple options. You can replace the weatherstripping with self-adhesive products from the home improvement store. This is simple to install and buys you some time for complete window replacement. You can also add silicone caulking around the window to further block out moisture.
The next possibility is installing new replacement windows. Professional installation is essential to performance, since an incorrect technique can have energy escaping through the frame, sash, and more.
Step 2: Address the Door
Front doors can lose energy, too. Using the same approach as your windows, add new weatherstripping and caulking around the doors of your home. If you feel inconsistencies in temperature around the door, this may signal that it’s time for replacement. This is also true if the door is sticking.
Step 3: Insulate Walls and Attic
Energy is also lost through a home’s walls and attic, so insulation in these key areas is critical to an energy efficient home. Consider adding blown-in insulation, since this is effective for filling small crooks and crannies in these areas. This is best for blocking as much energy as possible for a more comfortable home.
Although this list isn’t all-inclusive, addressing these 3 components will get you on your way to a more energy efficient home. To find out how UWD can help increase your home’s efficiency, contact us today.