During that record-breaking cold blast last December and January, many people couldn’t get the temperature of their house as high as the thermostat setting. One common reason can be traced to a heating system’s inefficiency, which occurs as your equipment ages. Efficiency levels can also drop because of a lack of maintenance. This causes you to burn through more oil than normal.
Of course, that’s not the only reason. Many times, the “chilly home syndrome” is largely due to poor insulation levels. In the average home, about one-third of heat loss occurs through the ceilings, which should have a minimum of six inches of quality thermal insulation to keep heat inside the home, where it belongs. With that said, here are some areas you can have inspected to identify insulation issues.
When you’re insulating floors above unheated or uncooled garages, all possible sources of air leakage should be sealed first, This strategy has the added benefit of minimizing the danger of contaminants (from car exhaust, paint, solvents, gardening supplies, etc.) in the garage migrating into the conditioned space.
Besides reducing heating costs, a properly insulated foundation will keep below-grade rooms more comfortable and prevent moisture problems, insect infestation, and radon infiltration.
Loose-fill or batt insulation is typically installed in an attic. Loose-fill insulation is usually less expensive to install than batt insulation, and provides better coverage when installed properly.
If you have an oil furnace, which delivers warm air throughout your home, then you have a duct system. If the ducts in your home are in unheated or non-air conditioned space, you should make sure that they are well sealed and insulated.
It’s always a good idea to insulate part, if not all, of your basement. A properly insulated basement can save you money on heating and provide dry, comfortable extra living space. For good results, consider installing insulation in the basement ceiling, sealing off any foundation leaks, and insulating rim joists and sill plates. In addition, seal around electrical outlets and any exterior venting to eliminate drafts and cold spots. If you are considering finishing your basement to create extra livable space, be sure to insulate the walls and the floor for extra comfort.
If you would like more advice about making your oilheated home energy efficient, your local oilheat dealer will be glad to offer solutions for cutting your energy bills while increasing your home comfort. Your oilheat company is your energy savings partner!