Energy (in)Efficiency: The Great Heat Escape
One of the most popular war films ever made is 1963’s The Great Escape, with a full-on, all-star cast that includes James Garner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Donald Pleasence, Richard Attenborough, and of course the exceptionally cool Steve McQueen as the laid back and unflappable “Cooler King”.
It’s kind of a guy-film.
For those who don’t know, it’s about prisoners of war held in a German prison camp, and it depicts the various ways and means the Allied POWs undertake to escape the camp, with equally varied results.
But, there is another great escape happening in homes all over North America, particularly in this late-fall, and almost-winter period.
Heat loss costs you
It’s a great heat escape, with a wide range of locations where your home is losing heat. Although the escape in question is way less macho than Steve McQueen racing away on a motorbike from scores of enemy soldiers , it’s still costing homeowners like you a significant amount for heating their homes. It costs the environment too, in resources and in other areas, to keep up with these inefficiencies.
So, where are the key trouble spots in the average home? Take a look at this to help you visualize where you’re losing heat, and money. You can click on the image to open it in a new window. Then, you can click on it again to view it in full
As you can see, a lot of the loss is due to infiltration of cold air from the outside, making your HVAC system work harder to keep your interiors warm. But, a lot of it has to do with losing the value of that output as well, from cracks in chimneys, walls, and improperly sealed windows and doors. It may surprise you to see that the “drafty old” attic is less of a problem than your floors are.
So, what do you do?
Sealing your home for better energy efficiency
Well, one thing is to seal, seal seal the areas where degradation in your home has occurred. The minute cracks in your home’s foundation may be a good place to start to discourage heat loss, and cold air infiltration. The same goes for properly sealing windows and doors. As for your floors, especially if you’re buying new, or if you are at liberty to take up your flooring, a good moisture barrier and underlay that is designed to retain warmth is a great investment.
Another thing to consider is an energy audit, which will give you an idea of not only where the trouble spots are in your home, but the kinds of savings your looking to gain by taking some, often, very simple steps to correct any issues.
Energy efficiency, eliminating drafts, and generally getting the most out of your energy dollar is a 21st century priority. This is the age of smarter spending. And in this age where budgets are tight, saving money is something that doesn’t escape anyone’s attention.
Tell us your stories about how a simple upgrade helped to lower your energy bills!
Also, investigate these articles about energy efficiency for more ideas.