If you have moved into a new place and this is going to be your first winter there, you don't want any surprises when it comes to keeping yourself and your family warm. You want to know that you are going to be able to maintain a comfortable temperature in the house easily and that it isn't going to cost you more than you can afford in order to do it. Once you are sure you aren't in need of an hvac repair, you should next consider areas where hot air may escape and cold air may seep in. Of course your house will have insulation in the walls and ceiling, which keeps the heat in and the cost down. However, there are some lesser-known areas that could also affect the effectiveness of your heating system:
- Plumbing pipes under your sinks
Since your pipes are more than likely hidden behind cupboard doors and out of sight, you may not give them a second thought. However, you can have a lot of cold air pooling in from large gaps around the pipes.
Open the doors, move any items blocking your view of the pipes, and look for open gaps where air can come right in. Clean off the area and use expanding foam to seal up those gaps. Not only will this help prevent the loss of heat, but it can also help you to keep pests from easily entering into your home and causing a possible infestation.
- Electrical outlets
One of the sneaky areas where you can have bursts of cool air entering the house is your electrical outlets. Check for possible leakage by holding a candle near one, or even use a lighter. If the flame dances a lot when it gets near the outlet, this is a sign that cool air is coming right into the house.
You can use a Philips screwdriver to quickly remove the plate and use some caulking to seal the area and prevent further instances of air coming inside. Be sure to run the same check on each outlet throughout the house.
- Attic access door
There's a good chance your attic is already insulated, but many people don't think of insulating the attic access door. Since air travels upward, the warm air that you are generating in the house can go right up into the attic, leaving the cooler air in the living area of the home.
You can purchase some insulation and install it directly on the attic side of the attic access door. Along with doing this, you also want to make sure that the door fits snugly so you won't be losing air through the cracks as well.
- Basement access door
The basement will more than likely be one of the coldest areas in your entire house. This is due to the fact that it is the lowest area in the house, and basements are generally constructed of materials that also hold in the cold, such as concrete.
You'll want to get insulation and install it on the inside of the door that leads into the basement. If you use a regular door, then you'll want to make sure it is a well-insulated one. If it isn't then it's time for you to have it replaced with one that will help provide better insulation.