When it comes to our home’s energy efficiency, we think of all sorts of solutions. Most people think that brand new energy-efficient HVAC system and new modern windows are the keys to an energy-efficient home as those are inseparable and very significant components to an energy-efficient home. However, they are not the most important. What makes a home the most energy efficient is its insulation. That includes not just insulation inside the walls. The biggest culprit in energy loss in most homes is ineffective attic insulation. As it is out of sight, for most people, it is out of mind to consider improving when revisiting a home’s energy efficiency.
Did you know that attic insulation performs essential functions for your home? It acts as a shield in hot summer weather. And, it is like a blanket when temperatures drop in winter.
Everyone knows how vital attic insulation is for heat loss in winter. Attic insulation regulates the temperature in a home. It keeps the cold out during winter months, but does it work the same in summer? The answer here is YES! In hot summer months, proper attic insulation will keep your cold air in and will keep warm air out. Quality attic insulation will help your HVAC system run at its peak efficiency, cutting the energy costs by as much as half in some homes. If your energy bills are higher than they used to be or higher than average, most likely the issue is in the attic.
Attic insulation suffers the most wear from people using their attic for storage, walking on it, crushing it with boxes. Different critters getting in and out of the attic looking for shelter will also breach the integrity of the insulation layer. Most homeowners do not realize that in older homes, some bathrooms vent directly into the attic, causing moisture damage to the insulation. Improper house ventilation, age, and quality of the insulation and other factors will often cause energy bills to increase. Older homes often have damaged or insufficient attic insulation without the owners’ knowledge.
Fluctuation Temperatures is a Sign of Poor Attic Insulation
Attic insulation is crucial to home’s energy efficiency both in winter and in summer when the temperatures peak, so it is very important to know the signs of poor attic insulation. Damaged insulation will allow hot air to leak into your home during summer, causing inadequate temperatures even with AC working overtime.
Fluctuating and erratic temperatures in your home could also be a sign of insufficient attic insulation. If one room seems colder or hotter than the rest of the house, do not rush to blame the south-facing window for the heat. Attic insulation above that particular area of the house may be extra worn out. Drastic temperature changes inside your home could cause your AC unit to struggle to keep the temperature down during the heat of the day only to barely catch up at night. When you keep temperature steady and controlled, it is easier for the HVAC system to keep up. As your AC doesn’t have to work as hard, you will see dramatic effects on energy costs.
You use your water heater more often compared to the furnace and air conditioner. If you want a refreshing hot shower after a day’s work, you use the water heater. There will come a time when your water heater will need to be fixed or replaced. In order to extend the useful life of your water heater, it is best to regularly maintain it.
Water Heater Maintenance Checklist
The water heater is used year round, which means that it may need regular maintenance to keep it from disrepair and help keep it working properly all the time. Here are some of the things that you must keep in mind when you perform water heater maintenance:
Make sure that you turn off the heater. It does not matter whether your water heater is gas or electric make sure to turn off the heater the night before. If for some reason you cannot turn off your heater the night before, turn it off at least 30 minutes before you start maintenance.
Inspect the water heater for any leaks. To spot leaks, use a mix of warm water and dish soap. Once you have the solution ready, apply it on the pipes and joints of your water heater while looking out for bubbles. If you see any bubbles after applying the solution, it means that your water heater has leaks.
Make sure to check all the valves. Check the temperature and pressure valves of your water heater before you start maintenance work. Lift the lever slowly until you hear the sound of water flowing into the drain tube.
Make sure to drain the water of your water heater. You can drain the water by closing the incoming water valve and connecting a hose to the drain valve. Once you do the two mentioned tasks, you can let the water from your heater drain. Make sure to open a hot water faucet in your house for proper air circulation.
Once you have drained the water, make sure to remove any buildup that remains. To find any buildup left behind after draining, find the clean hole and use a torch to peer inside. Locate any soot, dust, or sediment that may have accumulated or left behind after draining. Once you find any sediment, soot, or dust, use hot water to remove them.
Once you have removed the buildup, make sure to refill the water heater. Close all of the valves and turn on the water to refill the heater.
Lower the temperature. Reducing the temperature of your water heater helps you conserve energy.
These are some maintenance tips that you can follow to keep your water heater in good working condition all year round. Regular maintenance helps extend the useful life of your water heater and prevents frequent repairs or damage. You should have a regular water heater maintenance schedule every year your heater gets older. Like many appliances, heaters age and eventually succumb to wear and tear. By following a maintenance schedule, whether you maintain the heater yourself or hire someone else to do it, you can improve and keep your water heater in top working condition.
If you do not want to maintain the heater or you do not have time, you can always ask a professional to do it for you. There are plenty of professionals waiting for customers just like you. You can easily find one by researching online. You can get the pros and cons of each service provider that you are eyeing. You can also get customer feedback and make an informed choice to get the best value for money.