Tag Archives: insulation

What to Know About Window Insulation

What to Know About Window InsulationInefficient windows may be all that’s keeping you between staying comfortable this winter and achieving low energy bills. Although it’s a small investment of time and money, adding window insulation might be the key to a draft-free home and reasonable heating accosts.

 

As important as they are, windows are often the least efficient component of homes. Glass has practically no insulation value and air leaks in windows are common. Making your windows more efficient is a two-step process to stop the leaks and slow the loss of heat through the glass.

Seal the Leaks

A professional energy audit is the most accurate way to find where the leaks around the windows are. The auditors use a high-powered fan to pull the air from your home and test the temperatures with infrared cameras to find the location of the leaks and their sizes. Once you’ve identified their locations, you can seal most leaks with acrylic caulk around the frames and silicone caulk around the panes.

Add Insulation

Single-pane windows have no protection against heat transfer and gain and lose heat quickly. All you have to do is hold your hand against the glass on a cold morning to feel how cold the glass is. Dual pane windows sometimes lose their airtight seal and the insulating gas escapes. They lose their insulating properties and function little better than a single-pane window.

 

Window insulation is available in clear plastic kits and window film. The kits are available at home centers and online and are fairly easy to install using hair dryers. Window film has the same coatings that low-E windows have to prevent heat gain and loss. The film is also available at retail home centers and online, but take some practice to install. You can find professionals who install this film full-time for homes and commercial buildings.

 

Taking the time to seal the leaks and add window insulation will give you a warmer, more comfortable home with lower heating bills. To learn more, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

Money Saving Tips for Colder Months

Money Saving Tips for Colder MonthsKeeping your home warm during the winter season can be a costly endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Saving money is easy to do once you know where to concentrate your efforts. We suggest that you start with these quick tips:

 

Call an HVAC Technician

 

If you haven’t had your heating system checked in the past year, now’s the perfect time. A qualified technician will ensure optimal performance and efficiency, in addition to prolonging the unit’s lifespan.

 

Take Advantage of Your Programmable Thermostat

 

Most homes are now equipped with programmable thermostats that allow you to set the days and times when your heating system is in operation. This level of control will lower your energy usage, thereby saving you money on your monthly utility bill.

 

Add a Bit of Insulation

 

If you don’t have proper insulation in your home, heat will escape and force your system to work harder to achieve the same results. Adding insulation can usually be done by the homeowner, but if you have any problems, enlist the help of an HVAC technician who can pinpoint where insulation is needed most and add it for you.

Consider the Use of a Zoning System

Zoning systems are more efficient than traditional heating and cooling systems because they allow you to concentrate your home comfort efforts only in the areas of your home that are occupied. This prevents you from wasting energy by running your heat for a long period of time just to heat up one or two rooms.

Find Alternative Heating Methods

Although your first instinct may be to reach for the thermostat when the weather drops, alternative heating methods will often save you money. Space heaters, for instance, are perfect for heating up small areas and use little energy. And if the weather isn’t too cold, the use of sweaters and blankets don’t cost anything at all.

 

If you need more assistance with saving money or any other home comfort concerns, please contact the professionals at Powers Heating & Air. We’ve been serving the needs of Peachtree City and the surrounding areas since 2001.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

How Insulation Affects HVAC Efficiency

How Insulation Affects HVAC EfficiencyHVAC efficiency depends upon more than just the make and model of your air conditioner or furnace. Insulation is one of the factors that can make or break both optimum energy efficiency and consistent comfort in your house.

 

Insulation For All Seasons

 

Heat energy is always in motion from a warmer zone into a cooler zone. Proper insulation effectively inhibits both heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter and supports maximum HVAC efficiency. The most cost-effective location for household insulation is usually the attic. Here’s why:

  • Solar heat radiating through the roof overheats the attic in summer, causing rooms below to become hotter, too. A bed of fiberglass or cellulose insulation in the attic floor effectively inhibits heat radiation through the ceiling and reduces the cooling load on your air conditioner.
  • In winter, heat from the furnace naturally rises in living spaces, radiating up through the ceiling into the colder attic. Proper insulation in the attic floor resists heat transfer through the ceiling and keeps heating costs lower.

How Insulation Pays Off

By reducing the effect of heat gain and heat loss, insulation boosts HVAC efficiency, maximizes performance of your air conditioner or furnace and helps control cooling/heating costs.

  • Shorter cooling cycles means the A/C compressor—often the largest single electricity consumer in a typical house—runs less and monthly electricity costs are reduced.
  • Gas-fired furnaces also use less fuel to keep the house warm as insulation reduces heat loss into the attic.
  • Manufacturer’s efficiency ratings are more accurate. Both the SEER efficiency rating for air conditioners and the AFUE rating for gas-fired furnaces are helpful factors in predicting the operating costs of a particular unit. The reliability of these efficiency calculations assumes that proper insulation is installed in the house.
  • Components of efficient HVAC units receive less wear and tear. System service life is extended due to shorter cycles and repairs are less frequent.

For more about the link between proper insulation and improved HVAC efficiency, ask the professionals at Powers Heating & Air.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

Where Do Different Types of Insulation Go?

Where Do Different Types of Insulation Go?The insulation in your home acts as its primary defense against temperature change. Depending on its structure, it may have just one or two types, but if you need to add more, you may have more choices appropriate for the exact places where you need it.

Batts

Rolled fiberglass batts are the most common type of insulating materials used in new home construction because they’re effective, affordable and easy to install. Recycled denim and rock wool (also known as mineral wool) batts are also available. Rock wool is made by melting rocks.

  • In new construction, batts are used in attics, walls and basement or crawl space ceilings. They’re used in existing homes to insulate attics and unfinished ceilings.

Loose

Cellulose, rock wool and fiberglass are the most common blown-in types of insulating materials. Cellulose is made from recycled newspapers and treated with borates to prevent insect invasions, repel moisture and retard fire. Of the types of loose insulation, cellulose is the heaviest and tends to pack down.

  • Loose products are used in new construction in attics and walls. They can be used in existing homes in attics and blown into existing walls using a hole saw and blower. It’s possible to blow loose products over batts in attics.

Foam

Synthetic foam products are available as sprayed-on or rigid foam sheets. They cost more than other insulating materials, but provide more protection against thermal transfer. Sprayed foams are normally applied by professionals since they require special equipment and chemicals. Rigid foam sheets are easy to cut and install in wall cavities or between ceiling joists. Kits are also available to insulate garage doors.

  • Sprayed foams are used in small, tight spaces in attics and walls. They are often used on the ceilings for retrofit attic spaces and in existing walls. They are sometimes used to coat flat roofs, or on the roof decking for vaulted ceilings.

Each of these insulation products will help you retard heat transfer in and out of your home. To learn more, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing trusted HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

When Temperatures Drop, Bundle Up Your Water Heater

When Temperatures Drop, Bundle Up Your Water HeaterThe most ignored appliance in many homes is the water heater because it’s tucked out of sight, operates silently and seldom fails. It’s also the second-most hungry appliance in the typical home, using around 20 percent of all energy consumed in a year. Wrapping it with an insulating blanket will cut its energy consumption and prolong its lifetime.

 

These blankets, found at home improvement centers, cost little compared to the energy savings they offer. Older storage tank water heaters may not have enough insulation wrapped around the tank to prevent the heat from the water from seeping out, and in the winter, those standby losses increase. Consequently, it uses more energy.

Detecting Standby Losses

Place your hand on the outside of the tank. If it feels warm to you, chances are, it lacks insulation. A hand-held infrared digital thermometer will also tell you how much warmer the tank’s shell is than the air temperature.

Selecting a Blanket

Before purchasing an insulating wrap, measure the water heater’s height, circumference and note its size in gallons. Determine whether it’s gas or electric. If yours is gas, you may want to ask a plumber or HVAC technician to install it for you, since gas water heaters have specific requirements for installation that keep them safe.

Installing the Blanket

You can trim an oversize blanket for a precise fit. Follow the directions carefully and make sure you don’t cover the thermostat for the water heater. Turn the thermostat down to 120 degrees to prevent the wiring from overheating.

 

Lowering the temperature also reduces the amount of dissolved solids that form at the bottom of the tank, which extends its lifetime and reduces scalding injuries. You might want to choose the heat setting on your dishwasher if it has that option to bring the temperature back to 140 degrees when you wash a load.

 

It’s relatively easy and inexpensive to improve the efficiency of your water heater. If you’d like to learn more, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

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