Seal Air Leaks for Energy Efficiency
To save money on the energy bill while staying cozy this fall and winter, take time to seal up any air leaks in the home. Cracks and openings around windows or doors can leak air, letting warm air out and cold air in. This makes the furnace work even harder to keep the home comfortable.
Before sealing and caulking every window or door, it can be helpful to have a blower-door test done by technicians. This helps identify the house’s leakage points so homeowners can properly seal them. Some homes have air leaks that can actually be felt inside while walking past a door or window but other leaks are less obvious.
Here are a few ways to reduce air leaks inside the home:
Doors often have gaps around them, which can easily be fixed with some weatherstripping. This helps to lessen the gap so that less air has a chance to escape. If the gap under the door is significant, a door sweep would work better.
Caulking can be installed to many gaps or cracks that are less than ¼ inch wide. Use it around windows, electrical boxes, or any other small gaps around the house. It’s a quick and easy way to seal openings around nonporous materials.
- Flues and Chimneys
Flues and chimneys are notorious for having open spaces around them that let in quite a bit of cold air. These can be easily covered with aluminum flashing and caulk. Be careful to maintain the spacing where needed though for proper ventilation.
Preventing air leaks early in the season will help keep energy bills lower and increase the comfort level in the home. For any other energy efficiency questions, ask the experts at Diamond Heating and Cooling.
Taming a Loud Furnace
Loud furnaces can be bothersome, especially if they wake homeowners up at night. If these loud noises are unnatural, they could be stemming from a variety of problems. Identifying the type of sound is the first step to determining the cause.
If the furnace is whistling, it could be one of these three issues:
- Gaps in the duct
- A clogged air filter
- Ducts that are too small and are limiting air flow
Check the air filter first, to rule it out. If the problem is with the ducts, Diamond Heating and Cooling can come out and diagnose the issue.
A squealing noise is likely coming from the blower inside of the furnace. Often it is the sign of a loose or slipping blower belt. If the noise is ignored, the blower could break, leaving homeowners with no heat.
If the furnace is making a ratting sound, it usually isn’t serious. It usually means something is loose like the panels or ducts. Try adding screws to the ducts, duct taping loose equipment pieces, or putting something underneath the furnace like rubber.
The grinding sound of metal on metal can signify a blower malfunction. It’s commonly made by the bearings or belt in the blower. In this case, the blower will likely need repaired.
A banging sound when the furnace turns on could be a couple of different issues. The first is oil-canning ductwork. This just means there is a weak spot in the ducts that needs extra support. It can be easily repaired. The second possibility is a problem with the ignition. There could be a burst of flame when the furnace starts up causing the sound. This is easy to see, but harder for homeowners to fix themselves.
If the furnace is making one of these sounds, or any other unusual noises, give Diamond Heating and Cooling a call. We can easily diagnose and resolve the issue.
Placing Furniture Around Air Vents
Keeping air vents clear is more important than some people realize. If air vents are blocked, it affects the efficiency of the HVAC system, and could even damage it. There’s a balance that is achieved when installing the HVAC system, and even one blocked air vent could disrupt that balance, causing issues.
The furniture that is placed over the air vents can also be damaged. Upholstered furniture can incur mold and mildew if placed over an air vent. Wood furniture could shrink and swell, becoming damaged due to the humidity.
Here are some guidelines for placing furniture around air vents:
Leave at least 18 inches between a piece of furniture and an air vent. This allows for maximum air flow and reduces the chances of furniture being ruined. If that 18 inches isn’t possible, homeowners can invest in vent covers. These attach to the vent with magnets and can redirect the air away from the furniture.
As for the HVAC system, when vents are blocked, both the air conditioner and the furnace will have to work extra hard to pull in and push out air. This wears the system down faster and can cause components to begin breaking down if the vents are blocked for long periods of time. Homeowners will pay higher energy bills and need to buy a new system much earlier than planned.
If any air vents have been blocked for a long period of time, call Diamond Heating and Cooling to inspect and repair any damage to the HVAC system that is present.
Caramel Apple Cider Recipe
With the temperature dropping, it is a perfect time to curl up under a blanket with a warm drink in hand. Try this caramel apple cider for a delicious fall treat.
- Apple Juice or Cider
- Caramel Sauce
- Whipped Cream
- Cinnamon Dulce Syrup
- Add 6 tablespoons of Cinnamon Dulce Syrup to the bottom of a sauce pan.
- Add 12 ounces of apple juice or cider. Heat on medium until just before boiling.
- Pour into mug and top with whipped cream and caramel sauce.