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Finding the hidden ways your home may be losing heat

Finding the hidden ways your home may be losing heat

We’ve all experienced it, that one room or part of a house that isn’t as comfortable as the rest of the house. It’s most evident in the wintertime; the drafty room, the cold part of the house. It’s time to stop yelling “Keep that door closed!”, and enjoy your entire home during the winter months. We’re going to discuss good and bad ventilation to find out why it might be colder in certain parts of a house and how to fix the problem.

Good Ventilation

First, let’s talk about the good ventilation, or the way that air moves in and out of a home. A home, just like you and me, needs to breath to stay healthy. Over time, inside air can become stale, unhealthy, or overly humid at worst if it is not regularly replaced by fresh air. There are several good ways which homes should vent. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Roof vents are placed over holes cut in your roof which allow air to naturally escape or enter your attic space depending on temperature and weather conditions.
  • Ridge vents are a low profile alternative to roof vents that are installed along the length of your roof. When wind blows over your roof, the ridge vent creates an area of low pressure, drawing air from your attic up and out.
  • Turbine vents use the power of the wind to spin and create increased airflow in your attic space.
  • Powered attic fans use electric motors to power a fan which pulls air from inside your home into the attic space and then outside.
  • Foundation vents are typical in homes with crawlspaces. It is important to ventilate moist air in a crawl space to prevent mold and eventual foundation damage.

Bad Ventilation

When a home has a drafty room or cold spot, it is often the result of undesirable ventilation that needs to be fixed or stopped. Sometimes it’s easy to determine the issue. On a particularly cold day, use your hand to feel around on exterior facing walls and especially around windows for cold spots or air movement. If you feel a cold spot or cold air it may be a sign of inadequate, deteriorated, or missing wall insulation. In the case of windows, first check that they are properly closed and locked. Improper installation, broken seals, and age of the windows are several factors that can lead to significant bad ventilation.

Sometimes it is difficult to determine the source of bad ventilation due to the source being hidden or otherwise undetectible. This is where a device called a thermal camera can help. A thermal camera creates a picture based on the temperature of what it’s looking at, similar to the image below:

A person performing a thermal scan on a home

Areas where there is a significant temperature drop off can be investigated and problems such as inadequate insulation can be resolved.

Every house with a drafty room or cold spot requires careful investigation and proper resolution to solve the problem. We are here to help ensure you’re entire home is comfortable, so give us a call at 636-916-1122 or contact us on the web via our contact form to schedule an appointment to have your home evaluated.

Glen Christeson
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