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Tips to Recognize Signs of Energy Loss in Your Home

Feb 28, 2014

A direct impact on your cost of living and your quality of life is energy loss, and I don’t mean feeling tired all the time. What I’m talking about is energy waste in your home, which is driving your utility bills up while impacting your health, whether you know it or not. So what are some of the signs of energy loss to look out for?

High Electric, Oil or Gas Bills

  • Old and inefficient appliances, and inefficient lighting contribute to high energy bills.
  • Many electrical devices consume power in “standby” mode, leading to  “phantom” electrical loads.
  • Outdated furnaces can be only 60% efficient at converting fuel to heat, (compared to 90% efficiency for newer equipment), which costs you money.
  • Air leakage and inadequate insulation are major causes for high heating bills.

Allergies, Eye Irritation and Respiratory Problems

  • Airborne irritants (i.e., dust and mold spores) can result from leaky ductwork, dirty air filters, or a mold infestation.
  • These issues occur most often in homes with forced-air heating and/or central air conditioning systems that are not energy efficient, which can lead to energy loss.

Ice Dams

  • An ice dam is a buildup of ice along the edge of your roof, caused by heat from your living area escaping into the attic and melting the snow on your roof.
  • Ice dams are damaging to your roof and gutters, and also cause water leaks.

Cold Drafts and Floors During Winter

  • Air leaks in your home let heated air escape and cold outside air in, resulting in cold drafts.
  • Cold floors are often due to inadequate insulation, cold air infiltration, and incorrect or inadequate insulation.

Condensation on Windows

  • Build up of condensation on windows in winter usually indicates poor ventilation in the kitchen and bathroom areas.
  • Another cause of condensation on windows could be when a house has older windows that aren’t energy efficient. 

Rooms Too Hot in Summer

  • This could be a result of duct leakageinadequate attic insulation or too much direct sunlight coming through older windows that lack reflective coatings.

Lack of Hot Water

  • Old or undersized water heater tanks might not be able to keep up with household hot water demand.
  • Older water heater tanks tend to waste a lot of energy.

Mold and Mildew in Basements or Crawl Spaces

  • Musty odors in these areas generally signify that there’s a mold issue.
  • A mold infestation is often caused by air leakspoor ventilation, and incorrect insulation.

Mold in Attic

  • Dark stains along the underside of roof sheathing suggest that moist air from living areas below is leaking into the attic and condensing on attic surfaces.
  • Another cause of attic mold is kitchen and bath vent fans that exhaust air into the attic rather than outside the home.

If you have any of these problems in your home, they could be signs of energy loss. Contact your local RESNET certified professional for help.