- Energy Efficiency
- Heat Pumps
- Indoor Air Quality
Now that the holidays are over and Christmas Vacation is no longer playing every three hours on cable, the reality of another long cold winter is upon the homes of Richmond Heights, University City, Webster Groves, and the rest of the St. Louis area.
And while Clark Griswold may be the archetype of what not to do during the holidays, there is one clue in Christmas Vacation as to how we here at SmartHouse Heating & Cooling can help you stay warm in your home, without spending next year’s Christmas gift budget on high heating bills.
So, what is it that this John Hughes classic can teach us about building science? There is a classic scene where Clark Griswold sneaks up into the attic to hide some Christmas presents. After some shenanigans, he finds himself shivering-cold and partway fallen-through the ceiling, with his feet on a bunk bed and the rest of his body still in the attic. Grasping for warmth, Clark realizes there is warm air coming from the conditioned living space below, escaping through the hole he just made, so he attempts to warm his cold hands with the escaping heat.
To many, this is a throwaway scene that may have brought a chuckle, but to building science experts like the staff here at SmartHouse, there is an important truth to this scene: Heat will try and escape your home in any way it can.
One of the first steps in keeping your home warm without wasting energy is ensuring your home is keeping all that heat in!
There are two main offenders when it comes to heat loss in a home: air leaks and a lack of insulation. In order to keep the heat from your furnace inside your home, your home’s “building envelope” must be properly sealed and insulated.
Air sealing is the process of locating leaks and sealing them, to get your home as close to “airtight” as possible, while still allowing enough air exchange for the safety of your family. Next, we can pair you with the right insulation in your attic, basement and exterior walls, as needed. We recommend air sealing and insulating are completed together, so you can be sure you are keeping as much heat in your home throughout the winter as possible. Plus, these upgrades will keep your home cooler in the summer, as they will keep the summer heat out, as well!
Once we know your building envelope is sealed and insulated, we can take a look at the efficiency of your heating system. If your furnace or boiler is aging, or has developed wear and tear that is affecting its efficiency, it may be more beneficial in the long run to upgrade to more efficient, modern heating equipment. Remember, the earlier you upgrade your heating system, the more you stand to save in heating costs!
A car can only be as safe as the driver who is behind the wheel, and your heating system can only be as efficient as the device used to control it. A programmable or smart thermostat can offer savings estimated to be between 6% and 30%, depending on the home.
Programmable thermostats allow you to optimize your thermostat settings, so your furnace is not running when you are not home. Smart thermostats can automatically adjust your settings based on your behavior, to save you money without you changing your comfort habits! Plus, Wifi-enabled smart thermostats allow you to control your thermostat from wherever you are, as long as you have a cell signal.
When it comes to keeping your home warm and your heating costs low, you need more than just a heating and cooling contractor. Here at SmartHouse, our home performance experts take the time to understand how your home operates, so we make sure your home is working smarter – not harder – to ensure your family’s comfort and your home’s efficiency. Plus, with our SmartCare Service Plans, we can keep your heating system in tip-top shape, with regular maintenance visits. Get in touch with our team today!