Are you ready to take your home’s comfort into your hands? DIY maintenance enthusiasts in Spring Hill, Florida, have the opportunity to increase the efficiency of their home, lower energy costs, and get more comfort if they’re willing to get their hands a little dirty. By taking a weekend to seal your home’s thermal envelope, you’ll raise your home to a new level of efficiency and comfort. Here’s how you can seal your home’s thermal envelope.
What Is a Thermal Envelope?
In the HVAC industry, your thermal envelope refers to the parts of your home that keep you shielded from that fierce Florida heat. This includes your floors, foundation, walls, roof, insulation, windows, and anything else that may help you separate your living space from the outside.
Unfortunately, thermal envelopes are not always as sealed as we would prefer. Gaps in doors, windows, ducts, and attics cause leaks that reduce HVAC efficiency, home comfort, and the integrity of your thermal envelope. Sealing your thermal envelope is a relatively quick and cheap way to preserve your cool sanctuary of a home.
Sealing Your Thermal Envelope
Where to start? Leaks in your thermal envelope could develop anywhere, but we’ll give you a few places to check first.
Attics are one of the places that damage thermal envelopes the most. Since most attics are unfinished, they are more susceptible to gaps in walls that let in warm air. Even without these gaps, attics are not cooled along with the rest of the home and thus get warmer during the summer months. Gaps in the attic floor and around plumbing pipes, electrical outlets, or recessed lighting all breach your thermal envelope and allow unwelcome warm air into your home while precious cool air escapes through the same leak.
Once you’ve identified the location of air leaks (which can often be done by looking for gathered dirt and dust), you’re ready to get to work. Seal the attic of your home by laying blanket insulation down on the floor. In places where blanket insulation may not work, throw down some filler insulation. Around plumbing pipes and outlets, spray some expanding foam. Replace the recessed lighting cans with cans that fit tighter within the holes in the floor. As a finishing touch, put some weather stripping along the attic hatch, further sealing it off.
Improper ventilation is another culprit of an unsealed thermal envelope. Whether through neglect or age, duct networks develop gaps through which cool air leaks out and warm air (from places like the attic) can seep in. This air loss forces your air conditioner to work harder than necessary to compensate.
Duct sealing should be left to professionals. You may be able to better insulate your duct network in places where ductwork is exposed, but actual sealing requires more precise training. If you’re concerned that you may have a leak in your ducts, give Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. a call, and we’ll have that part of your thermal envelope sealed in no time.
Windows and Doors
If not properly sealed, windows and doors constantly allow warm air to seep in from the outside. Leaks can form in the caulking of your windows and where doors and door frames expand and contract during different times of the year. These places need to be checked regularly because anything from a shift in weather to your house settling can cause cracks to form in window caulking and gaps to form between doors and door frames.
Running some fresh caulk over where your window meets the windowsill will quickly seal up any issues there. Apply weather stripping to door frames where gaps are significant enough. Not only will you keep out warm air, but you’ll also stave off dust, dirt, insects, and other unwelcome guests that may be sneaking in through that gap.
By taking a weekend or a day off to address these vulnerable places in your home, you’ll be able to seal off your home and take hands-on control of your environment. For more questions about how you can seal your thermal envelope or for professional help in taking control of your comfort, give Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. a call at 866-881-5935.
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