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Heat Loss Prevention - Look Before You Leap

Many people believe that installing a new high efficiency heating system is a sure fire way to save money on their heating oil.  Living in a perfect environment this would be true; however, before spending this money, consumers should perform their own energy audit.

This is not a very difficult task, and most homeowners will be able to do this without a problem.  First step, choose a windy day, with feather in hand, move around the window slowly looking for movement; this will indicate an air leak.  Mark this window to be corked inside and out at a later time.  Any cracks found on the walls should be addressed immediately, especially if they lead to the outside portion of the home.  Check all wall sockets, moving feather slowly around to check for air leaks.  Check entry and exit doors for air leaks, moving the feather around the door including the bottom.  If air leak is prevalent, mark the door so you can return at a later time to cork the inside and outside portion of the door.  Use a door snake for the bottom portion of the door, they are extremely efficient and cost only a few dollars.

Your fireplace is another big culprit of energy loss; unless you have a wood burning stove or an energy efficient fireplace with a heatilator, you're throwing money out the chimney.  If you're not using your fireplace, have it properly closed so that there is no heat loss escaping your home.

Check your attic for heat loss in your home.  Inadequate insulation, damaged insulation, or no insulation at all could play a major role in your heating bills.  If the insulation in your attic is damaged beyond repair, or no insulation exists, it's time to spring into action.  Take measurement of your attic length and width to indicate square footage of insulation needed.  Second step, check to see the width between each floor joists, most homes have 12 to 16 inch on center floor joists.  Third, check depth of the floor joists, this will indicate how thick the insulation will be.  Bring your measurement to your local big box hardware store and a representative will be able to help you in choosing the insulation appropriate for your home.  Ask the sale representative what to wear when installing insulation.  After all of these tasks are completed, try to find a company that sells oil for less than what you're paying now, this will also help with your bottom line.  After accomplishing these tasks, you'll be surprised of the difference in your heating oil bills.

These tasks that you have done will cost thousands less than a new heating oil system.  Remember that no matter how efficient your new energy system is, it will be compromised by leaky windows, doors, and poor insulation.  Entertain a new heating oil system only after you have explored and exhausted all other options.


John Calvin
Heating Oil News

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