5 Reasons Why Your House Is So Cold
Imagine this: You feel a winter chill and set the thermostat to stay nice
and toasty. You then curl up on the couch and turn on the TV to enjoy a movie.
But even with the heater cranked up, the room doesn’t seem to get any
You reach for a throw blanket, but still feel cold; it’s just not
comfortable and now you can’t even concentrate on the movie because you’re
worried about why your home’s so cold and how this will affect your electric
If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t have to imagine any of
this. It’s a reality, every fall and winter, like clockwork.
Fortunately, you don’t have to freeze — you just have to know why it’s
so cold in there, and take steps to correct the situation.
Here are 5 reasons why your home is cold.
1. Cold Air is Leaking Inside
If you feel a draft, it’s because cold air is leaking inside
your home and you need to seal
your home’s ‘envelope.’ The envelope is the physical barrier that protects
the inside, climate-controlled environment from outside weather.
To seal the envelope, go outside, clean any cracks and gaps around
windows and door frames, and cover them with a bead of acrylic or polyurethane caulk.
weatherstripping to seal any gaps in exterior doors. Here’s a rule of
thumb: If, during the day, you see sunshine passing through the side of the door,
you need to install weatherstripping or replace old weatherstripping that has
The same rule applies for under your doors. If you see
daylight passing through there, you’ve got a draft, and you can block it with a
door sweep or a draft dodger.
A door sweep, such as The Duck Brand’s Triple Draft Seal, simply slides
under the door — no tools required. It has three key parts: an inner seal to
maintain room temperature, an outer seal to black drafts, and fins on the
bottom to keep out water.
A draft dodger
is a homemade item you can rest against the door to keep out drafts. You just
need fabric, filling (like uncooked rice) and basic sewing skills.
If you don’t want to go the DIY route or to constantly reset
your draft dodger when you’re indoors, a more convenient option is The Duck Brand’s Double Draft Door
Seal, which has foam inserts you can easily cut to size, cover with
fabric and strap into place.
2. Your A/C Doesn’t Cover Your Whole House
If you have a two-story home, just one heating and cooling
system won’t cut it. You really need two separate units to control what,
essentially, are two separate homes.
Of course, what’s ideal and what’s realistic are often two
different things. Having two systems would boost overall comfort on each level,
but it also would significantly boost air conditioning costs, and that may not
be in your long-term budget.
So, here is a compromise: consider upgrading to a zoned ducted system. You just
need one heat pump and as many motor-driven dampers to monitor and control airflow
in each zone, whether it’s the kitchen, the living room or the bedrooms.
There’s another benefit to zoned air conditioning: You can
save energy by heating only the spaces that you use.
3. Your Home Needs More Insulation
Insulation has the most impact on
your home’s energy efficiency,
so it’s important to keep your attic well insulated and keep cold air out of living
You can know a lot about insulation’s
strength by its R-value,
which ranges from 2.0 to 8.0 per inch of insulation.
It’s pretty simple: The higher the
R-value, the better job the insulation does. Fiberglass and cellulose
insulation have R-values of 2.9 to 3.8 per inch while sprayed foam insulation
can go as high as 8.0 per inch.
Of course, despite sprayed foam
insulation’s high R-value, it’s best to avoid if you live in an area with lots of termites.
In addition to adding insulation,
don’t forget the attic’s entry — you can cover it with a tent such as The Duck Brand’s Attic Stairway
4. Your Air Filter is Too Old
It’s been said that two things are certain: death and taxes.
But really, a third thing should be added to that list: air filter replacements!
Air conditioner filters don’t last forever; they require changing or cleaning
every so often (usually every 90 days, for optimal efficiency).
Filters trap debris and allergens throughout your
ventilation system, but they can’t do their job if they’re clogged up. And if
that happens, your heating and cooling system simply can’t push air through
your ventilation pipes.
The worst-case scenario is straining your A/C and having to
buy a new system for $5,000. Even if the situation isn’t that dire, the system
just may not do a good job of heating your home.
5. The A/C Needs Maintenance
You may be
able to replace an air filter, but can you clean out the heating and cooling
system’s drain hole? Can you check its refrigerant levels? Can you lubricate
and inspect all of its parts for functioning?
some things that you just have to leave to the experts, and that’s where annual
tune-ups come in.
maintenance visits can help you rest assured that your system isn’t just
working, but that it is doing so optimally.
tried everything else, and your home is still cold, it’s time to call in the