How To Be Green
Thermal Imaging: Detecting Heat Loss
Heating and Cooling your home is the largest energy expense that a home owner has. There is more wasted energy from poor insulation, poor wiring, inefficient windows, and older HVAC systems. Where does a home owner start? It can be overwhelming to think about all the options a homeowner has, what improvement will get the most bang for your buck?
The answer is INSULATION! ATTIC INSULATION! We don’t sell it. But Heat NW can refer you to a good company that does. If your attic insulation isn’t at least 12″ deep (R-38), you will hear us recommending insulation. You could also get some at the local home improvement store and do-it-yourself. Current recommendation for this area is 16″. (R-49)
Heat Loss ~ Heat Gain
It is not possible to see where the heat loss or gain is without the proper Thermal Imaging equipment. Take your attic insulation as an example. If you have ever had work done that required someone to go in your attic, or move the insulation, there are probably spots of heat loss, or heat gain. This is a very common occurrence that costs homeowners money. Look at the Infrared image of the ceiling light – there is a great deal of heat gain around the light meaning that there needs to be insulation put back in that area of the attic. Whoever installed this light did not put the insulation back when he finished. Without Thermal Imaging there is no way to see that the insulation is missing, causing the hot spot.
Missing or Inadequate Insulation
Another common area to lose or gain heat is near the edges of your home. Here is an image showing the heat gain caused by having less attic insulation near the edges of the home. This particular home has this problem all along the house – every room has a heat loss / heat gain problem. By adding the missing insulation in the attic, the home will be more energy efficient, and have lower energy bills.
Tired of Cooling your Crawlspace or Attic? Heat Loss / Heat Gain
Leaky ductwork is a common place to have huge heating and cooling losses. Up to 40% in some cases. The ducting of a home is supposed to be sealed. In the past, contractors used duct tape to seal the ductwork. Over time, it dries out and leaks, then it eventually falls off. And so does the duct. It is a good idea to have your ductwork inspected with an Infrared imaging device to ensure there is no air leakage. This leakage causes your HVAC system to run inefficiently year-around. Leaking ductwork causes higher energy bills. The blue in the photo to the right is cool air from the air conditioning leaking out of a hole in the ductwork outside the home.
Is your Electrical Panel Safe?
Breakers can wear out over time. Electrical panels need routine maintenance just like the rest of your home. Since it is hard to see electrical panel problems, wouldn’t it be nice to just know which breakers are starting to fail before it actually happens? Making repairs to your electrical system before it starts a fire is always a good idea. Heat NW can come to your home and visually show you if your electrical panel needs maintenance and exactly which breakers to replace. the photo to the left shows both good and bad breakers. The orange breakers are producing heat which means they have loose wiring, or possibly a bad breaker that needs to be replaced. If you need a reliable electrician to fix the issues Heat NW can refer you to a licensed electrician.
Making Your Home Green
Heat NW offers homeowners a way to actually see the wasted energy they are producing. Our technicians can come into your home with our Infrared Camera and do a quick evaluation of your attic insulation and HVAC ductwork. Our technicians will tell you, or show you, where your home is loosing energy. You will know which home improvements will lower your heating bills. If the energy loss is from your Heating and Cooling system Heat NW can give you an estimate for repairs. If you need a specific contractor to fix any issues Heat NW can refer you to a qualified, licensed, contractor in the area.