For yet another month, your utility bills from the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, are higher than the last. At this point, you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and take your energy efficiency into your own hands. Your first order of business should be to seal your thermal envelope. Sealing your thermal envelope will keep your air where it belongs and prevent air loss that leads to HVAC strain and less efficiency.
What Is a Thermal Envelope?
Your thermal envelope is everything in your home that separates the air inside your home from the air outside. This includes doors, windows, walls, insulation, and even down to details like weatherstripping and caulking. A tight thermal envelope maintains energy efficiency by keeping air where it belongs.
When you have leaks in your thermal envelope, the air maintained by your HVAC system escapes your living space and unconditioned outside air enters. Not only can that air transfer make your home less comfortable, but it can also strain your heating and cooling system. As your HVAC system struggles to maintain comfort despite leaks in your thermal envelope, your system’s lifespan will likely drop and your utility costs will rise.
How to Seal Your Thermal Envelope
Before you can seal your thermal envelope, you’ll need to identify areas of your living space where your thermal envelope may be leaking. You may find leaks by looking for light coming in around windows and doors, or even between walls in unfinished rooms like your attic. Extra dust and dirt in those areas could also indicate a breach.
Once you’ve identified the breaches in your thermal envelope, you can seal them with a variety of strategies. For leaks around windows, lay a fresh layer of caulk, and place weatherstripping around doorframes. In your attic, seal gaps around walls and floors with expanding foam and, if necessary, lay extra insulation.
Sealing your thermal envelope will keep your air where it belongs, improving comfort and energy efficiency throughout your home. To further improve your energy efficiency with professional HVAC care, call Caribbean Breeze Heating & Cooling at (504) 517-7595.
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