April 29, 2024

How to Stop Heat & A/C From Slipping Through the Cracks

Keep your home cozy with this comprehensive guide to preventing energy loss.

How to Stop Heat & A/C From Slipping Through the Cracks

Keep your home cozy with this comprehensive guide to preventing energy loss.

Struggling to keep your home cozy in the winter and breezy in the summer? You might be experiencing energy loss. And it could be costing you more than comfort.

The real cost of energy leaks

Energy escape happens when the cooled or heated air in your home leaks out through cracks, gaps and other sneaky avenues. In addition to mediocre home temperature control, energy leakage leaves you with higher energy bills.  

Energy leakage can cost homeowners an extra $250 to $1,000 per year, according to Natural Resources Canada. If spent on energy efficiency upgrades, that same money could help fix the root issues and save on energy bills for years to come.  

In this guide, we'll explore the most common places in your home where cooled and heated air can escape. You'll learn why energy efficiency matters, and most importantly, what you can do to prevent it.

Understanding energy loss: Where does the heat go?

Through the roof

Heat rises. If your attic lacks proper insulation, it becomes an escape route for warm air in winter. In the summer, improperly placed vents and other gaps in your ceiling offer your cooled air the perfect escape hatch.  

The fix: Upgrade your roof

Properly insulating your attic can significantly reduce heat transfer, keeping your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Consider adding additional insulation or upgrading to higher R-value insulation for maximum energy efficiency.

Upgrading your roof to use materials that are more efficient is another way to handle energy leak. Asphalt tiles attract and absorb heat into your home, making summers extra hot. Choosing light colours for your roof tile, and materials that have a lower thermal mass, will help with temperature control all year long.  

Tip: Trust the pros.

A roof upgrade is one of the biggest projects you'll undertake as a homeowner. It's no DIY. A skilled roofer can assist in planning the roof to fix vents and gaps that are not in the right place. They can also help you choose the best materials for the job.  

Ready to upgrade your roof? Our friends at Rümi have the expertise to upgrade your roofing & exterior to maximum efficiency. Request Roof Replacement today to get a no-obligation quote.  

Poor insulation

Inadequate insulation in walls, floors and basements enables heat transfer. This forces your heating and cooling systems to work harder to maintain a comfortable indoor environment. That extra effort ends up overworking your HVAC system and inflating your bill.  

This is especially true for older homes. Older homes tend to have less insulation material, greater energy leakage, and — you guessed it — higher utility bills.  

The fix: Insulation upgrade

Upgrade your insulation in these areas to improve energy efficiency and reduce utility costs. Sometimes this means knocking down some walls and adding insulation, but not always. You can improve wall insulation yourself using spray foam insulation, if you know where air is leaking in and out. Find out more about drill-and-fill insulation techniques for homeowners.

Tip: Hire a pro for big insulation upgrades on older homes.  

Homes built before 1990 may have asbestos in the insulation and other areas. Left undisturbed and sealed away, asbestos is safe. However, disturbing asbestos releases it into the air.  

If inhaled, asbestos can cause life-threatening illnesses, including lung cancer. For this reason, we don't recommend attempting an insulation upgrade as a DIY project on older homes. A pro will know how to reduce the risk and protect their team, and your family, from any harmful exposure to asbestos.  

Inefficient windows

Older, single-pane windows are notorious for their poor insulation properties. They let heat escape easily in winter and invite unwanted heat during summer. It's a lose-lose!

Improperly sealed frames contribute to energy loss too. A tight seal around your windows stops air from leaking in and out, saving you on energy. Energy efficient windows are one of the best ways to stop heat and A/C escape.  

The fix: Upgrade your windows

Consider replacing old, inefficient windows with energy-efficient alternatives, such as double-pane or Low-E windows, to enhance insulation and reduce energy loss. Look for windows with the ENERGY STAR label, indicating superior energy performance and efficiency.

Rümi's window & door pros are energy-efficiency pros. Book a Window Replacement service today to upgrade to double pane and get an airtight seal.  

Ductwork leaks

Holes or gaps in your HVAC ducts can lead to significant energy loss too. Conditioned air escapes before reaching its intended destination, leaving your home feeling cool-ish. On a hot day, cranking the A/C even higher might get you to a comfortable temperature. These inefficiencies will cost you on your energy bills.

The fix: Maintain your HVAC system

Schedule regular maintenance for your heating and cooling systems to ensure optimal performance. Replace air filters, seal ductwork leaks, and tune-up equipment as needed. Consider upgrading to a high-efficiency HVAC system for greater energy savings and improved comfort.

Tip: Get a Home Protection Plan to save on repairs and protect your core home systems. The Home Systems Protection Plan from Rümi covers your 5 core home systems: heating, cooling, electrical, plumbing and hot water tank components.  

Get the Whole Home Protection Plan to add core appliance protection to the plan too. Learn more.

Cracks & gaps

Small openings around windows, doors, and even electrical outlets allow conditioned air to leak out and outdoor air to creep in, disrupting your home's temperature balance. Sealing these gaps with weatherstripping, caulking, or spray foam insulation can make a big difference in preventing energy loss.

The fix: Caulk & weatherstripping

Sealing gaps, cracks and holes is an affordable way to improve your home's energy leakage. Use caulk and other gap-filling materials to physically seal off air entryways into your home.  

Tip: For a handy homeowner, this can be a great DIY project. Here's a helpful guide to get you started: Do-It-Yourself Savings Project: Using Caulk to Seal Air Leaks.

The impact of energy loss: Why it matters

Money matters

Escaping heat and air conditioning mean higher energy bills, putting a strain on your budget. By addressing energy loss issues, you can save money and reduce household expenses over time.

Addressing energy escape head on can pay for itself in the long run. Getting ahead of areas where heat and A/C can escape helps you save money.  

Environmental consequences

Increased energy consumption contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation, exacerbating climate change. By using less energy in your home, you can help the environment and make the future better.

Comfort compromise

Energy loss results in uneven temperatures throughout your home. Your home should be your sanctuary, but air leaks mean you might be sacrificing comfort. Address energy loss issues to maintain consistent indoor temperatures. You can create a more comfortable living environment for everyone with some simple air sealing techniques.

Home value

Energy-efficient homes are more attractive to buyers and command higher resale values in the real estate market. Invest in energy-saving upgrades and improvements to increase the value of your home and enhance its marketability.

Tips for keeping a comfortable home temperature  

Use curtains & blinds

Your curtains and blinds are more than a design statement. Window coverings are a simple way to influence your home's temperature. Learn how to prevent heat loss (and A/C) drain with curtains and blinds to maximize your energy efficiency.  

In the winter, close your curtains or blinds at night to trap heat indoors. In the summer, use your window coverings to block out solar heat gain. Making this a daily practice during the cold and warm seasons reduces the workload on your HVAC system. Consider investing in thermal curtains or blinds for added insulation and energy savings.

Invest in a smart thermostat

Upgrade to a programmable or smart thermostat that automatically adjusts temperatures based on your schedule and preferences, optimizing energy usage and enhancing comfort. Take advantage of features like remote access and energy-saving modes to maximize efficiency and savings.

Embrace energy efficiency

With Alberta's predictably unpredictable and harsh weather, you deserve reliable heat and air conditioning. If you're experiencing high bills, your energy consumption may not be the only issue. Inefficient roofing, windows and insulation may be to blame.  

By taking proactive steps to prevent heat and air conditioning loss in your home, you can save money on energy bills. Upgrades also contribute to a more sustainable future and enjoy greater comfort year-round.  

Whether it's sealing windows, upgrading insulation or investing in energy-efficient technologies, every effort towards improving energy efficiency pays off in the long run.  

Ready to get ahead of energy escape issues? Rümi offers home services in Alberta that can help you stay on top of your to-do list.

Deal Alert: Save on home energy efficiency upgrades with Rümi!

  • Roof Replacement: Get $1,000 off your Roof Replacement project from May 1 to June 30, 2024. Book the installation by June 30, 2024, and complete service by July 15, 2024 to claim this deal.  

Request Roof Replacement

  • Window & Door Replacement: Save 30% on new energy-efficient windows from May 1 to May 31, 2024. Book your installation by May 31, 2024, and complete service by June 15, 2024, to claim this deal.  

Request Window Replacement

Did you know Rümi offers monthly deals on home services, including installation, repairs, tune-ups, cleaning & more? See more deals from Rümi