Once you have identified air leaks, many inexpensive options for air sealing improvements are available. These can include using caulk to fill gaps no wider than half an inch, filling larger gaps with expanding foam, adding weather stripping around windows, doors, attic hatches and putting foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates.
The Department Of Energy recommends different R-values for different climates. Go to: www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/insulation.html to search recommendations by ZIP code. An HVAC System home energy auditor will strongly encourage you to insulate your home to these levels. In some areas, local building codes require higher R-values for new homes than those listed by the Department Of Energy. An energy auditor or insulation contractor can tell you how much insulation you have in your walls, ceiling, floors and basement. An energy auditor can also make recommendations for improvements and possibly give you an idea how much such improvements will cost. Spending what may seem like a large amount of money to upgrade insulation in a new or existing home can offer significant savings during the long term ownership of your home. If your budget is limited, attics are an easy place to add insulation at a minimal cost, and it is generally easy to do yourself. Many attics can be insulated to recommended levels for only $200 to $500.
Other home HVAC heating checklist tips include Opening the curtains and shades on sunny days. Designing landscaping to allow sunlight to enter south-facing windows in the winter, to provide shade in the summer and year-round wind blocks. Remember to dress warmly and keep the temperature as low as is comfortable. Using a programmable HVAC thermostat to turn down the heat at night, and while youre at work or out of town will help conserve costs. If you have a furnace, seal and insulate your duct work. If you have a boiler, insulate all pipes leading to and from it. The use of insulating window curtains at night also reduces heat loss. Installing a ceiling fan to circulate warm air trapped at the ceiling, allows you to turn down the thermostat a few degrees. Using plastic window film, storm windows or insulating window panels if your home has single-pane windows is also very effective in reducing heat loss. The sealing of drafty areas where outside air enters the home, such as at doors and windows and anywhere air from the attic can penetrate the rest of the house, such as the chimney, plumbing chases and attic hatches will also help.