Are You Ready for the Cold Weather?
The summer is winding down, kids are back in school (or learning from home), and perhaps your dashed hopes of the Bucks winning their first NBA championship since 1971 have shifted to hoping the Packers can clinch the NFC title again and bring the Lombardi Trophy back to its rightful home. But when the pigskins start to fly, it also means the temperatures are starting to drop. Is your home ready for the cold weather?
The team at KV Tech Construction has been helping keep the homes of Wisconsin’s Northwoods warm since 2004, and we have learned what it takes to keep a home comfortable and efficient for the duration of the winter season. Here is what you can do to prepare your home.
Energy Loss: The Culprit of Compromised Comfort
The first step in keeping your home comfortable is to understand exactly where your home may be losing energy—more specifically, energy in the form of heat. You may have heard the saying “heat rises”, and while this is mostly true, a more accurate way to think about it is “heat will search for colder temperatures”. In the summer, the heat from the sun will try its darndest to infiltrate the cool air inside your home coming from your air conditioner. In the winter, that process reverses, and the heat from your furnace will try and escape by whatever means necessary into the cooler temperatures outside.
So, how can heat escape your home? There are two major ways homes lose heat:
- Directly through holes and cracks in a home’s construction
- Indirectly through the materials that make up your attic, roof, exterior walls, and basement
When you combine this common heat loss with snow accumulation on your roof, you can end up with an uncomfortably chilly home, and in some cases ice dams!
So the question is: how can you identify the areas your home is losing energy?
Home Energy Audits
The best way to pinpoint the areas where your home is losing heat is through a top-to-bottom scan of your home using diagnostic technology. We call this an energy audit, and it is the way we develop a customized roadmap for comfort, health, and energy savings in your Northwoods home. Here at KV Tech, our energy audit services include:
Blower Door Testing
This test will show us how much total air leakage is present in your home. We do this by closing all the windows in your home, opening all of the interior doors, and attaching a large airtight fan to the front door. The fan pulls air out of your living space, creating negative pressure, and provides a reading that tells us the cumulative leakage throughout your entire home.
Infrared Camera Imaging
Once we have the results of the blower door test, we can go about locating those leaks and sealing them up. We do this using our eyes, aided with infrared thermal imaging. Once we have sealed up the leaks, we can also use our infrared camera to locate any areas where insulation is lacking, outdated, or missing altogether!
Additionally, an energy audit includes a safety check of all of your combustion equipment to ensure you are not in danger of carbon monoxide exposure, or in some cases an unexpected explosion. It also ensures your equipment is operating efficiently.
Air Flow Meter
Once we know your heating and cooling equipment is operating correctly, and we have a plan for reducing the heat loss of your building envelope, we will also check for proper air flow to each area of the home. This is to locate any additional inefficiencies in your central ductwork.
What Comes After an Energy Audit in Wisconsin?
When the audit is complete, you will receive an energy audit report that outlines our findings, as well as our recommendations. We often start each report by explaining where your home is in need of air sealing and insulation upgrades. These two upgrades will increase the overall tightness of your home, keeping more of the heat from your furnace inside where you need it.
Not only will air sealing and insulation upgrades keep you more comfortable, but they can also reduce your energy costs, reduce indoor drafts, and reduce the amount of contaminants or pollutants that enter your home—leaving your breathing air cleaner and healthier!
Save on Your Home Improvements with Instant Energy Efficiency Improvement Rebates
When you partner with KV Tech for your home improvement project, we can help you qualify for the instant rebate savings of the Focus On Energy Whole Home program, available to homeowners throughout Ashland, Hayward, Spooner, Iron River, Cable, Bayfield, La Pointe, Washburn, WI, and the rest of the Northwoods!
Looking for ways to stay more comfortable as you spend more time at home this winter? Schedule an energy audit with KV Tech Construction! Call 715-765-4483 or get in touch here.
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