Your Heating System may not be the Problem if Your Indianapolis Home Always Feels Cold

Do you have one of those houses where the second story is always too warm in the summer and too cold in the winter? Customers whom we have replaced heaters and/or air conditioners for have occasionally reported that the problem was not corrected as they had expected it to be. The trouble is that a faulty ventilation system may not have been the primary cause of the problem. Inadequate insulation in the roof and the walls (especially in older homes built prior to 1970, when stricter building codes went into effect) may actually be the culprit.

According to Energy Star, sealing and insulating the outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and floors of your home is a cost-effective way to improve interior comfort levels, as well as improving energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR estimates that a knowledgeable homeowner or skilled contractor can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% on their total annual energy bill) by sealing and insulating.

Common Home Air Leaks

Diagram of Common Home Air Leaks
Src: U.S. EPA
(click on picture for larger image.)

Air leaks and drafts are often easy to find because they are easy to feel, like those around windows and doors. But hidden holes and leaks, like those in attics, basements, and crawlspaces are usually harder to find, and therefore bigger problems. Sealing these leaks with caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping will have a great impact on improving your comfort and reducing utility bills. Click on the house diagram to see common air leak locations that you should aim to seal.

The recommended R-value for attics in Central Indiana is from R-38 to R-60, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The R-value measures the effectiveness of insulation, with higher numbers indicating better insulation. The average house should have 12 to 14 inches of insulation in the attic, many only have five or six.

So, while it may cost you a few hundred dollars to have your home insulated properly, chances are that whatever you spend to insulate your attic right now will probably pay itself back in two to three years with the money you save on your utility bills. And you and your family will feel more comfortable year-round.

To help with the cost, homeowners who add insulation to their homes before the end of the year can receive a federal tax credit of up to 10 percent of the cost of qualifying materials, up to $500.

While Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning can’t solve all of your home’s environmental issues, we are here to help when the problem is with your furnace, heat pump, or central heat/ac unit. Our team of skilled service techs are available for emergency repairs 24/7. Call (317) 639-1111 for a fast response. We are conveniently located near the downtown I-65 / I-70 hub, so nowhere in our metropolitan Indianapolis service coverage area is too far to get there quickly.