In the average home, fireplaces, air ducts, and plumbing and electrical access are responsible for over 40% of home heat loss. Sealing gaps and air leaks can result in significant savings on winter heating bills. They also improve the comfort of your home.
Your chimney is an escape route for warm air from your furnace. When your fireplace is not in use, keep the damper closed to prevent air from going up the chimney.
Check the seal on the flue damper. Make sure that it is as snug as possible. If your damper is warped or doesn’t fit tight, a chimney balloon or similar draft stopper will do the job. Read this article for more on chimney balloons.
Consider installing glass fireplace doors to help block the path of heat trying to escape up the chimney. Fireplace doors also work when you are enjoying a heartwarming fire.
Over time, air ducts develop leaks, holes, and loose joints. Seal all ductwork in areas that you can reach, such as in basements. Use mastic or metal foil tape to seal the joints. Insulate ductwork in unheated areas, such as attics and crawlspaces. Contact a heating and cooling professional if you suspect more serious ductwork problems. Fixing leaky ductwork saves money during both heating and air conditioning seasons.
Plumbing and Electrical Access
Gaps around electrical lines and plumbing and gas pipes entering your house from outdoors result in significant heat leakage. These passageways are made over size so it is easy for the installer to do his job.
Look where a water faucet supplies your garden hose. There may be a gap around the pipe that needs sealing. Good quality polyurethane caulk
The other place to look is where wires, pipes and ductwork pass into the attic from heated areas of your house. Seal these areas in the attic with spray foam insulation
Caution if there is a gap around your chimney or other heating vent stack; make sure you use a high temperature sealing material that is rated for this job. Use the wrong stuff and it may cause a fire.