High HVAC Energy Bills? Check Your Home’s Foundation
The HVAC system in your Northern California home, along with all heating and cooling appliances or devices that use electricity, contributes to your monthly utility bills. Hence, it is necessary to invest in energy efficient appliances that use less energy in the house. Systems that are rated high on energy efficiency certainly help conserve energy, but energy consumption also depends on the foundation of your home.
Any foundation that is sloping, unstable or one that has a lot of gaps around doors and windows cannot conserve energy well. Hot or cool conditioned air will easily escape from the cracks, rendering your HVAC system less powerful. To compensate for this loss, the system will have to run overtime, increasing your utility bills. Seepage and moisture related issues may crop up in the house as well.
What problems can occur if your home foundation is not right?
- Air sealing
If your foundation is improper, the house will not be air tight. All the expensive conditioned air that escapes from around the windows or under the doors, will increase your energy bills and also cause more wear and tear to your overworked system. Good air seal in all rooms is required for efficient heating or cooling of the home.
- Gaps caused due to flooring
Structural issues during construction can cause floors to be sloping. This results in unnecessary gaps between the door jamb and the floors, allowing hot or cool air to escape easily. Flooring issues also occur in homes that are old or not maintained properly.
- Damage to your HVAC system
Cracking in floors, levelling issues or foundation problems can result in the air ducts getting separated from one another or could develop cracks. The balance and level issues caused due to this can damage the HVAC system.
Inspection of your home
If issues like uneven heating or cooling, windows or doors that don’t shut properly, high energy bills, drafts or cracks in the flooring are occurring often, you can get your home foundation inspected by professionals. This can cost between $500 to $700 but you will certainly save a lot on energy expenses if your home is air tight.
For a comfortable indoor environment, your house must be properly insulated. This also helps your HVAC system heat or cool the place efficiently, without any unnecessary loss of energy.
New houses usually have foundations insulated using blocks of concrete. But insulation can be added to older homes too, on the exterior walls and interiors of basements using rigid foam boards.
As this is something that was not accounted for during construction, extra labor will be required to dig deep around your house and is quite expensive. But if you are spending too much on energy due to lack of good insulation, it is an important expenditure that is worth your time and efforts.
It is necessary to understand that everything from the roof of your house to its basement, contributes to your energy consumption and upkeep of the entire structure is crucial.