Reduce Your Heating Bills This Winter - Overlooked Sources of Heat Loss in the HomeWritten by Mark D. Tyrol, P.E., www.batticdoor.com
Imagine leaving a window open all winter long – heat loss, cold drafts, and wasted energy! Well if your home has a folding attic stair, a fireplace, and/or a clothes dryer, that may be just what is occurring in your home! These often overlooked sources of heat loss and air leakage can cause your heat pour out and cold outside air pour in – costing you higher heating bills, causing cold drafts, and wasting energy. Air leaks are largest source of heating and cooling loss in home. Air leaks occur through small cracks around doors, windows, pipes, etc. We apply caulk and weatherstripping to these areas to minimize heat loss and cold drafts. But what can you do about three largest “holes” in your home – folding attic stair, fireplace, and clothes dryer? Here are some tips and techniques that can easily, quickly and inexpensively seal and insulate these holes. Attic Stairs:
Do you have a folding attic stairway in your house? When attic stairs are installed, a large hole (approximately 10 square feet!) is created in your ceiling. The ceiling and insulation that were there have to be removed. And what is installed to cover this opening? A thin, unsealed, un-insulated sheet of plywood!
Did you know that your attic space is ventilated directly to outdoors? In winter, attic space can be very cold, and in summer it can be very hot. And what is separating your conditioned house from your unconditioned attic? That thin sheet of plywood!
Often a gap can be observed around perimeter of door. Try this yourself: at night when it is dark, turn on attic light and shut attic stairway door - do you see any light coming through? These are gaps - which add up to a large opening where your heated/cooled air leaks out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year! This is like leaving a window open all year round!
An easy, low-cost solution to this problem is to add an attic stair cover. An attic stair cover provides an air seal, reducing air leaks. Add desired amount of insulation over cover to restore insulation removed from ceiling. Fireplaces: Approximately 100 million homes in North America are constructed with wood or gas burning fireplaces. Unfortunately there are negative side effects that fireplace brings to a home especially during winter home-heating season. Fireplaces are energy losers! Researchers have studied this to determine amount of heat loss through a fireplace, and results are amazing! One remarkable research study showed that an open damper on an unused fireplace in a well-insulated house can raise overall heating energy consumption by 30%!
Decorating with rocks, the beauty of rustic decorWritten by Joseph Lewitin
Rocks are dirty, crude, hard, and just plain nasty. But there is another side to rocks. They are also durable, beautiful, and come in a huge variety.
When a piece of stone is cut from a mountain, it is cut into a giant slab. This slab looks like a giant landscape. The stone can be any color that exists in nature, red, green, yellow, and these colors are streaked across face of stone. When it is cut or broken down, each piece becomes a tiny unique item that can then be turned into any number of beautiful decorating items.
The most common stone household item are stone tables. Stone tables match stone and ceramic flooring. They are one of a kind, and beautiful. They can easily be set up indoors or outdoors, and they dont stain, because rocks dont stain.