Even though the weather throughout Central Florida over the past few months has been very mild, we still have about 6-8 weeks of potential cold weather this winter. When the weather gets cold, many residents living in older homes are the ones that are most vulnerable to heat loss.
To make your living space more comfortable in cold weather, it’s important to winterize your home by creating fewer opportunities for the cold air to enter and the warm air to escape your home. Residents with homes that are not properly sealed and/or poorly insulated are far less comfortable and are at serious risk of encountering high energy bills when the mercury falls.
Understanding Why Homes Lose Heat?
There are a few primary reasons homes and buildings lose heat. They are heat conduction and air infiltration. Heat conduction is when heat transfers through a material. Air infiltration is when air moves through cracks and crevices. The loss of heat inside a home is caused by both heat conduction and air infiltration.
Heat conduction occurs when heat transfers through a substance and energy are transferred from one molecule to another via direct contact. The molecules themselves do not necessarily change location, but merely pulsate more or less quickly against another.
An example of heat conduction is when the handle of a tablespoon that is resting in a cup of hot coffee gets warm. Even though the handle is not submerged in the hot coffee, the fluid is close enough to the heat source to get hot. The reason is that when a fluid is heated, some of the fluid near the source of the heat tends to be less dense and expand outward. When these less dense areas rise, cooler portions flow in to replace them, which are then themselves subject to heating.
Infiltration is a word that is probably most familiar from its association with the military. In this form, infiltration is the movement through or into an area by either friendly or enemy troops. Air Infiltration also is defined by the word movement. It is defined as the amount of air that escapes in and out of a home through its cracks and crevices.
In our next post, we will look at a list of things you can do to weatherize your home or building, such as caulking, weather stripping, insulating, and many other things you can do to help protect you from high energy bills and reduce comfort.