We are in an era where everyone is talking about the need to conserve energy and cut down on the cost of energy. What many people don’t know is that your foundation has a direct impact on your home’s energy consumption. With this, architects and designers have become wiser and innovative.
Many new developers are now adopting the use of advanced building techniques such as air sealing, thermal envelopes as well as improved insulation to help homeowners conserve energy. However, Jim from Granite Foundation Repair says, what many people tend to forget can actually have an impact on your energy costs is your house foundation. Older buildings with uninsulated foundations often have to deal with higher heating and cooling costs.
A damaged foundation can cause major problems which do not only compromise your home’s structural integrity but will also cause air leaks that will gradually increase your heating and cooling costs. In case you didn’t know, a damaged foundation triggers air sealing complications.
A home that has been properly constructed helps boost the efficiency of your AC and heating systems. On the other hand, homes with gaps or cracks aid in the loss of heat which shall substantially raise the cost of energy. Homes with foundations that are crumbling often have numerous gaps and cracks.
Let’s examine how a damaged foundation can negatively affect your home’s heating and cooling efficiency.
Sloping Floors Boost Air Infiltration
Foundation problems manifest themselves in numerous ways, but the effects can take longer to be noticeable. Older homes are often associated with sloping or uneven floors which can be caused by foundation problems. These can include cracking foundations and crumbling. This commonly affects houses constructed using stone and brick foundations.
Sloping floors can cause a problem for HVAC especially when they create gaps between the floor and door jamb thus enabling conditioned air to escape. A shifting foundation also causes cracks to form around doors and windows as well as uneven floors. When this happens, you begin to see a steady increase in your utility bills. The best course of action is to either inspect your foundation for any signs of damage or hire a reputable structural engineer to carry out a professional inspection.
Serious Foundation Issues Can Destabilize Your HVAC System
When your house has serious foundation issues, ducts begin to separate from one another which triggers complications in the system. These imbalances significantly lower HVAC performance causing discomfort to users. The best approach is to carry out a full inspection of the foundation especially if you notice other foundation symptoms such as doors and windows failing to shut and cracks in floors and walls.
How Do I Lower My HVAC System Bills
In these economic times, everybody is looking for creative ways to save on their energy bills. Undoubtedly, energy bills are usually the most expensive utility bills. So if you sit back and do nothing, you will find yourself spending more of your budget on HVAC system bills.
One of the best ways to keep HVAC system bills in check is to insulate both the foundation as well as the foundation walls. This way, your home would be able to better retain heat and cooling thus reducing your bills.
Houses whose foundations have been properly insulated help below-ground rooms to still retain their comfort regardless of the time of the year. This way, you get to save a lot of energy. The type of insulation selected for your home depends on the design of the home, its construction technique and the type of foundation.
The good news is that newer and modern home foundations are being constructed with high-quality insulation materials such as concrete blocks and concrete forms. This doesn’t mean though that older homes are left out. You can add insulation to either the interior or exterior basement walls as well as crawl spaces. Adding a firm foam board all around the underground perimeter of the foundation is an excellent idea.
Older homes can be revisited by adding insulation to the exterior or interior basement walls and crawl spaces, or by adding rigid foam board around the perimeter of the home’s foundation underground. Doing this can be costly depending on your home’s construction design and how deep experts must dig in order to add the foam board.
Even though it is costly to make these changes in older homes, the long-term benefit is worth it considering you will have reduced your bills. Given the sensitivity of the foundation, you need to consult professions to advise you about making any significant changes to the foundation.
Ultimately, all sections of your house from windows and ducts, the flooring as well as the foundation directly impact the cost of your home’s energy consumption. The amount of energy dictates how much you will spend on heating and cooling every month.