Where does my home lose heat?

Heat loss occurs in everyone’s home. That is a fact! The problem arises when it happens too quickly. The greater the heat loss, the more energy required to maintain the heating temperature. Not only does it increase energy bills, but it may also put a lot of strain on the heating system.

How to deal with low temperatures in your housing? How to address heat loss? There are different techniques to identify heat loss of housing with ways to prevent it.


Visual inspection

One of the methods used to find places of potential heat loss is visual inspection – both indoors and outdoors. Cracks and gaps are usually found in places where two different construction materials connect, such as cladding, chimneys, exterior corners, and interfaces. Pay special attention to the outdoor walls, doors, windows, and other open gaps. Any visible damage must be addressed as soon as possible.

Heat insulation

Due to the winter, housing in Latvia cannot be imagined without heat insulation. This creates situations during which it may prove impossible to get by with a change of habits, instead, greater commitment is a must. The walls, ceiling, and floor are of high importance as the main heat loss is due to them. Uninsulated walls provide not only easy heat input but output as well, and it is easily identified. If, during summer the room heats up quickly making it difficult to sleep at night, while during winter the walls are cold, then it points to poor heat insulation. If the floor has poor heat insulation, carpets and warm socks may help. However, this is only a temporary solution as it will not substitute for a layer of functional heat insulation. Icicles are one of many visual warnings that show the need to improve the roof and attic heat insulation because usually, the biggest heat leaks occur directly in the attic. Attic insulation is one of the most effective measures of conserving heat.

Windows and doors

The next most common places for heat leakage are windows and doors. The easiest time to check for unwanted air leaks is during winter and windy weather. You can check the heat leakage in two ways. First, by touching it. If you can feel cold, then it indicates poor thermal transmittance. Second, by placing a sheet of paper between the frame and the window/door. If the sheet of paper can be pulled out with ease, then the heat flows out, and cold flows in just as easily. What is the solution? Replace sealing rubbers and adjust fittings for plastic windows. If a window pane is cracked, it should not be ignored, but replaced. It is recommended to use a self-adhesive seal at the bottom of the door. As these areas are easily accessible and the solutions tend to be simple, it allows you to make improvements yourself.

It is worth remembering that daily habits are also essential, for example, when going out it is important to close the doors, especially in houses where not all rooms are in use.

When we think about maintaining the heat in the house, we often forget that fresh air is necessary for our well-being. If ventilation is unavailable, fresh air is most often supplied by opening the windows.

How to effectively ventilate the rooms via windows? First, if possible, turn off the heating devices, and secondly, widely open the windows, so the air exchange happens faster, reducing the excessive cooling of the room. During the winter a couple of minutes is enough to supply the required amount of fresh air.

Heating installations

A suitable heating installation is an important cornerstone to keeping the heat. If a fireplace or stove is used for heating, remember to close the chimney damper, and the door frame must be tightly shut. Why is this important if the heating installations are not being used? Just like windows and doors, the chimney is also a way for the cold to enter the room.

There are other ways to efficiently heat the housing as well. When using heating devices, their location should be taken into account, for example, they should not be obstructed or placed behind furniture. Hanging curtains over radiators is one of the most common mistakes, as curtains are good heat insulators. For this reason, it is recommended to open the curtains during the day so that the heat of the sun can enter the house, and close the curtains in the evening. You must remember that radiators need to be cleaned and wiped regularly. Air exchange does not occur when dust accumulates.

If the heating device still does not function at its full capacity, taking into account the given recommendations, the next step is to contact a specialist.

A specialist is your best friend

A practical Latvian will try to do everything himself, however, in some situations it is preferable to trust a professional, especially for major repairs. Replacing a window or insulating the walls by yourself will not always result in success, especially if you do it for the first time. By calling upon a specialist, you can also determine specific places of heat loss, as well as a plan of action for damage prevention.

It's always important to take your time and find heat leakages in your home because fixing them pays off. The good news is that if a big investment like buying a new boiler or improving your insulation isn’t possible, there are lots of things you can do at a low cost, such as replacing window seals, using appropriate curtains, and moving furniture away from the heating devices.

We also recommend you take a look at the recommendations, on how to efficiently heat your house via electricity.

Have any additional questions? Ask here!