Unlike much of the country, we haven’t had a lot of snow accumulation here in the Spokane & Coeur d’Alene area yet this winter. When it finally does start to snow, you can use it to find clues about how well your home is insulating heat, and use that information to potentially save yourself a lot of money.
After a fresh snowfall, and before the morning sun has had a chance to burn some of it away, step outside your home and take a look at your roof. If you notice large patches of snow having melted off your roof, that means heat is escaping your home thru the roof and causing that snow to melt!
This is not good for two reasons:
First, of course, you don’t want to waste money sending heat up and out of your home. Heating bills are expensive enough without that inefficiency. (By the way – if your furnace is over 10 years old, you should ask us for a free estimate on a high-efficiency replacement.)
Secondly, when you have snow melting down your roof, it can cause ice dams to form, causing costly damage. An ice dam forms when snow melts and runs downs the surface of the roof. As the melted snow hits cooler parts of the roof near the eaves, it refreezes. This process continues and eventually creates a dam of ice on the roof. As more snow melts, the dam stops the water, which freezes, making the dam bigger, or backs up the melt water, allowing it to leak under the shingles into the attic spaces or eaves. This can lead to water stains in the ceiling, structural damage and mold growth inside the home.
Another cause of snow-melt is improper ventilation of the attic space. Keeping all the heat out of the attic space is impossible, so allowing that heat to leave the attic through vents is important.
If you have any concerns about the efficiency of your home or how to save money on your heating bills each month, please contact us and we’ll be happy to speak with you.