Here is a subject that can REALLY change your energy bill by as much as 50% or higher depending on the condition of the "Rodent Barrier" under your home...
This is the black fabric covering the bottom of your home. Above the black "Rodent Barrier", (also known as "Bottom Board"), is Fiberglass Insulation. On top of that is a Vapor Barrier, (a sheet of plastic). There is a space between the Vapor Barrier and your floor.
This is important space, this is the "Return Air" passage to your furnace. Located on the outside edge of the room and usually under a window, is your furnace "Return Air Duct". That air duct allows cold air to be drawn from inside the room and back to the furnace. This keeps the floor warm and the furnace doesn't need to work hard heating outside cold air. That "air duct" is actually a short piece of sheet metal entering the space under your floor. Here is a rough diagram of the way your "Rodent Barrier" should look:
Check your rodent barrier. That means you must get under your home and look, at all of it. If you see insulation hanging or holes through the vapor barrier, then your furnace is drawing air from under your home instead of from inside the house. Here is what happened to my "Rodent Barrier" thanks to a cat:
Sealing that vapor barrier, replacing the fiberglass insulation and sealing up the rodent barrier will repair your furnace's efficiency, reduce your energy bills and keep your home nice and cozy warm.
Oh. This will keep the rodents out as well.
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