Finding the air leaks in your home and getting them fixed is a surefire way to save substantial energy costs and eliminate drafts for increased home comfort. Set aside time to inspect your home for leakage and reap long-term rewards. Use this guide to help you get started.
Finding the air leaks
It’s important to be thorough when finding the air leaks in your home. Air pressure differences between your living space and the outdoors forces air exchange, which translates into wasted energy and discomfort.
According to Energy Savers, one effective method for finding the air leaks in your home is to hold a lit incense stick near places where air leaks commonly occur. This includes doors, windows, electrical outlets, light switches, recessed lighting, attic hatches, vents and unfinished basements. If the incense smoke moves horizontally, you have located an air leak.
Fixing the air leaks
In addition to incense sticks, you’ll need caulk (silicone or acrylic latex), a caulk gun, a can of spray foam, foam gaskets and weatherstripping. Here is a list of common air leaks and how to fix them:
- Windows: Caulk leaks and consider upgrading to double-pane storm windows.
- Doors: Weatherstrip around all doors. Install pliable sealing gaskets on door bottoms and thresholds.
- Basement: Check for and seal leaks where the cement/block basement wall comes into contact with your home’s wood frame.
- Attic: Weatherstrip the attic hatch. Seal around recessed light boxes. Look for dirty or spotted insulation (a sign of air leaks). Be sure to replace damaged insulation once all leaks have been addressed.
- Outlets/switches: Install foam gaskets between the wall and outlets and light switches.
- Vents: Cover kitchen and bathroom vents when not in use. Make sure the dryer vent is not blocked, as this is a fire hazard. Seal around dryer vent.
- Wall openings: Check openings where electrical wiring, plumbing, cables, heat pump tubing and vents pass through the wall. Caulk as needed.
For more tips on finding the air leaks in your home and sealing them for improved efficiency, contact AirRite Air Conditioning Company. We serve the Fort Worth and Arlington areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about fixing air leaks and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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