The time you spend finding and sealing the air leaks in your home will pay off in lower cooling costs and greater comfort. It’s not uncommon to find leaks in a home of any age and until they’re fixed, outside air will either be entering or leaving your home.
Finding the Leaks
- Have an energy audit performed. Licensed energy auditors and HVAC contractors use specialized equipment to detect the leakage in your home. They use a blower door that pulls the air out of your home, and identify leaks with thermographic devices.
- Perform your own audit. Although the results won’t be as revealing, you can conduct an audit by closing all the windows and exterior doors of your home and turning on the kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans. Use a candle or lighted stick of incense and walk slowly around the exterior walls of your home. Places where you see the flame or smoke move are leaking air. Include each level of your home and examine the ceilings adjacent to the attic in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room.
- Check out the exterior. Over time, the caulk around your window frames can shrink and create air leaks. Look at the quality of the seal between the window and the exterior. Weatherstripping around exterior doors wears out, another significant source of air infiltration. If you see daylight between the door and the frame, it’s letting air in or out. Gaps and holes for wiring and plumbing contribute to air leakage.
Sealing the Leaks
Small air leaks are easy to seal with caulk. Use expanding foam in the larger cracks and gaps. If you’re sealing around vents and flues, choose foam that’s rated for high heat or use around electrical outlets. Replacing the door frame weatherstripping with a product similar to what the door already has. Not all types work in every door.
Air leaks undermine your home’s energy efficiency, but they’re generally easy and fast to seal. For more information about improving your home’s energy efficiency and lowering energy bills, contact CCAC. We provide trusted HVAC services for Coastal Bend homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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