In trying to cut your cooling and heating costs, what steps are you taking that won’t negatively impact your comfort? Have you thought about making your home airtight as the weather heats up outside? If you want to air seal your home as part your springtime maintenance routine, use these tips to locate leaks and seal them up.
Find air leaks
You can visually inspect the most common areas that leak air, including:
- Electrical outlets and switch plates
- Windows and doors
- Gas and electrical service entrances
- Fireplace dampers
- Attic hatches
- Exhaust fans
- Dryer vents
- Phone and cable lines
- Mail slots
- Window-mounted air conditioners
- The home’s foundation
For a more in-depth discovery of where your home leaks, seek a home energy audit. Part of this evaluation includes sealing up the doors and windows and conducting a pressurization (blower door) test. This increases air infiltration through gaps and cracks and makes them easier to detect.
Seal air leaks
Caulking and weatherstripping are two cost-effective techniques that lower your utility bills and improve HVAC efficiency while actually improving home comfort.
Caulk is used to seal stationary joints around window and door frames, as well as to seal other small holes and cracks in your home’s exterior envelope (or the attic floor). It comes in a disposable cartridge and is applied with a caulking gun. This compound comes in a variety of strengths, properties and price points. Caulking leaky areas to air seal your home is a simple, do-it-yourself project. For bigger gaps and holes, use expanding spray foam to seat the leaks.
Weatherstripping fits in movable joints to provide a seal in door jambs and operable windows. It comes on a roll the way tape does. When choosing weatherstripping for your home, consider various materials (felt, open-cell, vinyl, metal) and properties (ability to withstand friction, temperature changes, moisture, general wear and tear) that are right for the application. You can easily replace old weatherstripping as a DIY project.
Remember that even if your home has a good air seal, it still needs proper insulation to thwart heat flow and help your home achieve the energy efficiency you seek.
For more information about preparing your home for the warmer weather to come, please contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal today. We proudly serve residents in northwest Arkansas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about maintenance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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