Save Money This Winter – Locate and Fix Air Leaks
Lost heat is one of the biggest financial concerns of a homeowner as the colder weather draws near. Small cracks in the seal of your house not only let the cold air in, but they let your expensive hot air out! For your best chance at determining leaks, hire a qualified technician to conduct an energy audit in your home, particularly a blower door test.
Without going through a professional, here is what you can do by yourself.
Step 1 – Visual Inspection
Head outside and get ready to inspect some of the most suspect areas. For this, we’re going to be taking a close look at the seam where two different building materials meet.
- All exterior corners
- All outdoor water faucets
- Where the siding and chimney meet
- Areas where the foundation and the bottom of exterior brick or siding meet
- Exterior seals on windows and doors
Most of these can be covered with simple caulking, but if you suspect that you have foundation issues, you should call in an expert to make sure.
Now let’s head inside and take a look at some other common places that air might escape your home.
- Electrical outlets
- Switch plates
- Interior of door and window frames
- Electrical and gas service entrances
- Weather stripping around and on the bottom of doors
- Fireplace dampers
- Attic hatches
- wall or window mounted Air Conditioners
- Cable TV and phone lines
- Where dryer vents pass through walls
- Vents and fans
- Recessed light fixtures
- Seams where two different building materials meet
- Doors leading to an attached but unheated garage
Make sure to keep an eye around any are where plumbing or electrical lines run in and out of the house and your mail slot (if your front door has one)
Basic Home Pressurization Test
To conduct this test, you’re going to wait for a chilly, windy day. Once that comes around turn off all combustion appliances (such as gas burning furnaces and water heaters) and follow these instructions
- Shut all your windows, doors, and fireplace flues.
- Turn on any and all exhaust fans that blow air outside. This includes your dryer, bathroom fan, stove vent, or a large window fan placed backward.
- Light an insense stick and bring it close to the edges of common leak sites (seen above). If the smoke wavers, or is sucked into our out of the room, there’s a draft where air can escape. You can also dampen your hands and use that to locate the drafts. They will feel cooler on your skin that otherwise.
Insulating Your Home
Depending on where your leaks are, you need to take different actions to insulate. Most minor leaks can be caulked and painted, but larger problems, such as problems with your weatherstripping or large cracks needs a different method to fix. You can read any of our four guides below to insulate your house from your garage to your attic!
If you have more specific questions, then please call us! If we failed to answer your problem here then we guarantee that a quick call to any of our stores will sort your problem out ASAP!