Good Ways to Detect Air Leaks

Good Ways to Detect Air LeaksIf you live in an older home, you likely know how air leaks play havoc with your air conditioning and heating efforts. Walking around your home, you may feel cold drafts in the winter, while in the summer, humidity intrudes from the outdoors, necessitating running the air conditioner at a lower temperature than might otherwise be necessary.

But even if you’ve got a newer home, things are probably going to get looser as the years go by. As the foundation settles and the home moves around, cracks can form. Further, the original sealant will likely deteriorate, requiring replacement. Another issue owners of newer homes confront is the fact that insulation is seldom sufficient to make the home efficient.

Finding an Air Leak

One of the best ways to improve efficiency in your home is to find and seal air leaks. By sealing leaks, you will keep your conditioned air inside the home, and prevent unconditioned air from migrating to the interior.

Finding air leaks is not hard. Light an incense stick on a windy day and explore your home, waving the stick in front of key places where air leaks are likely to occur. If the smoke wavers, you have a leak.

Some of the most common sites for leaking air are:

  • Around windows and doors; under doors
  • Wherever pipes, cables or wires enter the home from the outside
  • Around attic hatches
  • Around baseboards
  • Around dryer vents
  • Around vents and fans
  • Fireplace dampers
  • Mail slots

Fixing an Air Leak

Sealing an air leak can usually be done by adding insulation and weatherstripping, and replacing caulk. Here are a few of the easier fixes:

  1. Apply caulk around window and door frames.
  2. Apply weatherstripping around double-hung windows or to seal leaks between exterior doors and casings.
  3. Spray foam sealant into gaps around baseboards and windows.
  4. Add insulation to the attic door.
  5. Install foam gaskets behind electric outlet plates.
  6. Seal holes around pipes, wires and cables with insulation.

To learn more about air leaks, contact C.R. Wolfe Heating and Air Conditioning. We’ve served Middletown since 1945.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Middletown, New York about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about detecting air leaks and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 845-367-4482.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

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