Are These Common Air Leaks Costing You Money?
Homeowners tend to do a lot of things to make their homes energy efficient. Most of them tend to change out light bulbs and purchase high-efficiency electrical appliances while forgetting about the most basic precautionary measure; sealing air leaks. Air leaks are always unfortunate but a common problem in most homes.
They tend to create drafts that allow the heated or cooled air to get out of your home which increases your energy consumption. Sealing air leaks in your home can save you up to30% on your overall energy costs. It is also an effective way of improving the air quality in your home.
Here are a few common leaks to look for and fix in your home.
5 Common Air Leaks Costing you Money
Unsealed Windows & Doors
Conducting regular inspections of your home windows and doors can stop both water and air leaks. Take a close look at the windows and doors to identify and stop air leaks. To identify window and door air leaks, start by sealing by locking all doors and windows. Also, close all vents and dampers and turn on all your kitchen and bath exhaust fans. Pass a burning incense stick along all the openings to identify air rushing from the outside.
Inspect your window panes for any cracks and check the locks to ensure that the windows slide smoothly up and down. Inspect the doors for any cracks which might weaken their ability to prevent air leaks. Make sure that the door hinges are tight and the doors fit well in their thresholds. Sometimes, for windows and doors, replacing them can be the best option.
Attic Air Sealing
Check the ceilings from below your house attic and note the location of all ceiling fans, light fixtures and other electrical outlets. Now find all the fixtures that you pointed out from the attic side. Keep in mind that you might have to drawback all existing insulation materials to find the fixtures.
All the electric connections for fans, fixtures and other outlets usually require some hole cutout in the ceiling. Each of these cutouts could be an air leak. You can easily stop the identified leaks by sealing all the electric cutouts using silicone caulk or acrylic latex.
Ductwork refers to the specific part of your HVAC system which carries the heated or cooled air from the handling unit to the various parts of your home. It runs through several spaces that you can’t see. However, if your duct is accessible, carefully inspect the joints between the registers to ensure that they are tight.
The connection between the branches of the ductwork is also another common area for air leaks. Seal all loose connections or holes with mastic. Alternatively, you can cover the air leaks with a sticky metal tape but avoid using duct tape since its adhesive isn’t long-lasting.
Although recessed lights are attractive and modern, they may act a source of air leaks in your home. They may provide a pathway for air movement into the floor systems or draw air from the outside. Using a smoke stick will reveal the air movement through your recessed fixture which is an important hint that there is an air leak. Consider the following to air seal your recessed lights
- Replace the light fixture
- Enclose the recessed light can
- Build a soffit box to house the recessed light
- Caulk the light fixture
Air leaks around the chimney mostly occur as a result of the building process. Most building standards require that wood framing should be kept at least one inch from metallic flues and at least two inches from the house brick chimneys. This usually creates gaps that result in air leaks. To seal these leaks, cover up the identified gaps with aluminum flashing specifically cut to perfectly fit and sealed into position with high-temperature caulk.
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