Some homeowners think that they have to take drastic and expensive measures to make their homes more energy efficient. These measures include purchasing energy efficient appliances – maybe even a new heating and air conditioning system. However, the truth of the matter is that you don’t need to take drastic measures – not if you don’t need to. In most cases, you can start saving money and energy by making sure you don’t have any major air leaks. Not only can air leaks make your heating and air conditioning efforts more futile, it can also cause your monthly energy bills to skyrocket. Here is how to seal air leaks in your home for long-term savings.
First, it is important to understand what an air leak is and why it is important to seal them. An air leaks is any kind of draft that may be causing the indoor air to escape outside and the outside air to get inside, thus impeding your HVAC system’s ability to control the climate. This can create a serious problem, because not only will your comfort level be affected, but so will your finances. Anytime that you waste energy, you are also going to be faced with a higher utility bills.
A leak or draft can come in many different shapes and sizes. The leak may be completely obvious – a big crack in your foundation or a space under access doors that aren’t weather-stripped. Some leaks and drafts can be less obvious, they can be nearly invisible and the only way to detect them is to carefully detect them with your hand or a candle flame. You can move your hand over window frames, outlets and any other structural element that connects to the outside, but is sealed from the inside, like a vent or register. If you can’t feel the draft with your hand, you may want to try using a candle – if the candle wavers, flickers or moves, there is a good chance that you have found your leak.
When it comes down to it, there are many ways to seal an energy leak. The simple measure is to reseal your window frames. If you experience an air leak in an outlet, you may want to line the inside with insulation. For your doors, you want to make sure there is a proper amount of weather stripping. Many of the materials that you will use to seal air leaks can be found at your local hardware store or home improvement shop. In most cases, you can find the tools you need there too.
Lastly, detecting air leaks and sealing them is an important first step. To prevent the risk of overspending on new appliances and other drastic measures to improve the efficiency of your home, you may want to conduct a basic energy audit to make sure the culprit isn’t a series of drafts in your windows, door frames, or even your basement foundation. On top of sealing air leaks, you want to fully understand the importance of AC maintenance. In the end, if you want to control the climate inside your home and stay comfortable – while simultaneously saving money – you want to take some home base measures before you run around the whole track.