There are probably more little air leaks in your house than you realize. From the attic to the frame, escaping air costs you money all year round. Plugging leaks takes a little time, but is well worth the effort. The more efficient your HVAC system runs, the better for you and the environment. There will be fewer emissions if the heating and cooling system is using less energy, and you’ll have lower energy bills.
Finding air leaks
It takes time to find all the places air leaks around your home. For a quick survey, take an incense stick or smoke pen and hold it near all the probable culprits. If the smoke stream moves horizontally, you know that spot has a leak. Common areas to check include:
- Electrical boxes
- Plumbing fixtures
- Electrical outlets and switch plates
- Ceiling fixtures
Any place where the outside air may have even a tiny opening can cost you money. Make a list of these places or seal them as you go. Examine insulation for dirty spots or mold. This indicates moisture is getting in from the outside. This is true with ceiling and carpeting near the frame as well.
How to seal air leaks
For most common leaks, use caulking, weatherstripping or foam as a sealant. Close up small gaps with a bit of caulk and save weatherstripping and foam for larger holes.
- Install foam gaskets to close off electrical outlets and switch plates.
- Apply low-expansion spray foam under insulation and install house flashing if necessary.
- Caulk gaps between the ceiling and wall or floor joints.
- If your windows have single-pane glass, install storm windows or upgrade them to double pane.
- Place a cover over kitchen exhaust fans. You will need to remove it when the fan is in use.
- Apply fire-resistant sealant around chimneys, furnaces and gas water heaters.
Contact us a full energy evaluation of your home or for any heating and cooling system service. At Air-Tro Heating & Air Conditioning, we have been providing excellent service to the Pasadena area for over 40 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air leaks and other HVAC topics, visit our website.
Air-Tro Inc. services the greater Los Angeles area as well as the metro areas of Riverside and San Bernardino County.