If you haven’t already made an effort to seal your home’s air leaks, now is a great time to start this home improvement project. With air leaks plugged up, you’ll enjoy a more comfortable interior and greater heating and cooling efficiency, which results in lower energy bills. Here’s a beginner’s guide to finding the air leaks in your home.
Locate air leaks in the attic
The attic floor should be sealed tightly and insulated properly to help keep hot attic air from seeping through the attic floor in the summer. A sealed attic also prevents heat loss in the winter. Leaks in the attic floor are most commonly found around these locations:
- Attic hatch
- Wiring, ductwork and other penetrations
- Recessed lights
- Where the exterior walls meet the attic floor
If you’re not sure whether any of these areas are leaking, dirty insulation is a sign that air is passing through. Also, if you can see or poke an object through any penetration, air can certainly get through.
Locate air leaks in the living space
Common leaky areas that can create noticeable drafts in your home include:
- Windows and doors
- Open soffits
- Furnace flues
The easiest way to tell if these areas are leaking is if you do the incense stick test. If the smoke from a lit incense stick swirls around when it passes in front of the offending area, you’ve got a leak on your hands.
Locate air leaks in the basement
Leaks in the basement are worsened if you also have a leaky attic. As air rises up through the leaky attic floor, the pressure is balanced by air entering through basement leaks. This wasteful pattern can be stopped if you plug up air leaks in areas such as:
- Where the basement ceiling meets the outer walls, which is where the home’s wood framing meets the foundation cement
- At the bottom and top of the rim joist
- Around vents, wiring, piping or any other penetrations that pass to the exterior
For additional information about sealing air leaks and making your home more energy efficient, contact Air-Tro Heating & Air Conditioning in Pasadena today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Los Angeles, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air leaks and other HVAC topics, visit our website.
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