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December 2, 0001
Unless you're fabulously wealthy, you can't afford to heat or cool the outside. Yet, if your home's outer envelope isn't properly weatherized, that's exactly what you're doing. As your HVAC equipment works hard to provide heating or cooling, air leaks are ensuring that much of the conditioned air isn't arriving at its intended destination, the rooms in your home.
This results in wasted energy as heating and cooling equipment works to compensate for air leaking out of (or into) your home. Higher energy bills reflect that waste. Moreover, a non-weatherized home can wear out HVAC equipment that's working harder than necessary to condition a leaky house.
Learn how to find air leakage in your home's outer envelope and how to seal those leaks once you've found them.
Do-It-Yourself Hunt for Air Leaks
You can find some holes and cracks in your home's outer envelope by a simple visual inspection. Look especially closely at the sill plate that connects drywall with the foundation; places where utility pipes, wiring or vents penetrate walls, foundation or roof; and window and door frames and sashes. Inside the house, walk along the interior of outside walls with a lighted incense stick or smoke pencil, passing the smoke in front of likely spots for air leaks. Where the smoke wavers is probably a place where air is escaping or infiltrating.
Professional Energy Audit
A trained technician, using high-tech diagnostic tools and gauges, can conduct an energy audit of your home, ascertaining the amount of energy that's being wasted, while pinpointing areas where air is leaking or insulation is insufficient. A detailed report should recommend how to correct these issues, including with air sealing.
Tightening Up Your Home
Once you've located where air is leaking, start sealing the leaks. Depending on the size, type and location of the air leak, you can apply caulk, weatherstripping or spray foam insulation to close the leak. These materials almost always come with detailed instructions for how to use them.
For more advice on reducing energy waste in your Hampton Roads area home, please contact us at Russell's Heating & Cooling.