Anyone who wants an energy efficient home needs to check for air leaks. A home with unsealed leaks will have higher energy costs because air is constantly coming in or going out. It doesn’t matter if the outside air is colder or warmer, or if it’s still or windy outdoors.
Air Leakage and Heat
Heat is a type of energy that’s always on the move to cooler temperatures. Preventing its movement year-round is the primary function of home insulation and a tight exterior shell. Achieving an air/tight exterior isn’t hard to do and it’s not necessarily expensive.
The best time of year to undertake the project is between winter and spring, when temperatures are cool enough to work outside and in the attic.
How to Find the Leaks
The most thorough way to find air leakage is by having a professional energy audit. Licensed auditors or HVAC pros use blower doors and thermographic cameras to find areas where air and heat infiltration occur. As the blower door pulls the air from your home, the auditing team uses the thermograpic devices to find the places where air enters the structure. The auditing team will give you a map of the places where the air leaks are.
Finding air leaks can be a do-it-yourself project. You’ll need pencil and paper and incense or candles. After closing all the windows and exterior doors and turning on the kitchen and bathroom fans, light the candles and around the perimeter walls indoors.
Focus on windows, electric receptacles and switches, and the baseboards. Recessed lights may have measurable air leakage, as well as exhaust fans and furnace and fireplace flues. Look for holes under the sinks.
Sealing the Leaks
Sealing the cracks, gaps and holes will prevent air from entering and leaving your home, making it much easier to heat and cool. Materials to seal them include caulk, expanding foam and weatherstripping.
Identifying and stopping the air leaks is an easy and inexpensive way to lower energy bills. To learn more, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).