Air leaks in your Grand Traverse County home result in higher utility bills, less comfort and more wear on your HVAC systems. When outdoor air infiltrates your home during the summer and winter, your furnace or A/C must work harder to compensate, increasing energy costs and causing cold or hot spots in your home.
Detecting Air Leaks Indoors
You can find many leaks yourself with this simple procedure: On a windy day, close all of your doors and windows to depressurize your home. Light a stick of incense and pass it near common leak areas:
- Windows and doors
- Service entrances
- Pipes and vents that pass through exterior walls
- Light switches and outlets on exterior walls
- Recessed lighting fixtures
- Fireplaces and wood stoves
- Attic entrances
Where the smoke from the incense wavers, you have an air leak.
Detecting Air Leaks Outdoors
Inspect the exterior of your home. Where building materials meet, you may find gaps and cracks that should be sealed. Look for gaps in these common leak spots:
- The corners of your home where siding, wood or other materials meet
- Where the exterior walls meet the chimney
- Where the foundation meets the bottom of your exterior walls
- Around water faucets
Sealing Air Leaks
Caulk is ideal for sealing leaks. Use silicone caulk for smaller gaps, such as where your wall meets door and window frames, along baseboards and around recessed lighting fixtures. For larger gaps, such as those you might find around pipes and vents on exterior walls, use expandable caulk. Place pre-formed foam sealing gaskets behind outlet and light switch plates that leak air.
Consider a Professional Energy Audit
If you live in a particularly drafty home, a professional energy audit may be your best bet for detecting and sealing all of the areas that leak air. The energy audit includes a blower door test, during which your home is depressurized to help the technician pinpoint leaks.
For more expert advice about detecting and sealing air leaks in your home, please feel free to contact us in the Grand Traverse County area at Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about finding air leaks and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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