Air leaks are a common problem in homes and can cause many headaches when it comes to energy efficiency, conservation and overall home comfort. Proper air sealing can reduce and even eliminate the leaky air that causes these problems. If you are a homeowner, especially if living in an older home, you may be all too familiar with this issue. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do or get help with to make sure air leaks aren’t a problem.
One major step that needs to be addressed before fixing air leaks in the home is identifying the actual source of those leaks, which can sometimes be a tricky proposition. The most effective way to ensure your house is protected against air leaks is to get the help of a professional contractor, like our team at BelRed. We can help provide a thorough inspection of all potential leak sites as part of a robust energy assessment. One major tactic we use to identify leaks is a blower door air leakage test. This includes a full depressurization of the house, which spots any areas where air is leaking into or out of your home. We can also help identify areas that may require more insulation to maximize indoor comfort, especially during the cold winter months ahead. Again, this is the best way to identify all air leaks and provide the best solution to address and eliminate this problem.
For larger, more easily identifiable leaks, there are some visual inspection tests that can be done to identify possible leak culprits outside your home. While these methods aren’t as thorough as professional help, they can sometimes be effective at identifying larger problems. First, it’s always a good idea to inspect all doors and windows to see if there are any visible cracks or holes that clearly let in air. Many leaks occur where two different types of building materials meet, so other places where leaks are common include outdoor water faucets, chimneys and areas where the foundation meets the main building materials of your home. Even small cracks can make a big difference when it comes to energy loss and keeping cold air out of your home.
Inside the home, a larger list of potential leak areas presents itself. It’s a good idea to inspect these different areas inside the home in conjunction with the external inspection. Some areas to pay special attention to include electrical outlets, switch plates, gas pipes and electric service entry points, the inside frames of windows and doors, baseboards, dryer vents, and more. Many cracks or holes that can be seen with the naked eye are most likely a large part of the problem when it comes to energy loss. These should be addressed immediately by weatherization solutions such as weatherstripping and calking, among others.
While some homeowners even go as far as building their own pressurization tests using things like incense sticks, we highly recommend getting professional help for this procedure. Without proper training, it’s very easy to miss the smaller (and often root) causes of the problem. Even if you’re able to identify some of the issues, it’s very possible that many leaks may go undetected without professional tests and services. If you know or are worried that air leaks are causing energy loss and discomfort in your home, spending a little bit of money to identify and fix the problem may save you a great deal in the long run. If you fall into this boat, we can help. Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation or home energy assessment today.Tags: Conservation and Utility Savings