A draft in your home probably doesn’t seem like a big deal. It’s an annoyance, but every home comes with a few little quirks. Right?
It turns out those drafts play a much bigger role in your utility bills than you might expect. In fact, air leaks can drive up your annual energy costs by as much as 20%.
After all, every air leak lets warm air escape in the winter months and cool air escape in the summer months. All of that degrades your HVAC efficiency. If you want to improve your HVAC system’s efficiency, keep reading for common places you can find and fix air leaks.
Are you wondering, where does air leak? The first place you should look is your doors.
The gap between your door and the door frame is a prime culprit for leaks, especially during the winter. The cold makes most materials contract a little, which expands that gap. That lets cold get into your home.
Weatherstripping around the door limits the draft, but that material needs periodic replacement. Start there.
Also, close doors when coming in and out, even if you only plan on being inside or outside for a minute or two.
Window frames and door frames can also become sources of air leaks. Move your hand along the frame on a windy day. If there’s an air leak, you’ll likely feel it.
You can seal minor air leaks along the edge of the frame with silicone. This will help with inefficient heating and poor cooling.
As with the door, your window will have weatherstripping as well. Check and replace this as well.
Patch Cracks and Holes
Give your foundation or exposed basement walls a thorough once over. You’ll likely find a few cracks, these also serve as potential air leaks for your home. Patch any cracks you find.
You should also patch any small holes you find. Seal around any pipes with an exterior grade expanding foam.
Other Things You Can Do
While drafts account for a lot, your HVAC system needs maintenance to maintain its efficiency. You can take basic steps that improve efficiency, such as changing filters and keeping the space around furnaces and air conditioners clear.
You should also get your HVAC system a checkup by HVAC system professionals at least once a year. This kind of preventative maintenance keeps your system working at peak efficiency for as long as possible.
Air Leaks and Your Home
While one air leak probably won’t trouble you too much, most older homes come with a wide assortment of draft and air leaks. That means you pay out way more than you need to in terms of energy costs.
Take steps to track down and fix as many leaks as you can find. Start with common leak areas like doors, windows, and your foundation.
Get your HVAC system a checkup if you haven’t recently. Contact Jerry’s Heating and Cooling to schedule an appointment today.