Drafts coming into your home affect interior temperatures and also bring dust and allergens into the atmosphere. Conversely, air leaks allow warm or cool air to escape from your residence, causing your heating and cooling equipment to work harder for longer and costing you extra money. There are a number of ways to detect air leaks so you can seal them off.
Check the Outside
Look around the exterior of your home for gaps and broken masonry, particularly checking:
- The points where the chimney joins the roof.
- All corners where different building materials connect.
- The bottom of all exterior walls where they converge with foundations.
Inspect the Interior
Air is like water in that it can seep through the smallest openings, so it’s important to examine every point where air may be leaking in or out of your home. Look at:
- Weatherstripping around doors and windows
- Caulking around windows
- Electrical outlets
- Service entrances
- Window- and wall-mounted air conditioners
Do Your Own Pressurization Test
Choose a cool, very windy day to undertake your test. Switch off gas-burning appliances like water heaters and furnaces, and close all the windows, doors to the outside and chimney flues. Suck as much air as you can out of the house by turning on all the exhaust fans — stove vents, clothes dryer, bathroom fans, and so on.
Either use a lighted incense stick or your damp hand to detect air leaks. If your hand feels cooler when held next to the common air leak points mentioned above, or if the smoke from the incense stick blows into or out of the room, it’s likely there is an air leak present.
If you’ve checked your home without success, call in a technician to accurately measure where and how the air is leaking with a blower-door test, which is part of an energy assessment.
Please contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Co. for expert advice on ways to detect air leaks and any other HVAC-related queries. We serve the Yuma area, and our aim is to make your home comfortable.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air leaks and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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