According to ENERGY.GOV, air leaks are one of the most costly flaws in
your home. Air leaks allow unwanted heat exchange easily, which causes
your heating and air conditioning systems to have to work harder for longer
to keep your home comfortable. This means they must run more often, which
costs you extra money and wears your system out faster, meaning you’ll
have to repair it more often as well. Fortunately, air leaks are also
some of the easiest flaws to find and fix. Read on to learn where you
can frequently find an air leak and how you can fix it.
Finding an air leak can be done in two fairly simple ways. The easiest
way is by simple visual inspection. Air leaks are frequently found in
places where two different building materials meet, since this is where
a home must be sealed. Some examples of this are near exterior corners,
around outdoor water faucets or features (especially those with pipes
extending out of the home), were siding and chimneys meet, and where the
foundation meets your walls. These are all prime areas for air leaks through
simple, small cracks, which in many cases can be sealed easily.
Indoors, finding leaks can be slightly more difficult since cracks are
often smaller and harder to see visually. However, a good rule of thumb
to follow: if it put a hole in your drywall, it’s prone to leaks.
Look Take the plastic covers off your electrical sockets, switch plates,
and cable runs to see if they’re flush with your walls. Likewise,
your windows and doors are both highly prone to leaks. Check the weather
stripping around them, particularly along the bottoms near the sills.
If you shut the window or door and feel a draft coming in, you’re
probably losing significant amounts of cool or warm air this way. Also
be sure to check things like baseboards along walls, attic hatches, fireplace
dampers, vents, and fans, all of which could be leaking heat.
The Incense Test
Are you having trouble detecting leaks? If you can’t spot them visually
or feel their effects, you can use the building pressurization test to
find it. On a cool and
very windy day, close all doors, windows, and fireplace flues in your home and
shut off all ventilation and combustion appliances (such as your HVAC
system, water heater, and furnace). Then turn on all of your exhaust fans,
such as bathroom fans, clothes dryer fan, or range fan. This will create
a pressure difference between the inside and outside of your home.
Light an incense stick and pass it near the edges of all common leak sites.
If you notice the smoke either being sucked out of or pushed back into
the room, you’ve found the source of an air leak.
A professional Palm Beach County air conditioning expert from
Phoenix Air Conditioning, LLC may be able to help you. With 24/7 emergency services and more than 20
years in business, we have helped hundreds of customers solve their air
conditioning and heating woes and make their homes more efficient. Our
mission is your complete and total satisfaction with our workmanship and
service, and our NATE-certified technicians will do everything they can
to resolve any issues that may emerge.
Need a HVAC system repair or maintenance service? Call Phoenix Air Conditioning
today at 888.660.4337 to
schedule an appointment!