Summer is just around the corner, and with it comes blistering temperatures. Air conditioners and fans can help, but they may not be enough to keep your home comfortable all day and night. If you want to feel more at ease in your own space, you must check for air leaks in your home before the hot weather arrives. Doing this will help you save money on energy bills and stop your house from feeling like a furnace with no off switch! Here are five reasons why you should check for air leaks before the hot weather arrives:
1. Air Leaks Can Make Your Air Conditioner Work Overtime
One of the most apparent reasons to check for air leaks is because you’ll want your central air conditioning system to keep up with cooling your home during the hot summer months. Air leaks allow warm outdoor air into your house, which means that the indoor temperature will rise quickly and require more energy from your AC unit in order to cool it down again. Air leakage rates are measured using a “thermal bypass coefficient” (U-factor or R-value) rating; higher numbers indicate that they’re bigger offenders when it comes to letting heat indoors, while lower numbers mean they’re better at insulating against cold drafts. If you think you have an air leak in your home, be sure to measure and calculate each of your windows and doors to determine which ones need replacing.
2. Air Leaks Make Your House More Expensive to Heat and Cool
Air leaks don’t only affect air conditioning units; they can also lead to higher energy costs in the summer. When your air conditioner is working overtime or is having a hard time cooling your home, it is not working as efficiently as it should, leading to higher energy costs.
3. Air leaks Make Your House Feel Drafty
Air leaks not only affect heating and cooling bills—but they also change ambient room temperature! Air leaks are often accompanied by windiness in specific areas of your home due to faulty door seals, gaps around window casings, and other places where outside air can enter the home. Air that enters your house through small cracks and passageways won’t be conditioned by your AC, which means it’ll feel warmer indoors.
4. Air Leaks Affect Indoor Humidity Levels
Hot air entering your home takes up a lot of room, and this means that there is little space left for warm indoor air to hold more moisture. Air leaking into the home also affects humidity levels – high indoor humidity levels will cause mold and dust mites problems. They also result in cold drafts, leading to condensation on windows/walls, etc.
5. Air Leaks Lead to Poor Indoor Air Quality
Having an air leak in your home doesn’t just affect how you feel – it can also lead to poor indoor air quality. Air leaks use up oxygen and displaces it with carbon dioxide and gasses that aren’t good for you to breathe in. Air leaking into the home will decrease the amount of oxygen available, which means that people may start feeling lightheaded or struggle to focus on tasks. Leaks can also cause allergens such as mold and dust mites to enter your household, leading to health problems like coughing fits, watery eyes, etc.
Most Common Areas for Air Leaks
The most common areas for air leaks in your home are usually found around doors and windows. Air can easily leak through cracks and openings in their frames, and these areas are often not well-sealed. Gaps around electrical sockets and switches and plumbing pipes can also be entry points for air leaks. Chimneys and rooflines are also familiar sources of air leakage, as are attic spaces and crawl spaces.
How Can I Fix Air Leaks?
There are a few ways to fix air leaks in your home. The most common and least expensive way to do this is by using caulking or weatherstripping tape. You can find these products at most hardware stores, and they’re easy to use – simply cut the tape to size and attach it around the edges of doors and windows.
For larger cracks and openings, you can use a foam sealant or expanding spray foam. These products are more expensive, but they’re also more effective at filling in significant gaps. If you have an air leak near an electrical socket or switch, you can purchase a plastic plug or cover that fits over the hole.
For cracks and openings around the chimney or roofline, you can use a specialized sealant. It’s also possible to install new flashing and caulk these areas, but more work will be required.
Air leaks in the attic or crawlspace may require insulation and a lot of labor – contact a professional contractor for help immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you find air leaks in your house?
You can find air leaks in your home by checking any cracks, openings, and gaps in your basement, attic, or crawl spaces. You can also check your exterior caulking around windows and doors and check if they close tightly and correctly. Try to move or rattle them. If they do, that means there is a possible air leak. Also, if you see any daylight around your windows or doors, it means that there is a leak.
To know if your compressor is leaking, let it build up pressure. Observe the pressure gauge for a while. When the pressure remains stable, it means your compressor is not leaking. But if the pressure drops, it means that there is a leak.