No matter how new or old your home is, you’ve probably realized that air can escape your home in certain locations. This is especially annoying in the hot or cold months when your precious heated or cooled air slowly seeps away. There are many ways that air can escape your home that you should be aware of. Here are a few of the most common locations for air leakage and how to stop it.
One of the most common spots where air escapes your home is from your roof. Usually, roofs are built to withstand any kind of leakage, whether that is water or air. However, over time cracks and holes can develop, especially if you live in an area that experiences extreme variations of weather. Make sure that you inspect your roof regularly for signs of wear and tear. You’ll also want to inspect the interior of your roof to make sure that there aren’t any mold or cracks in your roof’s insulation. If your roof is insulated with spray foam, this is usually pretty easy to spot because it will develop a dark, dirty spot. This will indicate to you that those areas need a bit of attention and added insulation.
Another common place where air escapes your home is your garage. It is especially important to seal air leaks from your garage because your garage is often colder or hotter than your home’s interior and also has lots of gas fumes from your vehicles. You want to make sure that air doesn’t leak into your house from your garage. This could happen if penetrations in the garage wall aren’t properly sealed, or if the garage isn’t correctly separated from your home’s interior. By taking the time to check and repair these locations you’ll be able to minimize air leakage in your garage.
Even though you might not keep your door open for long periods of time, air can still leak in and out of your home. You can use different materials to seal the cracks under your doors where air might leak out even when your door is shut. Materials like weather stripping often work well in these types of locations. You can also replace your door bottom with one that has a sealing gasket installed, or another accessory that would stop air from leaking. Doing these things will help conserve energy and reduce air escaping around your doors.
There are a few ways to treat air leakage around your windows. If you feel that the issue can be solved with the addition of sealant or caulking, that is probably the quickest and cheapest solution. It is important to regularly inspect the caulking around your windows for mold, cracks, and damage, especially if you live in an area that experiences extreme weather seasons. If your home is quite old and just needs new windows and a bit of reconstruction, that might take a bit more time and money, but the result will be worth it. Also, window tinting can cut your AC bills by blocking UV rays from entering your home. This can help you to lower your AC usage, thereby lowering the risks of expensive heated or cooled air escaping your home.
Especially if your house has aged, or if you’ve replaced your flooring recently, your baseboards are probably leaking air through cracks. Sometimes, there is visible space in or around your baseboards, it is easier to spot air leakage, but it also happens even if there aren’t visible cracks. If you use foam sealing or caulking to cover cracks around your baseboards, you will be able to eliminate most problems with air escaping around your baseboards.
Although this may seem kind of obvious, your chimney is also a spot where a lot of air can leak out of your home. Your home might have air leakage not only through the chimney itself but also through the structure itself. When you aren’t using your fireplace and don’t need the chimney to be opened, make sure that you keep your flue damper closed securely. This will help reduce the risk of escaping air through that large space and vent.
Particularly if you live in an old home, the mortar between the bricks of your fireplace wall may have weathered away with time. This can cause pretty big problems if your fireplace wall is built directly from the exterior of your home. It makes an easy passage for air to leak from your home. If you notice that your fireplace wall is leaking air from inside or outside, you should consider resealing those air leaks with different materials such as cement, mortar, or sealant. This will not only improve the temperature of your home, but it will also make your fireplace more effective when you use it.
The reason why exterior walls can have a lot of air escape through them is because they often have lots of holes and cracks where plumbing and electrical attachments enter the home. Even though these areas can be expertly carved out to prevent excess empty space, air can still escape through the tiniest spaces. If you want to prevent air from escaping in these types of spots, it is important to add some type of caulk or sealant from the exterior side. If you have a way of accessing the interior as well, like through an unfinished basement or section of your house, it would also help to seal those holes from the interior.
Now that you are aware of the different spots of your home where air could be escaping, make sure you take the appropriate measures to prevent this from happening. Your AC unit can be expensive to use, especially if you are overusing it to maintain an ideal indoor temperature due to leaking air. By eliminating the areas where air escapes your home, you’ll be helping your AC unit to be more efficient and you’ll be saving money.
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