Air leaks can really do a number on your home comfort, especially in older homes: not only do they make rooms cold and drafty, they also raise your energy bill and make your furnace or boiler work harder to do their job, which could lead to more heating system repairs and a shorter lifespan for your heating equipment.
The question is how do you find and eliminate, or at least reduce, home air leaks? Let’s take a look.
A sensible place to begin your search for air leaks is to notice rooms that are obviously colder than the house as a whole. Once you get those identified, try using a flashlight at night to look for gaps in your home’s outer surfaces. Turn the lights out, then have someone stay in a room while you shine the light from the outside; if light comes through a hole or gap, you have the source of your leak. Try this with windows, doorways, at house corners and joints, and even on floorboards.
Some draft issues can be handled easily using caulk, door sweeps, or weatherstripping; other problems may be more complex. If the latter is the case, consider hiring a qualified technician to conduct a comprehensive home energy audit – particularly a blower door test. This test depressurizes a home, revealing the location of many leaks. A professional home energy audit will also help determine areas in your home that need more insulation.
Once these problem areas are identified, you can address them to enjoy more comfort and better home energy efficiency.
Not sure where to get started with your air sealing projects in the coming weeks? Here’s a checklist provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). You can find more energy efficiency and air leak tips at their website: www.energy.gov.
It’s a good idea to check for drafts in your home periodically; it may not be as airtight as you think! Consider investing in an energy audit for your home, too, so you can take full advantage of the amazing energy savings from a high-efficiency heating equipment installation.
Want more cold weather energy saving ideas? Contact Murray-Heutz Oil and Propane today. We install high-efficiency heating equipment in Androscoggin County, ME and elsewhere in our central Maine service area!