Finding Your Home’s Hidden Air Leaks and Cracks

Posted by tudi on 10/23/15 5:05 PM

coldHeating and cooling make up about 47 percent of a home's energy costs, and you don't want any of that to be wasted. Unfortunately, that could be exactly what is happening if you have any air leaks in your home. Cracks and other leaks that either let cold air into your home or allow it to escape can force your HVAC system to work harder than it needs to, which drives up your heating and air conditioning bills.

While you should call a Pittsburgh HVAC service if you notice that there is something wrong with your heating or air conditioning system, you should also take the time to locate and repair any drafts, cracks and air leaks around your home. Here are some tips that will help you with that.

Identifying Potential Leaks

Your first step to locating air leaks is to make a quick visual inspection. This usually involves looking for places where leaks could be, not necessarily where they are. Common locations on the outside of a home are outdoor faucets, exterior corners and anywhere where your siding and your chimney meet. Common places inside of your home include door and window frames, electrical outlets, baseboards, air vents, attic hatches and fireplaces dampers. Drafts may also come from gaps around pipes, so make sure you check them out.

In some cases, you will be able to tell if there is an air leak simply by putting your hand near it and feeling for it. Other cases aren’t so obvious, however, which means you will need to find other ways of detecting them. One good way is to light an incense stick and wave it near a suspected leak. If the smoke from the incense stick is sucked into a room or blown away, you have a draft that needs to be fixed.

If you want to see if you have a door or window that is leaking air, shut it onto a dollar bill. If you can pull the dollar bill through the gap without feeling any resistance, you have a gap that needs to be sealed.

Repairing Air Leaks

The method of repairing an air leak will depend on where the leak is located. If the leak is around a window, some weather stripping should fix the problem. If the leak is coming from a small crack in your home's foundation, it can be sealed with some caulk. Drafts that are coming from your vents usually call for an HVAC service in Pittsburgh, PA. These are generally more complicated and more difficult to fix, so you shouldn't try to tackle them on your own. 

Air leaks in your home can be a serious matter, especially since the weather is getting colder. We're heading toward the main heating season, and if you don't want your home to be too cold and drafty you should perform a check to find any air leaks in your home. Not only will you have a more comfortable home, but your heating bill will be much more bearable. 

Make sure your home is running as efficiently as can be by calling in the expert HVAC technicians from Tudi Mechanical Systems. Our heating and cooling technicians have been in the business for years, helping hundreds of Pittsburgh homeowners revamp their existing HVAC systems to improve their home’s efficiency while minimizing their energy costs each month. Call Tudi today for a free estimate on what we can do to help your home’s heating and cooling system, and uncover the keys to a more comfortable home.