With summer fast approaching, you want to ensure your home is comfortable without having the high operating costs attached to it. One of the biggest problems homeowners have, and few realize it, is that the home is not properly sealed, which significantly impacts the efficiency of the HVAC system. There is a lot of wasted energy from improperly sealed homes causing cooled air to leak out and warm air leaking in, and vice versa in the winter with the heating. Today, we at Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning would like to share how to ensure your home is sealed before the hot months arrive.
How to Check for Air Leaks
The first step is to inspect the home and search for potential leaks in the structure and get them properly sealed. Insulation is equally important as well ensuring the air ducts are correctly sealed. Below is a guide to help you search for air leaks around the home.
1) Begin with the obvious; when the cooling and heating systems are running, make certain the doors and windows are tightly closed.
2) Test for air leaks around the house by holding a lit incense stick or thin toilet paper close to the doors, windows, ceiling fixtures, hatches, utility connections, plumbing fixtures, and any other place where you suspect an air leak. During the test, make sure the HVAC system is off and any ceiling fans to help minimize the air current. If there is movement with the paper or smoke, you likely have a leak.
3) Around the windows and doors install fresh weather stripping and waterproof caulk. Deteriorating weather stripping needs to be pulled off first, then the track will need to be cleaned before installing the fresh weather stripping.
4) Avoiding duct tape, the air ducts need to be sealed with mastic sealant; call a pro for more efficient sealing.
5) Around any leaks on the outlets, be sure to install foam gaskets.
6) Reflect the sun’s rays from the home with light colored blinds and curtains/drapes. Window film or solar screens to reduce the heat production caused by the sun.
7) Check the flue in the fireplace for signs of leaks and when it is not in use, be sure it is tightly sealed.
8) If necessary, replace the door sweep with a pliable rubber sealant and ensure the sweep is more durable that is screwed in as opposed to the self-adhesive type.
9) Any gaps that your find that are larger than 1/4 inch in the home’s structure, should be sealed with expandable foam spray.
10) Attic insulation should be adequate; too little you lose efficiency, too much indoor air pollution like toxic gases and volatile organic compounds can’t ventilate properly.
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After your home is properly sealed, the HVAC system’s performance and energy efficiency should see immediate improvement. To boost the performance and energy efficiency, be sure to have your cooling and heating system tune-up service every year, schedule inspections and ensure a professional makes any needed repairs as the issue begins. Call Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning and let our experts help you with the services you need regarding the HVAC system.