How to Check for Air Leaks, and Save Money!

Before it starts to get really hot here in Gainesville, you should check your home for air leaks. Studies indicate that leaks cause approximately 25-30% of the cool air to escape from your home, wasting both energy and money.

So, how can you prevent air leaks? Here are our DIY tips for keeping your cool air in the home.

Check to caulk and replace worn-out weather stripping

It’s essential that your doors and windows are properly sealed to prevent air leakage. One way to determine whether they are leaking is to shake the doors and windows– if they rattle then you are definitely losing cool air.

Proper caulking is critical to keeping your home insulated. Investing in silicon caulk is recommended, as it is waterproof and incredibly crack resistant. In the long run, you will save both money and time when it doesn’t need to be replaced as frequently.

Weatherstripping around your windows, doors, and attic will wear over time due to age, exposure to the elements, pests, and more. Here are the ways you can tell if it’s time for a replacement:

  • Self-adhesive foam tape: this will peel from your windows and doors over time, and will generally only last 3-5 years
  • Rubber and vinyl: this material will become brittle or cracked
  • Spring metal: can become loose due to missing nails, cracks, or bends

If you don’t have it already, you should add weather stripping to your attic door for optimal insulation.

Insulate around recessed lights

Homes often have many recessed lights, and most have a vent that opens to the attic. Look for lights labeled ICAT, for “insulation contact and airtight.” If your lights do not have this label, you should insulate around them to prevent cool air from escaping. An airtight baffle is a quick and inexpensive fix and is easily installed behind the lightbulb.

Do a walkthrough and a walk around

For the inside of the home, here are the top culprits of air leakage aside from doors, windows, and attics:

  • TV and phone lines
  • Where the dryer vents go through walls
  • Vents and fans

You should also take a walk around your house and inspect any places where two materials meet, such as corners, between the siding and foundation, and water faucets.

Now that you’ve identified where these small leaks are, what do you do about it? Caulk is great for filling gaps under ¼ of an inch, while squirt foam is most effective for those ¼ to 3 inches wide.

The biggest air loss offenders are your doors and windows, so make sure to do the rattle test– if you shake it and it rattles, it’s time for new insulation.

If you’d like to lower your monthly bill, give Bounds Heating and Air a call at 352-290-3370, or visit our website to learn more about our energy audits. We will evaluate your monthly energy spending and air leakage to find solutions that will conserve our planet’s energy, and reduce your monthly costs.