How Often Should Your Check for Air Leaks?

How Often Should Your Check for Air Leaks?Air leaks are a year-round issue in many homes. During winter, heat energy escapes the house through small leaks and your furnace runs longer to compensate, raising monthly heating bills. In summer, the opposite occurs as heat naturally infiltrates from the warmer outdoors into the cooler interior of the house and air conditioning costs increase.

Cracks and gaps that leak air are exacerbated by seasonal temperature changes. For example, a cold winter with typically low humidity causes wood and other building materials to shrink. Tiny openings in the structure develop, expand, and air leakage increases.

Seasonal temperature transitions—winter to spring, then fall to winter—are therefore good times to check for possible sources of new air leaks and seal them. A qualified HVAC professional can perform a blower door test that lightly depressurizes the house to determine the exact amount of air leakage. Using specialized equipment like infrared imaging and smoke pens, locations of even tiny leaks can be pinpointed and repaired.

A homeowner can also take simple DIY steps to find and seal air leaks:

  • Feel for drafts around doors and windows. Check the weatherstripping in these areas for excess wear and replace it if necessary.
  • Examine the joints between walls, as well as between walls and the ceiling, for cracks or openings that may have developed. Seal these gaps with common silicone caulking.
  • In rooms without carpeting, caulk the gap that typically exists along the long joint between the baseboard and floor.
  • Heat loss and gain through ceiling leaks is common. Check for air gaps around recessed ceiling lights as well as around any pipes or vents that pass through the ceiling. Seal smaller cracks with caulking; use expanding insulating foam to fill large openings. Make sure the attic access door or hatch is properly weatherstripped around all sides.

Serving Terre Haute homeowners since 1922, Paitson Bros. offers professional service as well as trusted DIY advice to eliminate sources of household air leaks.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air leaks and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859. 

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

    An Eagle Scout, Ethan spent four years as a non-profit executive with the Boy Scouts of America before joining Paitson Bros. as a comfort advisor and later General Manager. In that role, Ethan has brought a renewed enthusiasm for customer care, integrity, value, and service to Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning.

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