Making sure your home is properly sealed is essential both to your comfort and to the health and energy efficiency of your HVAC system. If the air it sends to your home is leaking out before it can get to you, then it has to work harder and run longer in order to make you comfortable. So how do you seal your home and prevent this energy waste? Here are a few tips.
- Test for leaks. There are several ways to find leaks around your home. The most accurate is to hire a professional to perform a blower door test. After sealing all doors and windows, a giant fan sucks the air out of your home, making it easy to measure where air is leaking in. Or, if you’d rather save money and test for leaks yourself, you can use a smoke pen or incense stick. On a windy day, hold the stick up to places where leaks are common (doors, windows, electrical outlets, etc.). If the smoke blows horizontally instead of vertically, there’s a leak there.
- Look for dirty spots. There are certain clues that can tell you where leaks might be. If there are dirty spots on your ceiling or carpet, it may indicate an air leak where they meet the wall. If there are dirty spots in your insulation, it might mean air leaks and possibly mold.
- Know your sealants. For leaks around your doors and windows, use weather stripping to seal them up. For leaks around your ductwork or plumbing, use caulking. To seal your light switches and electrical outlets, install foam gaskets behind them. And if you have large gaps around your windows or baseboards, use foam sealant.
- Be safe. Make sure your dryer vent isn’t blocked, as this can cause fires, as well as wasting energy. And when sealing leaks around fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters, and other places that use flame or gas, be sure to use fire-resistant materials such as furnace cement caulk.
For more tips on air-sealing your home, contact us at Davis Air Conditioning. We’re southwest Oklahoma’s source for quality HVAC solutions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Lawton and Duncan, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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