Air leaks can put a huge strain on your HVAC system. Not only do they let outdoor air seep into your home, but they offer escape routes for the air that your furnace and air conditioner work so hard to heat and cool. Taking time to find and seal air leaks is one of the most cost-effective ways that you can cut back on your home’s energy consumption. So let’s take a look at some of the most common places that air leaks develop in your home.
- Your attic. Because attics are usually unconditioned, they can be highly susceptible to energy losses from air leaks. Some of the most important places to check for leaks in your attic are the areas around duct registers, recessed lights, dropped ceilings, your attic hatch and where your walls meet the attic floor.
- Your basement. When air leaks through your basement walls, it is sucked up through the rest of your home through what’s known as the “chimney effect.” Basement walls and ceilings often have many penetrations for wires, pipes and vents that open up to the outdoors or the rest of the home. Be sure to check those areas for air leaks as well as the areas around windows and walls.
- Your crawlspace. Crawlspaces experience some of the same problems as both attics and basements. Not only are they typically unconditioned, but they also often have penetrations for wires, pipes, ductwork and vents. Check for leaks around all penetrations as well as at the entrance to the space.
- Windows and doors. Windows and doors are obvious sources of air leaks because they open directly to the outdoors. You can prevent air infiltration around your windows and doors by caulking, weatherstripping and adding door sweeps.
- In your ductwork. The EPA says that in the typical home, 20 percent of the air that moves through ductwork is lost through cracks, leaks and disconnections. Having your ductwork properly sealed will not only prevent conditioned air from escaping, but also prevent air from unconditioned spaces from sneaking into your ducts.
- Penetrations in your ceilings, walls and floors. Air leaks can develop anywhere that a penetration is made through a wall, floor or ceiling. The most common culprits are openings for electrical outlets, pipes, vents, lights, fans and wires.
If you have any questions about air leaks in your home, or if you’d like to have a heating system serviced or installed, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis furnace repair company. We service the St. Louis area and surrounding towns like Chesterfield, Ladue and Town and Country.