You might not realize it, but your home could be leaking money. No, not dollar bills under the doors – cold air that costs you in longer running time for your air conditioner. Finding ways to stop these leaks will increase savings on your summer energy bill.
To do this, you have two powerful and cheap tools at your disposal – caulking and weather-stripping. Caulking is a very thick liquid that is typically used to fill cracks and openings between stationary house materials, like window and door frames. Weather-stripping is used to seal exterior-facing items that move, such as window panes and doors.
Tips for Finding Leaks
- Inspect dirty areas in your insulation for mold and air leaks.
- Look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet that may indicate air leaks at the wall-to-ceiling joints and wall-to-floor joists.
- Check your dryer vent to see if it may be blocked.
Tips for Fixing Leaks
- Address any door and window leaks with weather-stripping and caulking. For larger gaps between permanent fixtures, use foam sealant.
- Caulk and seal air leaks where ducting, plumbing, or electrical wiring comes through walls and other surfaces.
- Place foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
- If possible, replace door bottoms and thresholds with ones that have pliable sealing gaskets.
- For fireplace chimneys, furnaces, and water heater vents, use fire-resistant materials to seal air leaks around them.
- Cover the kitchen exhaust fan to stop air leaks when not in use.
- Make sure the fireplace flue damper is tightly closed when not in use.
Following these tips to cut back on air leaks will help to keep your home from leaking money in the summer. Don’t let the cool air you pay for slip out into the Cincinnati swelter. Call the NATE-certified professionals at Nelson Comfort to get more helpful advice for saving money on air conditioning costs.