Although winters tend to be short and mild in our area, it still pays to make sure your home is energy efficient. One of the best ways to do that is to locate and fix cold air leaks.
Finding Cold Air Leaks
The best way to find places in your home where the heat may be leaking out and cold air migrating indoors is by means of a blower door test. This should be administered by a professional energy auditor. A large, powerful fan is used at one exterior door to pull all the air out of the home, creating negative pressure so the auditor can have a better idea where the air leaks are occurring.
If you don’t want to pay an energy auditor, you can do your own test and find the leaks yourself by walking around the home with a lit incense stick, holding it in front of key air leakage areas, such as these:
- Window and door frames.
- Under doors.
- Attic hatches.
- Electric plugs.
- Any opening to the exterior that allows in wires, cables or pipes.
- Recessed lighting fixtures.
If the smoke wavers, you likely have a leak.
Fix Air Leaks
Have a professional fix air leaks with weatherstripping, caulk and insulation. Here are some of the things they’ll do:
- Affix weatherstripping between window panes if there is a gap.
- Affix weatherstripping between double doors to keep out cold air.
- Add a door sweep at the bottom of a door if there is a gap.
- Carefully caulk around window and door frames, and around baseboards when there is a gap.
- Add weatherstripping around the attic hatch door. Install a layer of insulation on the hatch cover if needed.
- Install foam gaskets under the plastic covers on electric plugs.
- Wrap insulation around pipes, cables and wires that run through exterior holes.
- Install fire-rated, insulated boxes around recessed lighting fixtures in the attic.
You may also need to add insulation in your walls and attic to stop heat transfer in the winter and summer.
To learn more about fixing cold air leaks, contact Beyer Boys. We serve San Antonio and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).