Your house can be frustrating and uncomfortable if it has air leakage. And fixing such leaks could be expensive. But if you seal and insulate your home properly, You will likely save a lot of money on heating and cooling bills. You should check to find the common sources of leakage. Among the culprits, your doors and windows are common. Studies show that air leaks from either the basement or attic.
Some hidden sources like attic hatch/opening, sidewalls of the attic, some holes for wiring, phone lines, cable TV, electricity ducts, the joints between the ceiling and wood frames, etc. Hence, if that’s the case, you’re required to find out the air leak points in your house. To reduce draft and lower your energy bills, there are some tips to identify air leakage.
Regulate A Visual Inspection
To start with, you can have a visual check inside and outside your house. Search cracks and gaps at dryer vents, exhaust fans, sidewalls, sill plates, an attic opening, also look for an opening like doors and exterior walls. Mark the spot/point so that they can be sealed timely.
To supplement your visual check, you can perform a simple smoke test. For this, you are required to follow the few steps stated below:-
- Choose a windy and cool day, shut the doors and windows of your house.
- Switch off all the appliances like bathroom fans, washing machines, furnaces, or exhaust fans that create air disturbances.
- Light a candle and hold it near the draft or potential point to find air leakage.
- If you find that the smoke is moving or is going out of the room or blown unsteadily, you will likely have an air leak.
Hire A Professional
According to the DOE, you can perform an audit for home energy through a professional inspection for identifying air leaks. The professional you hire will perform a blower door test using a powerful fan to spot leaks. Sometimes they also use smoke pencils for smoke tests to find out leaks. You can also hire some companies that offer free services for increasing the energy efficiency of your house. So if you are interested in such energy assessment services, you can call your local suppliers for professional energy audits.
Apart from these tips, there are some easy ways to stop cold air from leaking into your house. It has been reported that most of the families spend a lot on heating and cooling budget so that the air may not leak in or out of their house through unwanted cracks and gaps. But for increasing comfort and saving energy, you can opt some cost-effective methods. Here are some points you can start with:-
Insulating Recessed Lights
You must have noticed that the recessed light’s vents have openings in the attic, an easy path for cold and warm air to escape. It’s very common to have 30 to 40 fixtures in the house, and they are the main cause of air leaks. Therefore, choosing a light that is filled with ICAT means insulating content and tight air labels.
If you find a small gap (¼ inch) around your attic opening or attic stairs, seal it quickly by caulking the stairs’ frame and the unwanted opening. You can also do it by putting foam weatherstrips around the opening. You can purchase a hatch cover kit pre-insulated to seal stair openings or doors for more accuracy.
Stream Foam In Gaps
After you’re finished with bigger gaps, you need to spray foam in the middle-sized gaps using a low expansion polyurethane. This will help you seal vents and plumbing pipes ranging from ¼ inch to 3 inches.
Use Draft Stoppers
Breeze blockers, draft blockers, windows, door snakes, or draft dodgers are simple fabric-made tubes filled with insulating material. Look for the energy leak points and place draft stoppers at your vents’ base (doors and windows). Another option for stopping the cold air from entering through windows is using a draft guard. Actually, it’s a piece made of plastic foam with a pole inside and can be used to put under a window/door to stop cold air leakage. Among the various drafts, the door draft blocker stops cold air leakage. This long soft tube can be placed on the floor under a door to prevent cold air leakage.
One of the types of door draft stoppers, door sweep, is a kind of scarf used to cover the gap between the threshold and the door to keep cold air out.
When we talk of draft stoppers, they cannot substitute weatherstripping but can help you save home energy. Use a strong heavy-duty adhesive to seal your door and window gaps. It is advisable to caulk and seal the cracks caused due to plumbing, electric wiring, and ducting. Also, install a foam gasket behind the air leaks on walls, floors, ceilings. Keep on inspecting dirty spots in the insulation and stop cold air leakage. Whenever you find that your house has a leakage, arrange for the required tools necessary for the task. For window frames gap sealing, you need spray foam and caulk.
Make sure that for movable doors and operable windows, choose the best weatherstripping. According to your project, buy heavy-duty materials such as high-temperature caulk, reflective coils, and metal flashing. For your comfort and saving, prioritize your project. Whether you carry on the project on your own/ hire a company or a professional, make sure that the project is done with perfection, and you save a lot on your energy bills. Enjoy a comfortable stay in your cozy house.