One of the most obvious ways to save on your heating and cooling costs is to dial back the thermostat. While this can bring good savings, too many people make the mistake of stopping there. Energy leaks in your home's energy envelope could be costing you much more in wasted energy, and they could also be decreasing your comfort. Here's how to find and eliminate these energy leaks.
Understanding Why Energy Leaks Are Bad
Energy leaks are literally leaks in your home. They're places where your air conditioned air can sneak out and where the uncomfortable outside air can get pulled in.
If you add them up, the energy leaks could be worse than running your air conditioner with a window open. Further, when they allow outside air in, they could be affecting the temperature that you feel, so that you dial up the thermostat more than you normally would.
Checking Your Wires and Pipes
One of the most common places for energy leaks is around wires and pipes. There are many places where wiring and pipes pass through holes cut into your wall.
Because these places are often hidden behind appliances or inside of closets and cabinets, the wall is never refinished. This leaves an opening into the untreated air space behind your walls.
Go behind your appliances and use dry wall, caulk, or insulation to fill in these gaps for an airtight seal. You can always cut into these materials if you need to make later repairs or upgrades.
Check Your Windows and Doors
Windows and doors often have gaps around them. It's simply hard to create an airtight seal while allowing them to open and close easily.
To solve this dilemma, install flexible rubber weatherstripping around each of your windows and exterior doors. This will give them freedom of movement while making them more airtight. Check them every year because eventually the weatherstripping will wear out and lose its seal.
Inspect Your Air Ducts
Your air ducts might have been punctured while someone or something (like a rat) was crawling around in your attic. With the air conditioner or heater running, feel all around your ducts for air blowing out or being sucked in. Cover any holes you find with a sturdy metal tape.
To learn more about eliminating energy leaks from your home and improving your HVAC system's efficiency, contact an HVAC contractor in your area today.