Many people are unaware that their cooling and heating needs can have a significant effect on their energy usage. In fact, these needs account for more than half of the energy used in an average American home. This makes heating and cooling the largest energy expense for many of us, and we should be very interested in ways to reduce our energy bills. One of the best ways to save money is to ensure that there are no air leaks in your home before the warmer weather arrives.
Anyone that operates a cooling system during summer months will know that it can cost a lot of money to run. Getting your home interior to a comfortable temperature is a considerable challenge if you have warmer air leaking into your home from outside. Your system will have to work harder, and the cooling efficiency will be compromised. In real terms, you will be paying more for your energy and getting less than optimal cooling performance.
Detecting Air Leaks
There are some DIY solutions that you can take to detect the presence of air leaks in your home. A simple trick is to light an incense stick and carry it throughout your home. Pay attention to the smoke behavior, if it suddenly blows sideways you’ve detected an air leak. The most common areas to detect an air leak are your doors, windows, and outlets. For a more comprehensive solution, it’s a good idea to get in touch with a local professional HVAC specialist. Many air leaks are in hard to reach areas that you may not be able to access or assess correctly. A specialist will have the experience and equipment to detect air leaks throughout the home.
Taking Action on Air Leaks
The best time to ensure that your home is ready for the warmer months ahead is before the cooling season begins. This can be achieved by checking your home for any air leaks, fixing those leaks and improving the insulation in your home. The average home loses 25% of the heat through smaller holes and cracks in walls and attic spaces. Many leaks can be easily fixed with solutions, such as new weather stripping, caulk application and even expanding spray foam. Other cracks in attic spaces and walls will need more professional solutions to effectively plug any air leaks.
The Importance of Insulation
Plugging air leaks is important, but insulation is also vital to improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system. Insulation levels are assigned an R-value that measures its ability to resist heat that travels through the material. The higher the R-value, the more effective its thermal performance at keeping cool air in your home. This will mean that your HVAC system can be run less often without a loss in indoor comfort levels. Areas that would normally be insulated, such as attics, walls, and basements, should have insulation with a high R-value to maximise energy savings. An HVAC specialist will be able to offer expert help and advice on the best ways to insulate your home.