Let's Save Energy - Find Those Air Leaks

Leaky air is the enemy!

Do you want to realize immediate savings on your heat bill and air conditioning bill, and help the Earth at the same time?   One of the biggest contributors to our heating bills and air conditioning bills, that’s independent of the type of heating or A/C system you have, is infiltration. Yep, infiltration!

So what exactly is infiltration?  

Infiltration is outside air that finds its way inside your home.  In other words, air leaks. In the winter that infiltrated air needs to be heated to keep you comfortable. And in the summer it needs to be cooled.  And guess what? This is wasted energy and costs you money.  Infiltration can account for 50% of your energy bill!

So, how do we reduce this infiltration, these air leaks, to reduce our heating bills?
First, you need to find the air leaks.  The most common areas are doors and windows.  Did you know that old doors or windows themselves are not necessarily an energy problem?   (Don’t let a window contractor talk you into new windows until you really understand the energy issues….you can always write to me or call me for more information regarding this or see my website www.saveenergyusa.com).

The main problem with older, and in many cases newer, doors or windows, is the way they were installed.   If the air gaps around the frames of the doors and windows are not filled with air tight material, such as spray foam or caulk, they will leak air.  Lots of air.  Also, the seals around where the windows or doors meet with the window or door frames can be a big problem. These seals can be missing in older homes, or need to be replaced in order to provide a tight seal.  Otherwise, guess what?  Lots of air leaks!

How do you know if your doors or windows are leaking air?  

A quick easy test is to wet your hand on a cool windy day, and slowly move your wet hand around the door and window frames about and inch away from the frames.  If there is infiltration, or air leaks, you will feel it.  Another simple test is to insert a dollar bill between the door or window and its frame.  Close the door or window and see if you can pull out the dollar bill.  If it pulls out easily, you need better seals in the window or door.  There are much more sophisticated ways to find air leaks (infiltration) in your home.  An energy efficiency analysis, which I can perform,  is a way to find them.  (you can write me or see my website for more info).

Once you find the leaks, you need to fix them.  I will offer some tips for fixing these leaky areas in my next blog. For now, be aware of infiltration.  It’s costing you and costing the Earth!

Think energy savings every day!

Energy Tip of the Week:  Go find the leaky air spots in your home.  Now is the time with cold windy days or evenings upon us.  Once you find them, write them down, and make it a point to get them fixed.  Remember you don’t necessarily need new doors or windows. Most of the time existing doors or windows can be improved dramatically.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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