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Air Leaks: Small, But Very Costly

Considering how much we depend on our air conditioning bills to make summer tolerable, even the smallest air leaks can add to electric bills. Fortunately, fixing most leaks is relatively easy once they’re detected. A few tubes of caulk and a can of expanding foam may be all you need to stop the needless energy drain leaks create.

Finding the leaks

You have two options for identifying where the air is entering or leaving our home. The fist is to hire a licensed HVAC contractor or energy auditor. They’ll conduct a blower door test to identify and measure the amount of air infiltration coming into your home. They’ll arm you with that information and you can proceed to fix the leaks.

The second way to do it is to conduct a home-made version of a blower door test. After closing all the windows, shutting the exterior doors and the fireplace damper, turn on the exhaust fans in the kitchen and the bathrooms. Turn off any gas-burning appliances. Walk through your home with a lighted stick of incense and note where the smoke wavers more than normally. Good places to focus include exterior door and window frames, and places where cables, pipes and wires enter your home.

Fixing the leaks

    • Air leaks around window frames can be stopped by using exterior caulk to seal the joints between the frames and your home’s exterior.
    • Door frame leaks are easily fixed by putting on fresh weatherstripping around the sides and top of the door frame. If there’s a gap at the bottom of the door, consider a door sweep or draft blocker inside.
    • Use expanding foam, found in spray cans at home improvement stores, to seal the holes around pipes, wires or cables.

If you’d like assistance with finding the air leaks or would like to learn more about an energy evaluation for your home, contact Wolff Mechanical. Not only can we conduct a blower test, we can also check your HVAC’s ductwork for leaks, another major source of high electric bills. We’ve provided HVAC services for the Phoenix metro area since 1990.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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