As winter approaches and the weather gets colder, keeping your house warm is essential. If you have leaks or drafts in your home, it may be difficult and expensive to keep the heat inside where it belongs. While you prepare your house for winter, you should make your home more airtight so that you can save money on heating costs and maintain your comfort.
How to Find Air Leaks
Searching for air leaks can be tedious, but it's essential to be thorough. You can start by inspecting the outside of your home wherever two different materials meet, such as where the siding or brick meets the foundation.
Next, you can inspect the inside of your house. The following are some of the most common areas for leaks and drafts to occur:
Window and door frames
TV and phone lines
According to the Department of Energy, one effective way to search for air leaks is to hold a candle or a stick of incense several inches from your window and door frames. If you see any flickering while you're standing completely still, it's likely a sign of a draft in that area.
How to Seal Leaks
Energy Star recommends using caulk for holes less than 0.25 inches and spray foam for gaps between 0.25 and 3 inches. For materials that move, such as doors and windows, use weatherstripping.
To reduce your heating costs as quickly as possible, start with the most significant leaks. Energy Star states that the best place to start is the attic because it's likely that it has the most drafts. After finding and sealing air leaks in the attic, you should tackle the basement or crawlspace. Then, turn your attention to the doors and windows in the rest of your living space.
When to Contact a Professional
While you can probably handle small leaks and drafts on your own, it's best to contact a professional if you notice several large leaks or if you see a steep increase in your heating costs.A professional can conduct a blower door test, which depressurizes your home to reveal the locations of heat loss. They can also seal up any drafts they find, which will save you time and effort. To schedule an appointment with JSP Home Services, contact us at (845) 250-6470.