Most people are happy to find ways to save on their utility bills, especially when summer heat has them using the air conditioner almost continuously. What many people don't realize is that they may be paying to cool air that's getting diluted by warm air entering through leaks and cracks. Proper weatherization techniques can solve this problem and help you save on your utility bills.
How do you know if you have leaks and where they're located? Try this do-it-yourself test. Shut off your air conditioner, turn on your exhaust fans, and then hold a lit incense stick near potential leakage areas such as the door and windows, entryways for plumbing, vents and electrical lines, or places where different parts of your home's exterior connect. If the incense smoke wavers, you probably have a leak. For more accurate results, contact your service technician to have a blower door test done. This test will show exactly where air is leaking.
Once you know where your leaks are, get out your caulk gun. Scrape off any old caulk and clean and dry the surfaces where you'll be applying caulk. Apply the caulk at a 45-degree angle in a continuous stream if possible, making sure that it gets down into the crack that you're sealing. If it starts to bubble out, push it back in with a putty knife. Make sure the caulk attaches to both sides of the crack and reapply if it starts to shrink.
Another strategy for weatherizing your house is to apply weather-stripping. There are many kinds of weather-stripping, ranging from simple foam strips to metal. How you apply it depends on what kind you're using. Measure carefully more than once before you cut the material. This will save having to re-cut and waste large portions of the weather-stripping. Clean and dry the surface you want to weather-strip, and make sure that it touches both sides of the surface you're covering.
For more information on proper weatherization techniques or other HVAC issues in the Mid-Ohio area, contact Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about proper weatherization techniques and other HVAC topics, visit our website.
Joe Behr Plumbing and Heating, Inc. services the Mid-Ohio area.