How Air Leaks in Your Home Cost You Money and How to Fix Them
When air leaks in your home, the electricity used to heat or cool that air is wasted as it leaks. Your HVAC system has to work harder and longer to maintain the same temperature. This drives up your electric bill if you use electricity to heat your home. It increases your natural gas bill or heating oil bill if that is what you use to heat your home.
Air leaks let pollen, dirt and pollution into your home. Air filters that clean the air in your home now purify additional, outside air. The solution may be replacing air filters more often, installing more air filters or using more expensive, higher grade filters to improve the air quality.
Where there is air, there is moisture. If your home has air leaks, humidity put into the air by your humidifier is lost while rain from the outside has the potential to leak in. The water may seep in and cause mildew and mold to grow in the insulation, seep in through seals and feed mold and mildew growing in the duct work or accelerate the decay of wood in your home.
How can a heating and cooling service company fix these costly leaks?
- * A heating and cooling service company can check the hoses, ducts and air intake locations in your home for leaks. They can replace cracked hoses, replace ducts or seal gaps. They may replace insulation that has broken down or increase the insulation to prevent future leaks.
- * Many HVAC contractors can seal leaks around windows, doors and pipes to reduce air leaks.
- * Some HVAC contractors are qualified to perform weather-proofing services like installing weather strips under doors or place solar screens in windows.
- * A heating and cooling service company typically has the tools to perform an energy audit. Part of this audit is touring the home with an infrared camera and a thermal sensor, identifying areas that are abnormally hot or cold. While the HVAC company may not be able to install insulation in the attic where it is unusually thin, this information helps the home owner take steps to improve the home’s energy efficiency.