Weatherize Your Home | Heating and Air Conditioning
When you weatherize your home stops air leaks, and helps to increase your comfort by providing a more consistently stable temperature. Air infiltration and the escape of conditioned air is a significant source of the loss of energy. The infiltration of outside air increases the system’s need to run and consequently the wear on your homes heating and air conditioning system.
Weatherizing the home doesn’t cost a lot, though the savings realized can be significant. Use the following simple, inexpensive tips to reduce energy consumption and save on heating and air conditioning costs, and reduce wear and tear on your HVAC system, while increasing the home’s comfort level.
Insulate outlets and light switches
Installing electrical outlet foam sealers to outlets and switches will block the infiltration of outdoor air. Air leaks from basements and attics can travel through interior walls, creating drafts from plate covers. Remove the plate cover and check for unsealed spaces around the outlet box. Use expanding spray foam insulating product to fill open areas around the exterior perimeter of the outlet or a light switch box, do not use inside the box.
Ill-fitting or unsealed doors can cause significant air infiltration and loss of conditioned air. Inspect your door from inside the home when the sun is shining on it, if you can see daylight it needs some attention.
First, ensure hinges, door knobs and strike plates are tight. These determine how tightly a door closes.
Inspect the door sweep at the bottom of the door; if it is worn, cracked or warped replace it. Use the same criteria to inspect the weatherstripping around the doors and replace if necessary.
Inspect windows and replace worn weather stripping. One often overlooked area affecting windows is the gaps behind the window casings. Home builders often fail to insulate the space surrounding windows when they are installed. Inspection and insulation will require removing the casing and may result in damage to casings. If you are willing to risk it, use caution and go slowly to reduce damage. Be aware it may result in damage to wall paint. Expanding spray foam sealer is an easy and effective solution to gaps around windows.
One method of tightening windows and reducing drafts is to close and lock them which create a tighter seal.
Replace dryer vent
Dryer vents can be a source of cold air entering. If the vent is merely a grill replace it with a grill that will close such as the shutter style. You should be aware that lint can rapidly build up causing the shutters to remain open. Make it a habit to inspect it monthly and clean as necessary.
Some homes utilize open exhaust vents on the roof, which can result in air infiltration, especially when the HVAC system runs. These vents are found on the ventilation pipe for a stove hood range or bathroom exhaust fans. Consider having vents with flaps installed for these ventilation pipes. They open when the fan runs, and remain closed when they do not. This prevents incoming air infiltration or conditioned air losses, which can be a significant source of air leaks. Self-sealing vents will reduce your energy costs and the wear on the heating and air conditioning system.
Inspect intrusions such as around plumbing under sinks, tubs, showers and the dryer vent. Seal gaps surrounding pipes with expanding spray foam insulation or caulking.
Remember, when the heating and air conditioning system runs, the system pulls air toward the return (where the filter is located), this can result in increased air filtration when the system runs. In the winter this allows cold air to enter which then must be heated by the furnace. On the other hand, during the summer it pulls hot, humid air in which must be cooled by the air conditioner and dehumidified.
Garland Heating and Air Conditioning is here to serve your heating and air conditioning needs. For further advice on how to weatherize your home give us a call. For professional repair, maintenance or heating and air conditioning installation, call to schedule service, our certified HVAC technicians are ready to take your call.