Sealing Air Leaks: Do It Now, Before the First Cold Front

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Sealing Air Leaks: Do It Now, Before the First Cold Front

No matter what HVAC system you install and how well you maintain it, you cannot achieve an efficient home if you have significant air leaks. Air leaks are responsible for heat loss during the winter and heat gain during the summer. Spend time finding and sealing air leaks in your home to keep comfort high and bills low.

How to Find Leaks

At first you may have a hard time finding leaks, but over time it will become easier. If you would like professional help, have an HVAC technician come in and perform a blower door test. The blower door test will reveal virtually all significant leaks so you can seal them.

To inspect for leaks by yourself, take a walk around your home looking for major holes or cracks. These are typically present where the foundation meets the rest of the wall, as well around any piping or electrical entrance into the home.

You can follow a similar procedure inside the home, but should then try feeling for leaks or watching for airflow as you move a tissue or incense stick around the exterior wall. Give extra attention to windows and doors, the most common sources of leaks. Also be aware that fireplaces and outlets commonly exhibit leaks as well.

Sealing Air Leaks

Most typical leaks can be filled with either weatherstripping or caulking. You can find both at most hardware stores for a fairly cheap price. Caulking is used on leaks that are in stationary locations, like a wall or ceiling. Weatherstripping on the other hand is perfect for leaks around door joints, where movement is still required.

If you do find a leak around a fireplace, furnace or other heat generating equipment, you may have to use a special sealant. Sheet metal, sheetrock and cement caulk are all fire resistant materials that are often used. If you are presented with a situation that you are unsure of, contact an HVAC professional for guidance.

For help sealing air leaks in your Portland, Oregon home, contact Roth Heating & Cooling.

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