No matter how new or old your home is, or whether it’s in Lakewood or Louisville, your residence could be leaking air and inflating your energy bill. But, what can you do to save a few bucks on your next monthly statement? The friendly folks at Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling have tips on how you can insulate those trouble spots in your home and stop the air leaks for good!
Doors and windows
Most drafts tend to come in through the doors and windows in your most lived-in rooms. Weather-stripping is low-cost and helps a great deal in these areas. Stripping comes in several different materials, each with its own pros and cons:
• Bronze – Lasts for a few decades, but takes much longer to install
• Plastic – Has a shorter lifespan, but is easy to install
• Synthetic – Longer lifespan than plastic, and easier to install than bronze
Neighborly tip: A door sweep or a rolled-up towel will do the job nicely for gaps below your doors!
Switches and outlets
Air leaks can be sneaky. Drafts can squeeze through even the tiniest cracks, like the gaps found between outlets and switch plates and your walls. Thankfully, there’s an easy solution to plug these small gaps. Simply install a foam gasket by removing the outlet or switch cover, applying the foam piece, and reinstalling the plate. Presto! No more leaks!
Recessed lighting fixtures can leave rooms exposed to air from overhead areas such as the attic. Similar to the outlet gaps, this problem also has a straightforward solution. Airtight baffles can seal these often-leaky fixtures. Just unscrew the bulb, insert the baffle, and re-screw the bulb. It only takes a few seconds per bulb, and you’ll notice an immediate improvement.
Chimneys and flues
For safety reasons, most homes are designed with deliberate gaps around the flues and chimneys to guard against accidental fires. However, there’s a safe way to close these gaps and eliminate air leakage. Non-flammable metal sheets like aluminum flashing fill the space since they’re not flammable and can be secured with heat-resistant caulk. No longer will you wonder where that breeze is coming from every time you cozy up to the fire!
Inspect any exposed ducts in your home by holding a candle flame or lighter near the joints. If the flame flickers, that joint is leaking air and needs sealed. Silicone caulk is an inexpensive and effective way to ensure the air from your HVAC system goes where it’s meant to go.
Wiring and plumbing
Because your wires and water pipes travel from room to room, having holes in the walls to accommodate them is unavoidable. Canned spray foam is ideal for filling irregular gaps like these more thoroughly.
Although this area is out of the way and seldom considered, it can still cause a noticeable draft, just like any other area of your home. As we mentioned above, weather-stripping and caulking are also effective in your attic. You can also add a pre-insulated hatch cover or attic door, which also stops leaks nicely.
We can help!
Are you suffering from air leakage in your home? Call Hey Neighbor Heating & Cooling today at 844-HEY-NEIGHBOR! Our trained professionals know how to spot any problem areas so you can patch things up nice and tight and save money on your next energy bill.