Air Sealing for Fall: Tips to Protect Your Home's Envelope

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Heating and Air Conditioning Fort Wayne Indiana

Hartman 10.3.13Energy-conscious consumers know that having quality insulation and double-paned storm windows can reduce heating and cooling costs. However, it's easy to forget that keeping energy costs down requires you to regularly review your home for air leaks and any places where air sealing is necessary. 

The best time of year to walk through your home and look for leaks is in the fall when the weather begins to turn cold. If you feel a breeze near windows, doors or in basements, you have a crack or opening somewhere that needs to be sealed with caulk, spray foam or weatherstripping.

When air sealing your home, begin at the top of the building and work your way down. Large leaks should be obvious, and fixing those first will begin to immediately save you money.

Another reason to begin at the top is because air leaks in the attic floor can allow warm, vapor-filled air to rise up and accumulate in the attic. In the winter, the warm attic will partially melt any snow accumulation on rooftops to partially melt then refreeze, forming what is referred to as an ice dam. This allows more snow and ice to build up causing roof damage, water leakage, mold and other issues that can cause long term damage to your home.

When you're assessing your home, make sure that all openings are sealed, including openings around electrical jacks and vents. If you home has older wiring, have a trained professional assess your home and perform the necessary upgrades.

As you work your way down to the basement, assess your chimney, if you have one, making sure the chimney doors are tight fitting and the flue damper is sealed. Check all your air ducts, washer and dryer vents and any kitchen or bathroom vents as well.

Once you reach the basement check every pipe, vent and flue opening for leaks as well as all crawl space openings.

While a certain amount of an air sealing project can be done by the homeowner, for a comprehensive job of finding places where warm air is escaping your home (in the winter) and entering it (in the summer), you'll want a professional energy audit performed. The long-term savings of having an airtight home will make this a wise investment.

To learn more about air sealing your home, please contact us at Hartman Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning. We're here to help.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in New Haven, Indiana and surrounding Fort Wayne area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about air sealing and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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