Tag Archives: air leaks

What to Know About Window Insulation

What to Know About Window InsulationInefficient windows may be all that’s keeping you between staying comfortable this winter and achieving low energy bills. Although it’s a small investment of time and money, adding window insulation might be the key to a draft-free home and reasonable heating accosts.

 

As important as they are, windows are often the least efficient component of homes. Glass has practically no insulation value and air leaks in windows are common. Making your windows more efficient is a two-step process to stop the leaks and slow the loss of heat through the glass.

Seal the Leaks

A professional energy audit is the most accurate way to find where the leaks around the windows are. The auditors use a high-powered fan to pull the air from your home and test the temperatures with infrared cameras to find the location of the leaks and their sizes. Once you’ve identified their locations, you can seal most leaks with acrylic caulk around the frames and silicone caulk around the panes.

Add Insulation

Single-pane windows have no protection against heat transfer and gain and lose heat quickly. All you have to do is hold your hand against the glass on a cold morning to feel how cold the glass is. Dual pane windows sometimes lose their airtight seal and the insulating gas escapes. They lose their insulating properties and function little better than a single-pane window.

 

Window insulation is available in clear plastic kits and window film. The kits are available at home centers and online and are fairly easy to install using hair dryers. Window film has the same coatings that low-E windows have to prevent heat gain and loss. The film is also available at retail home centers and online, but take some practice to install. You can find professionals who install this film full-time for homes and commercial buildings.

 

Taking the time to seal the leaks and add window insulation will give you a warmer, more comfortable home with lower heating bills. To learn more, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

Tips for Detecting Air Leaks in Your House

Tips for Detecting Air Leaks in Your HouseIn a perfect world, we’d all schedule professional energy audits regularly in our homes to find energy leaks. In the real world, however, a professional energy audit isn’t always within our budgets. So, we’re faced with the do-it-yourself route when it comes to correcting air leaks.

Why Locate Leaks?

The Department of Energy cites air leaks as the major source of energy losses in homes. Conditioned air escapes through air leaks, while unconditioned air finds its way inside, undermining our cooling and heating efforts. Some of the major sites for leaking air:

  • Under doors
  • Around door and window frames
  • Through hung windows
  • Around baseboards
  • Through attic hatch doors and around frames
  • Through any holes to the outside, such as those for pipes, wires and cables
  • Switch plates and plugs
  • Recessed lighting
  • Fireplace dampers
  • Vents and flues
  • Dryer vents
  • Mail slots

Outdoors, the major leak sites are faucets, exterior corners and where the foundation and siding/brick meet.

 

You can find places where air is leaking by visual inspection, checking for gaps or holes, or by lighting an incense stick and waving it in front of suspected leak sites. If the smoke wavers, air is leaking.

Fixing Leaks

Apply the following fixes to leaks:

  • Weatherstripping around attic hatches and on doors
  • Weatherstripping between hung windows
  • Caulk or weatherstripping around baseboards
  • Caulk around door and window frames
  • Door sweep under doors
  • Insulation and weatherstripping around pipes, wires and cables entering from the outdoors
  • Foam gaskets behind switchplates and electric plugs
  • Specially made heat-resistant insulation boxes around recessed lighting in the attic
  • Metal collar around flues in the attic, plus heat-resistant caulk
  • Weatherstripping or caulk around dryer vents and mail slots

In addition, insulate all exterior faucets. Apply caulking and weatherstripping around mail slots and foundation seals. Make sure caulking around exterior door frames is in good shape.

 

If you’d like to know more about detecting and fixing air leaks in your home, contact Powers Heating and Air. We provide Peachtree City and the surrounding area with expert heating and cooling services and installation.

 

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

How to Find Air Leaks and Seal Them

How to Find Air Leaks and Seal ThemYou might have a state-of-the-art HVAC system with all the bells and whistles, but if your home isn’t properly weatherized, you’re still going to have a difficult time heating and cooling it affordably and effectively. This means both effective sealing to eliminate air leaks and proper insulation. Here we’ll mainly review air sealing.

Any productive strategy for air sealing a home starts with finding where the air is leaking. You can do this yourself, basically for free, or else you can commission a professional energy audit.

Do-It-Yourself

First patrol the exterior of your home, paying special attention to likely locations for air leaks. This might be where the walls meet the foundation, or where utility conduits, pipes or vents penetrate the exterior of the house. Look for evidence of deterioration in walls or foundation. From inside the house on a windy day, walk around the interior of the home’s envelope with a lighted incense stick or smoke pencil, placing it near areas prone to air leaks. These include windows and doors, utility penetrations in the basement, and the spots where the foundation, sill plate and walls intersect. If you see the smoke waver, you’ve probably found an air leak.

Professional Energy Assessment

This is a considerably more comprehensive way to find air leaks in your home. A professional energy auditor will use high-tech diagnostic equipment to assess how badly your home is leaking air, along with where the air leaks are located. This process also will determine where insulation is missing or otherwise inadequate. Powers has a Building Performance Institute (BPI) trained staff member to do this for you and if you are on Georgia Power lines you will qualify for a significant rebate towards the cost of this service.

It’s Time to Seal

You’ll want to use a combination of weather stripping, caulk and spray foam to seal leaks. Apply weatherstripping to seal around doors and window sashes (start by replacing old, deteriorated weather stripping). Caulk should be used for other gaps and cracks (just follow instructions on the packaging), unless the opening is relatively large, in which case spray foam should be used. While you’re at it, seal ductwork with mastic sealant and quality metal tape.

For more advice on weatherizing your Sharpsburg, Senoia, Peachtree City, Tyrone or Fayetteville area home, please contact us at Powers Heating & Air.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Norman Pogson/Shutterstock”

Want to Perform a Home Energy Evaluation? Use this Checklist

Want to Perform a Home Energy Evaluation? Use this ChecklistFor homeowners who want to save money on their monthly energy usage, a home energy evaluation is an excellent first step. This type of evaluation shows you where you are using or losing energy and gives you the opportunity to correct problems that can drive your costs up.

  • Check the insulation: Insulation keeps warm air inside during the winter and outside during the summer. Check your walls, ceilings, floors, foundation, attic, and basement for the proper amount of insulation. Pay particular attention to the attic and uninsulated areas such as crawl spaces. Substantial amounts of warm air and energy can be lost in those spots.
  • Look for air leaks: When warm air leaks out of your home, you’ve not only lost air you’ve already paid to heat, you also have to pay for more air to make up for the loss. Find any areas of air loss and seal them. Look around doors and windows, at points where pipes or wires enter your home through the wall, and at spots where the foundation and attic floor contact the frame. Caulk holes, cracks, and gaps to seal them.
  • Check the ductwork: Air loss in the ductwork of your heating or cooling system can be extremely wasteful and expensive. Make sure the ducts are properly insulated and that each duct section is intact and undamaged. All sections should fit snugly together and all connections should be sealed with mastic or metal tape.
  • Call a pro: If you want to get the best possible results from an energy evaluation, contact your HVAC professional about performing one. Experts have tools, equipment, and techniques that most homeowners don’t. They may, for example, use thermographic scanners to find areas of heat loss or may run a blower door test to find the smallest and best hidden air leaks in your home. BPI Certification is a plus also as this lets you know that they have passed a professional course on home energy audits.

Since 1979, Powers Heating and Air has offered high-quality HVAC services to customers in Peachtree City and the surrounding areas. Contact us today for more information on performing a home energy evaluation and what you can do to save energy and money.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about home energy evaluations and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Michael D Brown/Shutterstock”

Tips for Reducing Humidity in Your Peachtree City Home This Summer

Tips for Reducing Humidity in Your Peachtree City Home This SummerDo you have humidity issues in your home? If so, you’re not alone. Georgia summers can be extremely muggy, and unless certain measures for reducing humidity are taken, you could end up with excess moisture in the air inside your house. If left unaddressed, it could negatively impact your comfort levels and health, as well as damage your home. Read on to learn how to determine whether you have a humidity problem and how to reduce indoor humidity levels.

Signs That You Need to Reduce Indoor Humidity

When your home has become physically uncomfortable, it’s obvious that you’re struggling with humidity issues. In other instances, though, the signs might not be as obvious. Even if you can’t feel the excess moisture, it can cause serious issues. Be aware of any water stains, mold or mildew growth on walls and ceilings, as well as musty odors. Water condensation on windows can also be a key indicator. Even allergies can indicate humidity troubles.

Tips for Reducing Indoor Humidity 

Try these suggestions for reducing humidity levels within your home:

  • Adjust fan settings: Is your fan constantly set to “on”? If so, air is being blown across a wet coil when the condenser cycles off. This will re-humidify your house.
  • Vent outdoors: If you don’t already use bathroom and kitchen vents, they should be installed. All vents, including dryer vents, should vent to the outdoors.
  • Use dehumidifiers: Dehumidifiers are helpful for reducing excess moisture in problem areas.
  • Seal leaks: Sealing air leaks and leaky ducts will help lower humidity levels throughout the whole home.
  • Make upgrades: Those with serious humidity problems might want to consider investing in a new air conditioning system with a variable-speed air handler. When choosing a new system, make sure your HVAC contractor properly sizes it for cooling and humidity control. You might also want to think about installing a whole-house dehumidifier.

For more practical tips and advice on reducing humidity in your home, contact the professionals at Powers Heating and Air. We offer home comfort solutions to residents of Peachtree City and the surrounding areas.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “alexwhite/Shutterstock”