Tag Archives: Seal Air Leaks

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.

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What to Do About Heat Loss in Your Home

What to Do About Heat Loss in Your HomeIn most homes, heat loss is a major source of wasted energy and money. Here is a brief explanation of residential heat loss and what you can do to correct the problem.

Problems from Heat Loss

  • Reduced indoor comfort: Heat loss means there will be areas with inconsistent temperatures inside your home. Some spots will be cooler than others, reducing overall comfort.
  • Extra expense: When heated air leaks out of your home, you not only lose that air, but you have to pay to heat more air to make up for the loss. This means you pay more than necessary to heat your home.
  • Unneeded wear on equipment: As it works to make up for heat loss, your heating system endures unneeded wear and tear. Overworked HVAC equipment is more likely to malfunction or fail, requiring a costly repair. Extra wear will also reduce the equipment’s functional lifespan.

Fixing Heat Loss

  • Find and seal air leaks: Locate holes, cracks and gaps where warm air can leak out of your home or cold air can get in. Seal these openings with caulking. Typical areas where air leaks occur include around door and window frames, at points where pipes or wires penetrate the walls, and where foundations contact the house frame. Apply weatherstripping around doors and windows to stop drafts.
  • Tend to HVAC ductwork: Heat loss and air leaks in the HVAC ductwork can waste substantial amounts of money and energy. Make sure duct sections fit together tightly and that the connections are sealed with mastic or metal tape. Insulate the ductwork to stop heat loss through the material of the ducts.
  • Check dampers: Make sure any fireplace dampers are closed to prevent air loss through the chimney.
  • Add more insulation: Increase insulation in walls, floors, ceilings, crawl spaces, basements and attics to help reduce heat loss. Install blanket-style insulation between beams and joists in walls and floors.

Powers Heating and Air serves Peachtree City, Sharpsburg, Senoia, Fayetteville, Tyrone, Newnan and nearby areas with professional heating and air conditioning services. Contact us today for more information on preventing and resolving heat loss in your home this season.

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).

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How to Prevent Excessive Heat Gain in Your Home

How to Prevent Excessive Heat Gain in Your HomeWhen the outdoor temperature rises, your home’s cooling system has to work hard to keep things cool indoors. If you haven’t taken steps to prevent heat gain, your air conditioner must work even harder, and you’ll see the effects of this on your energy bills and your level of home comfort. Read on to learn more about this issue and how to prevent it in your home.

What’s Heat Gain?

Heat gain refers to the heat your home acquires through infiltration of hot air and moisture; conduction of heat through warmed walls, ceilings and windows; radiant heat through windows; and heat emitted by people and appliances.

Window Shade and Exterior Paint Color

Just by shading windows, you can cut air conditioning costs by nearly 50 percent. The more shade you provide windows, the better off you’ll be. Exterior shade in the form of trees or awnings prevents the sun’s rays from heating the window glass. Indoors, use thermal blinds or curtains to keep even more heat out of your home.

Paint exterior walls and doors light colors that will reflect the sun’s heat. Combining this action with adding insulation can reduce heat gain almost 20 percent.

Indoor Activities and Appliances

Many appliances add heat to the home when used. In summer, hang clothes outdoors to dry, or use the dryer only during the coolest parts of the day. Plan meals that can be cooked in a microwave or outside on a grill. Use the dishwasher only after the sun has gone down, and skip the hot drying cycle. Reducing interior sources of heat can cut the gain by up to 14 percent.

The Attic

Heat that builds up in the attic transfers down through your home’s structure. Reduce this type of gain by 6 percent by ensuring your attic has sufficient insulation.

Seal Air Leaks

In the summer, air leaks let hot air in and cool air out. By sealing leaks around windows and doors, and in exterior walls and ceilings, you can reduce heat gain up to 13 percent.

For more information about preventing heat gain, contact 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).

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Tips for Decreasing Home Energy Consumption This Spring

Tips for Decreasing Home Energy Consumption This SpringWhen warmer weather arrives, you can reduce the effects on your energy bill by making some changes around the home. Here are important tips for decreasing home energy consumption this spring.

Schedule an Air Conditioner Maintenance Check

Before the spring season is fully underway, schedule a professional maintenance check for your air conditioning unit. Dirty coils or malfunctioning parts make your air conditioner work extra hard to keep you cool and may lessen the life of the system.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats save on energy by adjusting temperature at certain scheduled times. For example, while you are away from home there is no need to keep the home as cool as when you are present. A programmable thermostat can be set to decrease the indoor temperature shortly before you arrive so that when you get there, you come home to comfort. If you are really tech savvy you may wish to invest in a WI-FI programmable thermostat controllable from your smart phone or tablet.

Use Ceiling Fans

The indoor breeze created by ceiling fans keeps you cooler, and this means you can adjust your thermostat accordingly to save energy. Remember to adjust the rotation of the ceiling fan blades to the warm weather setting. If you are unsure of how to adjust your ceiling fans, ask a professional.

Seal Air Leaks

Warm air outdoors will find a way inside your home through gaps around doors, windows or in the foundation. Sealing these gaps will keep your home cooler this spring and reduce the workload on your air conditioner.

Prevent Heat Gain through Windows

Use thermal-backed window treatments on windows and keep these shades or curtains closed during the day. Consider investing in energy-efficient windows as well.

For more information about decreasing home energy consumption, please contact us at Powers Heating & Air. We have served the local Fayetteville, Tyrone and Peachtree City areas since 1979 and Sharpsburg, Senoia and Newnan since 1980.

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).

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Easy Ways to Reduce Dust Particles in Your Home

Easy Ways to Reduce Dust Particles in Your HomeA certain level of dust in your home should be expected, but if you’re not careful it can build up to the point where it damages your indoor air quality and threatens your health. Dust is often known to trigger allergy symptoms or exacerbate conditions like asthma. You can reduce dust levels in your home by doing the following:

  • Regularly replace air filters: The air filter in your HVAC system traps many small particles including dust. When it gets clogged up however, its ability to trap more dust is reduced, which allows the dust to pass through and circulate back into your home. Replace your filter every one to three months as needed.

  • Seal air leaks: Air leaks are commonly found around windows and doors. These allow outside air to get in that is unfiltered and likely contains dust. Locate these leaks and seal them with weatherstripping or caulking.

  • Take off your shoes: One way that dust is tracked inside your home is on shoes along with dirt. Take your shoes off before you enter the home or as soon as you do enter to minimize new dust in your house.

  • Have ducts sealed: Older ductwork has the tendency to leak at the seals. This not only raises your energy bill, but also allows unfiltered air into your ducts, which then goes into your home. Have a professional clean your ducts as needed.

  • Regular household cleaning: Simply vacuuming on a regular basis can reduce dust levels significantly. When you dust furniture in your home, use something that collects the dust instead of just pushing it around.

    And don’t forget to make sure that your ductwork is properly sealed and insulated.  Leaking ductwork under your home or in the attic allows the contaminants like dirt, insulation, and other particulates to seep into the ductwork and circulate throughout the house.

If you would like your  home in Fayette or Coweta County inspected for dust and other air quality issues, please contact 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).

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net