Archive for October, 2012

Tips to Spot Air Leaks in Home

For bringing down your electricity bills, you need to air seal your house properly. Starting from doing a blower door test, which depressurizes a home to disclose the position of many leaks, to hiring a qualified technician for performing an energy assessment, there are many ways to spot and plug air leaks. Here are some simple tips that can help you spot air leaks in home:


Visual assessment

You should examine all regions outside your house, where building materials of two different types are joined together. This includes:

  • Water faucets located outdoors
  • Every exterior corner
  • Regions where the foundation and the base of siding or exterior brick meet


Inside your home, you need to inspect the following for any gaps and cracks, which could trigger air leaks:

  • Switch plates
  • Electrical outlets
  • Window and door frames
  • Baseboards
  • Fireplace dampers
  • Gas and electrical service entrances
  • Attic hatches
  • Weather stripping around doors
  • Air conditioners mounted on windows or walls
  • Phone and cable TV lines
  • Fans and vents
  • Areas where dryer vents pass through the walls


Checking for gaps around foundation seals, wires and pipes, as well as mail slots is also important to spot air leaks. You should examine the weather caulking and stripping too to ensure that they are in good condition, and are applied properly without leaving any cracks or gaps.


Testing the exterior caulking around windows and doors, and checking whether primary doors and exterior storm doors seal tightly is yet another important step to spot air leakage in your home.


Air leak tests

If you can’t spot air leaks with visual inspection, you may use these tests for the same:

  • After lighting incense stick, move it around the edges of common leak locations. Wherever the smoke is sucked out of or wavers or blown into the room, there’s a draft. You may also use a damp hand to find leaks, as any draft will give a cold feeling to your hand.


  • Check if you can rattle windows and doors as movement means potential air leaks. Locating daylight around a window or door frame also means that there may be air leaks.


  •  Shine flashlight over all probable cracks at night while you ask a partner to scrutinize the house from outside. Though big cracks will be revealed as rays of light, it’s not a good way for locating smaller cracks.


  • Shut your window or door on a piece of paper. In case the paper can be pulled out without getting it torn, it means that you are losing energy through air leaks.


So, use these tips and tests to spot air leaks and seal them to avoid wasting energy and paying for steep electricity bills.


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Tips to reduce air leakage and cut down your energy bills

Many Texas electricity customers struggle with their rising utility bills but most often forget that reducing air leakage can be an important step in controlling their electric bills. If you too are looking for ways to cut your electric bills, it’s time to consider proper sealing and insulating techniques, which can help you save up to 20% on your overall cooling and heating costs. Here are some simple tips, which if followed, can help you in your endeavor:


  • Sealing your windows: Instead of depending on air leakage for ventilation, you should seal your windows and use controlled ventilation. While you can get a seasonal fix with rope caulk, or opt for window panels to shut out a quick storm, a more permanent solution would need either foam or sealant.
  • Sealing your doors: Though you should get in the habit of closing your doors immediately after you exit or enter to stop air leaking through the your doors, you may also screw on door sweeps or apply caulk/self-adhesive weather strip for a more permanent solution.
  • Sealing your ducts: Your heating and cooling system’s efficiency can be improved a lot by sealing old ducts. Depending on where the leak is located, you can either use a putty knife/caulk gun to apply mastic sealant or use a long-lasting tape to close the leak.
  • Check for dirty spots on your carpet and ceiling paint: As such spots may indicate air leaks at wall/floor joists and ceiling joints/interior walls, check them and caulk the joints if you spot leaks.
  • Check for dirty spots in your insulation: Such spots are often a sign of holes, from where air leaks out of and into your house. So, once you spot the leaks, make sure to seal them with low-expansion spray foam.
  • Seal your electrical outlets: Switches and outlets can also act as sources of air leakage, which is why you should install covers and gaskets to save money on your electricity bills. What’s more, they will also help in moisture control.
  • For fireplace that’s not in use: Ensure that the flue damper is tightly closed.
  • Tips for your chimney: As a chimney is designed particularly for smoke to escape, warm air will escape round the clock until you close it. In case your chimney is old, check the chimney damper and replace it if it’s broken or deformed. An easy-to-install solution is a chimney balloon, which would stop the air leakage, in addition to keeping out the odor and debris.


So, save on your energy bills by using these tips. Visit Shop Texas Electricity to compare various electric providers side by side at one place

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