Could you be paying less for your energy bill if your house was better sealed and therefore more energy efficient? Even if your home is relatively new, areas of air leakage are not uncommon. If you feel drafts in your house, you know air is leaking in. These are usually felt around windows and doors, but more significant drafts can occur in the basement and attic. If these areas have been insulated, finding the air leaks can be challenging.
To find leaks in the attic, search where:
- The inner and outer walls and the floor intersect.
- The area around dropped soffits or the dropped ceiling.
- Around the attic kneewalls.
In some of these areas, particularly the dropped soffits, you may have to move the insulation to find your leaks and repair them. The same may apply to a finished attic’s kneewalls. Even though insulated, air leaks can still occur. Look for dirty insulation, as this indicates air passage.
- Inspect where the basement wall and block or cement contact the wood frame.
- Check rim joists. Although it’s difficult to see cracks in the cavities, seal the inside cavity at the top and bottom.
- Openings for wires, plumbing and venting stacks should be sealed.
Basic visual inspection
Here are some obvious places where leaks may occur and are fairly easy to find. There will often be leaks where different building materials meet. On the outside of your house look at:
- The corners.
- Intersection of chimney and siding.
- Intersection of foundation and siding.
Inside the house inspect:
- All electrical outlets and switch plates.
- Around air conditioners.
- Any incoming cables or phone lines.
- Fans and vents.
- Around windows and doors.
For a thorough measurement of your home’s air leaks, hire a contractor who can perform an energy assessment. This not only indicates the amount of leakage, but also areas that need more insulation.
For more professional advice on air leakage in your home and other issues related to home comfort, contact us at Wolff Mechanical. We’ve been proudly serving the Phoenix and Scottsdale areas for more than 20 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Phoenix Valley area of Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Image courtesy of Shutterstock