To ensure that your home’s HVAC system is energy efficient, it is important to have air leaks checked.
The summer is just around the corner, and many St. Louis homes will soon be feeling the heat! Up until now, your HVAC system has been used to keeping your house warm, so now is the time to get your HVAC system into reverse gear and keep your home cool.
However, both heating and cooling requires a home to be well insulated to keep the cold and the heat out and maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. Use of the HVAC systems in any typical American home accounts for the largest percentage of energy expenditure. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your home’s HVAC system is energy efficient. While the most important thing for HVAC owners to do is to keep the HVAC system well maintained with regular maintenance checks, it is equally essential to ensure that your house is well insulated and free from cracks, crevices and holes that can lead to air leaks.
In this article, our St. Louis HVAC experts will explain why it is important to check the air leaks before the onset of the cooling season.
Proper Insulation Keeps Air Leaks at Bay
About 25% of the conditioned air in a home is lost through cracks and holes, decreasing energy efficiency and increasing the wear and tear of the HVAC. These leaks cause inadequate and inconsistent cooling in different areas of the room, causing an HVAC system to work overtime to maintain the required temperatures. Insulating your house properly will keep the conditioned air in, ensure consistent cooling of all the rooms, and keep energy efficiency high and costs low.
Ideally, it is recommended that HVAC systems should be checked thoroughly and maintained twice a year by a qualified and trained St. Louis HVAC technician. During these checks, the technicians should look for cracks in the walls, cracks and crevices around door and window frames, air leaks in the attic, leakages in the air ducts and the basement.
Apart from these, there are certain DIY tips and tricks that can help in checking for air leaks. One can use incense sticks to check for leakages around the house. Just hold a lit incense stick near suspected areas. If the smoke blows sideways, one should check for air leaks in that area. Another method is to look for cobwebs in the house. Spiders usually build cobwebs near areas where there is airflow.
Covering Air Leaks
Once air leaks are located, they can be covered up with weather stripping, caulking or by using spray foam to seal the leak areas. The following are some ways to seal air leaks:
- Check for leaks around recessed light and use insulation for sealing
- Any open stud cavities should be plugged
- Gaps near the chimneys can be covered
- Gaps in the ducts should be checked, covered and repaired if needed
- Use weather stripping around door and window frames
- Using caulk (preferably silicone) to seal any cracks and gaps
Another way of covering air leaks is to look for insulation with high ‘R-value’. The R-Value measures the ability of any insulation to resist heat that travels through it. Insulation with high R-values can help in keeping conditioned air in, thereby reducing leaks.
St. Louis HVAC Maintenance
Since 1969, Hely Heating & Air Conditioning has been dedicated to ensuring that your St. Louis home’s AC system is keeping you cool, even during those sweltering summer days. We have the skills and tools needed to cover everything from a new installation to yearly maintenance and repair work, large and small. Leave it to us to make sure that your home is never without refreshing conditioned air when those St. Louis summer temps start to rise.
Call us today at (636) 305-9555 or fill out our online contact form.