So, you have adopted more of a “green” philosophy in recent years. You have put a good deal of effort into making your dwelling more energy efficient. You’ve taken numerous steps in this regard, such as regularly changing the filters in your HVAC system and keeping the thermostat at reasonable levels.
You have also installed aerators on all of your faucets and have replaced all incandescent light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs (CFLs). But you’ve only made a slight dent in your energy bill and sense there’s something you’re missing.
A Closer Look at Leaks
Have you pondered the possibility there might be areas around your home through which air is leaking? Areas that you’ve never before considered to be much of a problem?
A Case for Caulk
When we think areas within a home where caulk is typically applied, bathtubs, sinks, tiling and window and door frames immediately come to mind. However, there are less apparent places that costly leaks can occur. These include areas behind baseboards where walls meet floors, electrical outlets, switches, ceiling and kitchen fans as well as holes through which wiring and plumbing lines run.
Depending on the season, warm or cool air can seep in or leak out through cracks or gaps in these areas. Other than conducting visual and “hand” checks, there are several ways to test for leaks. One simple method is to light a stick of incense on a windy day and slowly move it around suspected leaky areas to see if the smoke is redirected.
Once leaks are detected, seal around the areas with caulk. Sometimes a larger hole or gap may require an application of some type of expanding foam. Once your home is tightened up in this regard, the strain on your heating and cooling system will be reduced. This should make your savings in terms of dollars and cents much more noticeable!
Written and published by Thompson Electric, Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.