The Importance of Air Sealing When it Comes to Your Energy Bill

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Category: Home Utilities
Posted on: 03/08/2020
The Importance of Air Sealing When it Comes to Your Energy Bill

Is your house sealed tightly? In many areas throughout your home, you’re vulnerable to air leakage, which directly impacts your energy bills and can cause a multitude of problems both now and in the future.

Throughout your home’s envelope, which includes your exterior walls, ceiling and floors, as well as in small cracks and holes found near plumbing, wires, lights, and ducts, you may be leaking air. While this may not seem like a big deal to you, you could be spending a substantial amount of extra money on your energy bills - depending on the severity of your air leaks. You could be leaking so much air that it’s like a window is always open.

There are many ways air sealing impacts your energy costs, plus the overall comfort and durability of your home, and there are a lot of things you can do to change how well-sealed your home is.

Why Air Sealing Is Important for Your Energy Costs

Whether you’re dealing with ineffective insulation, old windows/doors or small leaks throughout the house, air sealing proves to be a big factor in your energy costs. Beyond creating excessive energy expenses every month and year, you can have trouble keeping every room in your house comfortable and have poor indoor air quality.

The reason why air sealing can make a big, negative impact on your energy bills is due to your HVAC system constantly overworking itself. If your house is leaking air, you can lose up to 20% (and even more) of the energy being used to power your HVAC system throughout the day and night. If you think about it plainly, some of the cool or hot air coming from your HVAC system is being released outside of the house, instead of kept sealed inside.

When your HVAC system is overworking itself due to air leakage throughout your home, you’ll both spend more money on your month-to-month bills and have extra HVAC maintenance costs. Your HVAC system may break down in the middle of summer or winter, or you may even have to replace it much quicker than necessary, which isn’t cheap.

In addition to spending more on your maintenance costs and energy bills, air leakage can cause built-up condensation and mold growth, which can damage the construction of your home. Depending on many factors of your home, including how old your windows, doors, siding,and house are, you could be spending a lot more money than necessary in many different areas. While air leakage can seem like a low-priority issue, it’s really quite critical to your home and your wallet.

How to Find Air Leaks

The best way to better seal your home is by first finding your air leaks. If you’re feeling any drafts coming from your windows or doors, you’re leaking air there. This is one of the most obvious ways the find, locate and fix your air leaks. Drafty windows and doors are often found in old houses.

If you see any built-up condensation on your windows or see any mold growing on or near them, this is an air leakage problem. It may be due to problematic seals, or it could be due to your windows being past their expiration date. While windows don’t technically expire, they do stop being effective insulators after 15 years or so.

Beyond feeling leaking air, seeing mold growth or noticing built-up condensation, you can find air leaks by looking for holes, cracks, and penetrations throughout your house. Wherever there are any wires, plumbing, lighting or ductwork, air leakage can easily accompany them. Common places include electrical outlets, dryer vents, attic hatches, recessed lighting, bathroom fan vents, kitchen fan vents, outdoor faucets and more.

To get a thorough investigation of air leakage in your house, you can easily hire a contractor to do investigating for you. However, it’s possible to find many leaks yourself.

What to Do to Seal Your Home Better

Your building’s envelope, including the exterior walls, ceiling, and floors, are a major factor in your home’s ability to seal itself from the outside air. While insulation itself isn’t typically replaced unless improperly installed, your windows, doors, and siding are a good place to look at when trying to reduce your energy costs and better seal your home.

Since windows and siding can be a major cost, it’s no wonder people sometimes choose to put them off and pay more on their energy bills. Before forking over the cash for a full replacement, see if there are any repairs that can be made by a professional to tighten your seals.

Plus, look into weather stripping as a budget-friendly alternative. You can find cheap door bottoms, door seals, foam tapes and more to better seal your home. Look for these online or at home improvement stores. You can install them yourself or hire a contractor to do so. If it’s time for full-on replacements, it’s an investment worth making and it’ll help improve your home’s value if you decide to sell soon.

If you’re finding holes, cracks or penetrations around your wiring, plumbing, ducts or wiring, you can seal them yourself with handheld spray insulation or hire a contractor to do it for you. If your vents, outlets, lights and beyond are leaking air, you can replace the equipment or seal it in a similar way.

Conclusion

If you weren’t sure how much air leakage was affecting your energy bills, you now know. Having a properly sealed home can make a great impact on your home’s energy bills. Plus, it can impact your comfort, the longevity of your HVAC system and home’s construction, and create low-quality air in your home.

You can reduce your environmental impact by using less energy, lower your costs and create a better environment in your home. No matter your reason for sealing your home, it’s beneficial in many ways to take the extra steps to seal your home from the outside air. You could save hundreds of dollars or more per year.

Finance Guru

Finance Guru