Heating systems work hard to keep homes comfortable in the winter. However, leaky windows can get in the way without people realizing it. Hot air escapes quietly along cracks and gaps. This goes on around the clock, day after day. Air leakage is a common problem but it rarely gets the attention it deserves. In this article, we discuss how leaky windows affect how the home is heated and why you should take action immediately.
Do Leaky Windows Affect How My Home Is Heated?
- 1 Do Leaky Windows Affect How My Home Is Heated?
- 2 How Do I Test for Air Leakage?
- 3 Tips For Sealing Air Leaks
- 4 What Are The Benefits Of Air Sealing?
- 5 Call McAllister Energy For Superior Heating & Cooling Solutions
Keep reading to learn more about the impact that drafty windows have on home heating. The same concepts can apply to leaky doors, between your living space and your attic or crawlspace, fireplaces, electrical outlets, and more.
Why Leaky Windows Are A Problem
Heat will always flow from hot to cold. This is a scientific law that is evident all around us. Place ice under the sun and it will melt. Open a window in the summer and cold-conditioned air in your room will soon turn hot. In the winter, the warmth indoors can flow outside and leave you feeling cold. You need to keep the windows shut to prevent heat from escaping. Leaky windows make it hard to control indoor temperature.
The Impact Of Air Leaks On Energy Bills
Since leaky windows allow heat to escape, the house will slowly feel colder. The home heating system will need to compensate for the gradual drop in temperature by working longer. This increases energy consumption which, in turn, leads to increases in energy bills. Failing to act quickly will only make matters worse over time.
The added stress on the system will also hasten wear and tear. Costly HVAC repairs will be more frequent. This will have a negative effect on your heating system’s service life as well. Owners will need to purchase a replacement for the HVAC system sooner than expected. Air leaks can even reduce the home’s structural integrity due to moisture problems. Fixing the damage will not be cheap.
How Do I Test for Air Leakage?
Below, we discuss some of the methods to determine if you have an air leakage problem with your windows.
1. Visual Inspection
Check every window around the house. See whether their seals are still intact. Take note of gaps and holes so that you won’t forget which areas to fix later on. While you are at it, you may also want to inspect the edges of doors, pipes, or appliances that protrude through the walls. Outlets, attic hatches, and baseboards deserve a look as well.
2. Building Pressurization Test
This test tries to detect air movement indoors by controlling the environment. It can only work well if anything that could move air such as fans, vents, dryers, water heaters, and other appliances are off. Leaks will be easier to spot on windy days because the problem areas will experience a strong draft. Walking around with an incense stick, there should be a visible disturbance in the smoke’s movement.
3. Blower Door Test
This requires professional tools and expertise. HVAC technicians will install a blower on a door to push air outside the house. The pressure created by the setup will force air through the cracks and gaps. They can identify leakage points right away without the help of outside wind. They will even be able to measure the amount of air leaking out.
Tips For Sealing Air Leaks
Homeowners can perform simple sealing techniques such as caulking around windows for slim gaps. Foam sealant may be necessary for larger gaps. However, extensive damage will require more advanced solutions such as insulation work, exterior wall sealing, and ductwork repair. These call for the expertise of a trained professional. Pros can complete everything in less time using special equipment. They can also produce better results.
Common Areas That Benefit From Air Sealing
- Doors and Windows: The seals along the edges can wear off over time. Some installers may even forget to caulk portions of the windows. These can lead to unwelcome drafts in the winter. Sealing these completely is a must.
- Switch Plates and Electrical Outlets: The receptacles and switch plates may seem like they sit flush to the walls but there could be gaps due to uneven wall surfaces. Gaskets can help seal the perimeter.
- Plumbing and Wiring: Some of the pipes used for plumbing, wiring, and ducting pass through the walls and ceilings of the house. The area around these will require proper sealing with nonhazardous materials.
- Roof and Attic: Thermal expansion can lead to holes and gaps on the roof. This does not only cause water leaks when it rains. It can also cause air leaks around the clock. Pros should check the roof annually, along with the attic insulation.
- HVAC Air Ducts: Ducts are vital in moving air around the house. If these develop leaks, then there will be substantial temperature differences between rooms. Let the pros hunt these down and close them for good.
What Are The Benefits Of Air Sealing?
Below, we discuss some of the advantages of air sealing your home.
1. A More Energy-Efficient Home
Air sealing reduces wasted energy by preventing leaks. The indoor temperature will be more stable so there is less load on the HVAC system. It can run less while maintaining ideal conditions.
2. Reduced Energy Costs
Less load means less energy consumption. Homeowners will owe less to the utility companies at the end of each month. Annual savings could be substantial.
3. Environmentally-Friendly Solution
Energy use leads to greenhouse gas emissions which worsen global warming. Cutting energy consumption is a great way to ease the burden on the environment.
4. Improved Comfort
Air sealing also makes the home more comfortable by stabilizing temperature, humidity, and indoor air quality.
Air leakage is an invisible problem that torments countless homes. By addressing this issue, owners can finally say goodbye to persistent troubles. The most prudent approach is to seek the help of an experienced professional. Pros can conduct comprehensive inspections and implement long-lasting solutions. The service is quick, reliable, and affordable.
Call McAllister Energy For Superior Heating & Cooling Solutions
McAllister Energy offers high-quality HVAC services in Camden County, New Jersey. We hire only the best professionally certified technicians who conduct superior heating and cooling services. Some of our HVAC services include HVAC maintenance, heating and cooling installations, repairs, ductless systems, energy audits, and much more. All our techs provide accurate HVAC services on time, every time.
Our company guarantees affordable heating and cooling service rates. Our maintenance services can increase your home’s comfort, energy efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. We can also provide you with a highly energy-efficient HVAC replacement system that fits your budget. Your satisfaction is important to us, so all our work comes with a guarantee. Book a service appointment with McAllister Energy today. We provide free, in-home estimates.