Most Canadian homeowners can attest to heating and cooling being expensive in terms of energy consumption. It gets worse if the house is not insulated or ventilated properly, especially during winter and summer. In summer, the smallest leaks can increase your energy use tremendously, doubling the amount you pay for utilities every month. The good news is that you can keep your power usage as low as possible and still keep the house cool during the season by finding leaks and fixing them.
Find the leak
Professional evaluation of the home is the best way to identify a leak in the house, which is why you should get a trained and qualified HVAC technician to do it. They will know the right spots to inspect and ensure no space is left uncovered. They will also give you helpful recommendations depending on what they find and implement the right measures to solve the problem permanently. Learn more about the benefits of working with a professional over DIY before hiring one.
If you want to identify the leak yourself, walk around the most common areas likely to have leakages with a lit incense stick. If the smoke changes direction at a specific point, that area could be letting in cold air. The ductwork is also susceptible to leaks and should not be ignored regardless of whether it is in the attic or basement. If you do it yourself, use mastic sealant or screws and foil to fix it.
Where to look
Although leaks can occur in any part of the house, some parts are more vulnerable than others. They include:
- The section between the floor and exterior doors
- Around hatch doors in attics that are not insulated
- Near baseboards
- Doors and windows
- Near recessed lighting elements
- Around electric switches
- Near openings used for wires, pipes, and cables in the outer walls
For more information that can narrow down your options, contact the experts.
Fixing the problem
Leaving leaks and holes open, no matter how small they are, can allow indoor air to escape and outdoor air to come into the house. Both scenarios will result in the heating and cooling units working overtime to maintain the temperature you prefer.
By insulating the house and sealing the holes, you reduce the consumption rate and keep the utility bills from rising. You can also try these additional measures as you wait for professional assistance to arrive.
- Caulk the doors, drywall, baseboards, and windows that are leaking. You can also use weather-stripping.
- Put a door sweeper at the bottom of the outer doors to keep air from escaping
- Use insulated covers over lighting canisters
- Fasten foam board to the door and weather-stripping around attic hatches’ opening perimeter.
- Set up foam gaskets on the inside of switch boxes
- Weatherstrip or insulate the wires, pipes and cables passing through the outer walls
These options will improve the insulation in the house and keep the air conditioning from running for longer to keep the house cool. You must implement these measures and have the air conditioner inspected before summer. Learn more about the benefits of such inspections and how to schedule one.