Making sure that air can’t leak in and out of your home is important for a number of reasons. First of all, if there are air leaks throughout your home, then it means that your home is going to be less comfortable. Air leaks will cause the warm air that your heating system generates to escape outdoors. Additionally, cold air from outside can leak in, causing your home to be colder than you want it to be. Not only do air leaks cause discomfort, they’re costly as well. If you’re losing warm air, your heating system will have to work longer and harder to replace it. This leads to higher energy costs. Many of the biggest leaks around the home commonly come from the windows and doors. There are several things that you can do to help protect your windows and doorways to prevent air from escaping.
Finding Air Leaks
You can usually tell if there’s a potential air leak because your home feels colder than the setting you programmed on your thermostat, or if your heating bills are much higher than usual. Here are two ways you can tell for sure.
• Smoke test – This is something that you can do on your own. Simply get a incense stick and light it – making sure that all indoor fans are off. This works best during a windy day. Walk around inside of your home with your lit incense stick. Hold the stick near any walls, windows and doors that create a barrier to your home’s exterior. If the smoke pulls toward a window or door, you’ll know that you have an air leak.
• Energy audit – An energy audit is much more comprehensive, since a professional contractor conducts it. The auditor will use a blower door test or a thermographic scan to determine if and where your home is losing the most energy.
How to Eliminate Air Leaks From Windows and Doors
So you’ve found a few air leaks in your windows and doors. Now what? Here are a few ways to eliminate the air leaks:
• Replace your windows and doors – If your windows and doors are leaking a substantial amount of air, you may want to consider simply replacing them. Newer models are more energy efficient than ever. For example, replacement windows not only prevent air from leaking in or out around the frame, they are also often built with low-emissivity glazing, which helps prevent heat from escaping through the glass. Look for doors and windows approved by Energy Star for the best energy efficiency, and make sure that they are installed by a professional.
• Repair your windows and doors – Sometimes, having a professional contractor repair the frames around your windows or doors is enough to eliminate the leaks. This is a practical option if your windows and doors are high quality to begin with, but just have some minor frame issues.
• Add storm windows and screen doors – Storm windows not only physically protect your windows, they can also help trap heat inside your home when you close them, something you may want to do during the nights. Solid screen doors can be quite effective as well in doing the same thing.
• Seal air leaks with caulking – If any air leaks are found around the edges of your windows and they don’t warrant a replacement, then have a professional contractor apply caulking around your windows to create a seal and stop the leaks.
• Install a door sweep – Many doors have a small gap between the bottom of the door and the floor beneath. Air can easily come in and out of the house. By adding a door sweep, you can help block cold air out and keep warm air inside.
Use these tips to prevent air from leaking in and out of your home’s windows and doors. For more information about scheduling a home test, window and door frame repair or replacement services, contact Paramount Builders today.