Is your air conditioning less efficient than it should be? Your home shouldn’t be a hermetically-sealed box, but it shouldn’t be leaking out all that cool air your HVAC worked so hard to condition. How can you tell if you’re leaking cold air, and what can you do about it?Seeing Daylight
One of the easiest ways to tell whether your home is “leaking” cold air is to look for daylight around doors and windows. Pay special attention to door footers, and don’t forget to crawl up in the attic to make sure you can’t see daylight through the roof! A few inches of daylight can cost you hundreds of dollars in lost energy. Weather-stripping, professional roof servicing, and a home energy audit are worth the money if you suspect your cooled air is being sucked outside.
You can’t always see your ductwork which makes it so hard to tell when it’s leaking. HVAC ducts should fit together snugly throughout the house; a loose or shifted duct could be diverting cooled air into useless spaces behind the walls and in the ceilings. Checking the seals around where ducts meet walls and the exterior of your home is especially important. Only a qualified HVAC technician has all the tools to fully inspect your duct system and ensure it’s not losing air.
Air Handler Leaks
Leaks in your system’s air handler(s) are typically the easiest to spot. Air traveling the wrong path can cause noises (like clinking or a “whooshing” sound) and there are often visible issues, too. Bent panels, loose or fallen insulation, or missing screws on cover panels are easy-to-spot signs an air handler can’t effectively do its job. Professionally-applied silicone or permagum can usually solve even the most complex air handler leaks.
Unsurprisingly, filter housings are where many leaks occur because they’re frequently manhandled as filters get changed in and out. These air leaks can be tough to detect because of the negative pressure that exists at most filter locations; if you can feel air leaking out of a filter box but can’t fix it with a little jiggling, call in a professional technician to check the seals themselves.
Your HVAC system works best when air is going where it’s supposed to. Just a small amount of conditioned air diverted to an unused portion of your home or lost to the great outdoors can raise your energy bill significantly.
Are you losing all your cool indoor air this summer? MTB Mechanical can help. We’re here when you need us – call us at 704.321.9250 anytime.
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