On a hot summer day in Wichita, the cool, conditioned air inside your home is not attempting to get out. That’s good news when you’re trying to save energy. The bad news is, all that outdoor heat is trying to get in. It’s a basic fact of thermodynamics: heat energy naturally flows into cooler zones. Air leaks in your house increase the home’s cooling load — the factors that compete against your air conditioner to maintain a comfortable interior environment. While insulation can cut the cooling load that results from heat conducted through walls and ceilings, only proper weatherization can stop heat that enters through direct air leaks. Reduce your cooling load and save energy by sealing those gaps and cracks with these inexpensive, easy steps:
- Use adhesive-backed weatherstripping made of foam, tubular vinyl or rubber to close any air gaps around doors and windows. The crack underneath doors can be sealed by a more durable aluminum or metal door sweep.
- Weatherstrip around the hatchway or pull-down stairs that lead up into the attic.
- Examine wall penetrations where electrical wires and plumbing pipes enter the home for air leaks. Use silicon or oil-based caulk to seal the holes or seal them with expanding spray foam.
- Caulk around the joints where door and window frames meet walls.
- Check out the areas where bathroom or kitchen exhaust fan ducts or plumbing vents pass from the living space into the attic. Caulk around these openings or seal them with expanding spray foam.
- Caulk or weatherstrip around the mounting frame and expanding panels of any window air conditioners.
- Remove electrical outlet plates and look for gaps where air leaks in from wall voids. Install outlet plate gaskets to make the outlets airtight
- Outside, look for air gaps along the lines of contact where exterior siding or bricks meet the foundation or where walls intersect. Fill these gaps with silicone exterior caulking.
Comfort Systems helps homeowners maintain interior comfort through all seasons of Kansas climate. Contact us for more information on how to cut your cooling load and save energy costs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy savings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.