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Save Energy Costs - Know Where to Look for Air Leaks in Your Home

Updated on May 27, 2011

Save Money by Saving Energy

Saving money by saving energy in the hotter and colder months of the year is a smart thing to do. Homes can have air leaks which are hard to find if not that obvious. Older homes are even more susceptible to this, and can be helpful to know where common air leaks occur so you can address the problem if you want to. By addressing the air leaks in your home and fixing them, you can save money and energy. The cost of fixing these things is off set by the money you will eventually save over time, not to mention just the wear and tear you can save on your heating and air conditioning units. If you have to keep using them a lot during the hot and cold seasons, you are wearing out their use as well. Their life span is sure to be shorter if they are continually running because of things like air leaks in the home.

So where to look for air leaks? Below I share some ideas of places to check out.

Check these spots out

* Recessed lights and fans in ceilings with insulation can be a problem.

* Fireplace Dampers

* The area where the chimney penetrates through your insulated ceilings and/or exterior walls.

* Look in your attic access hatches

* When looking the tops of foundation walls, look along the sill plate and band joist for air leak problems.

* Look at the intersection where your attic space and tops of interior partition walls meet.

* Make sure to look at the wiring penetrations that go through insulated floors, ceilings, and walls.

* If there is any missing plaster, this can be a possible leak.

* Where there are finished attics, look at the knee walls. Especially keep an eye out on the access door area and built in cabinets and bureaus.

* Make sure to check the moldings around baseboards, windows and doors.

* If you see dropped ceilings near cabinets and/or above bathtubs, there can be possible air leaking problems.

* Look where there are outlets, light switches and especially on the exterior walls.

Now, depending on how big the gaps are, and where they are located, will depend on what you use for sealing and how you do it. Caulking is usually the best for cracks and gaps less than one quarter inch wide. There are options for how to deal with the larger air leaks. This will give you a start of where to look for leaks to see if you need to address any problems in the first place.

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    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula 

      6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Steve, this is great to know about. I like the idea of anything that saves me about 10 percent on my energy bill. The more ideas and suggestions the better, so thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • profile image

      Steve 

      6 years ago

      The easiest way to make your home more energy efficient is to seal any air leaks, and one that is often overlooked is the bathroom ventilation fan and exhaust vent. The back-draft flap these units come with do a very poor job of stopping leaks. To address this issue, I use a replacement insert fan from the Larson Fan Company (online). Their fans has a true damper built in, that does a great job in keeping warm air in during the winter and hot, humid air out in the summer. This product has reduced my annual energy bills by over ten percent. It saves the most when air conditioning is being used.

    • oceansnsunsets profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula 

      7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thanks for stopping by and for the comment Pcunix. I think someone will find that tip helpful about the expanding foam, so thanks for sharing!

    • Pcunix profile image

      Tony Lawrence 

      7 years ago from SE MA

      You an find "Great Stuff" (brand name) in most hardware stores. It is expanding foam - they have two varieties, one that expands a little and one that expands a lot. I used many a can of that in our old house!

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