When my first child had an accident at home, I realised we hadn't childproofed the house as well as we could have. Thankfully, they were fine, but I learned my lesson and began a thorough inspection of my home and garden. I got to work addressing the various hazards we had overlooked, and I started this blog to help other parents think objectively about the hazards in their own homes. I post about a variety of topics, such as pool safety, choosing a safe garden fence, storing medication and cleaning products, window and door locks and kitchen safety for kids. I hope you find my blog useful and informative.
If your energy bill is going up, it is likely due to air leaking from somewhere in your home. This could be from a crack around your window or loss of the weatherstripping around your doors. Here are some tips for finding the source of leaking air so you can have it repaired.
Complete a Visual Inspection
When you suspect that your home is leaking air somewhere, the first thing you should do is a brief visual inspection. Look on the inside and outside of your home's foundation, finding signs of cracks or holes where air could be escaping from. Pay close attention to the areas of your home where cracks might be hiding, such as trim, corners of the walls, and outside of your home close to the plumbing fixtures. Look around siding and chimneys, electrical outlets, HVAC units, and fireplace dampers. These are all common places where there could be gaps, cracks, or holes that let air escape. Even the smallest hole can make a big difference.
Check the Windows
Your windows are a very common place to have issues with air escaping. It could be due to deterioration of the caulk around the window frame, cracks or chips in the window glass itself, or cracks around the frame of the window. You might also have lack of proper sealing of the windows or rotting of the wood window frame. Look carefully at the glass and all around the window for signs that this is where the air is escaping. You may need to have the windows replaced.
Look Around the Doors
Another common area of your home where air could be escaping is the doors. Similar to the windows, you are checking the exterior doors for signs of wear, rot, or cracks. Cracks are often hiding where the door frame is connected to the wall. You may also have some gaps where the weatherstripping is starting to wear and deteriorating, a good sign that it should be replaced. If the hinges are not as tight as they should be, that could cause the door to be looser on the threshold,and lease to loss of air.
Have a Contractor Inspect Your Home
In some cases, you are not able to figure out the problem on your own. In this case, have an HVAC contractor inspect the property for you. They know where to look and what to look for. Contractors can also perform a series of tests that looks at how efficient your insulation is, as that might be the culprit for the higher energy bills.