If you have centralized heating, ventilation, and air conditioner system installed in your home, it is essential that the interiors of your house are devoid of any air leaks, which can increase your power consumption.
Getting inside the warm and comfortable atmosphere of your home’s interiors is a welcome respite from the bitter winter cold outside. With average lows of 27° Fahrenheit last year and predicted to reach 16°F in the coming days according to US Climate Data, having HVAC on full power is definitely welcome. But, you need to ensure the interiors are free of any air leaks to prevent warm air from going out and cold air from going in. It will also save you money if you do.
The Hand Test
With your HVAC furnace on full power against the cold outside, run your hand on edges of doors leading outside your home and your windows. Do the same with the air vents or fans in your kitchen and bathroom. If your bare hands feel cold air, then there is an air leak. Try to pinpoint the source of the air leak then depending on its size, you may want to install foam weatherstripping or caulk any gaps.
The Candle Test
If you feel a cold air on your bare hand, but are unable to find the source of the leak, you can use the candle test to detect small leaks. Make sure your furnace is off before you perform this test. Light a candle and go to areas that you suspect of having air leaks. If the flame of the candle flickers, then you most certainly have a tiny leak that you would want to plug. You can use a small amount of caulk in this case. You can also try contacting HVAC experts like Action Plumbing for any other repairs needed.
Use an Incense
Do not worry as you are not going to use the incense to meditate and feel the existence of leaks. According to Energy.gov, this is a great way of detecting tiny air leaks. To execute this test, you need to shut down your furnace and close all exterior doors and windows. Then, turn all of the vents and fans in your kitchen and bathroom. Light the incense and pass it over sections that you suspect of having air leaks. If smoke from the incense blows toward the interior of your home or is sucked out, then an air leak is present. Pinpoint the source and plug it with caulk or polyurethane foam.
In some cases, a small air leak can be detected by your thermostat, which often results in your furnace having to work double time. When that happens, your energy consumption will increase, resulting in higher utility bills. It is, therefore, important that you find those air leaks at the earliest possible time to ensure your home becomes more energy efficient.