As a San Francisco homeowner or resident of any community in the Bay Area, the last thing you need during summer months are air leaks around windows and doors, which not only compromise comfort, but result in substantially higher energy bills. At Ortiz Heating & A/C, we believe in educating our customers about cooling and heating their homes, and about how to keep costs down while enjoying a comfortable home. Here are our suggestions regarding potential air leaks, and how to detect them.
Perform a visual inspection. Look closely around all of the windows and doors in your home for cracks, holes, gaps, or other small openings where cool air could escape. Be sure to check around window panes to ensure they are not loose, and that any previous caulking is intact. Even the tiniest holes or gaps allow conditioned air to escape!
Do the “smoke” test. Using an incense stick, hold the smoking end to various areas around your windows and doors. When you do this, make certain no ventilation fans are running, and that your home is closed off. Watch the stream of smoke closely; if the stream is disrupted in any way or wavers, an air leak is present.
Check for drafts. It’s easy to detect drafts using your hand by simply holding it up around the edges of your door frames and windows. If you feel warm air coming into your home, you have an air leak that needs to be repaired using caulk, weather stripping, or other measures.
Have a professional Bay Area HVAC technician perform an energy audit. No matter how thorough you are, there may be air leaks that only a skilled air conditioning contractor can locate. Your HVAC technician has many tools available to detect air leaks including infrared scanning, thermal testing, and blower door or infiltrometer tests. Not only will you be informed of where air leaks exist, you can also learn how to improve the overall energy efficiency of your home.
Ortiz Heating & Air Conditioning has been providing cooling and heating equipment installation, repair, and maintenance services to residential and commercial customers in the San Francisco area for many years. Contact us today for more HVAC tips on how you can enjoy greater home comfort while reducing energy costs.