No one is comfortable in a drafty home with air leaks. It can cause high utility bills, for one thing. Here are 3 other facts about air leaks you should know about—and how to fix them.
1. Air movement is natural. In order to maintain a healthy indoor air quality, all of the air in your home should naturally cycle every three hours. But most homes are leaky and allow the air you pay to heat and cool to leave your home at an unnecessarily high rate. Some air leaks can be almost visually undetectable to the naked eye, yet still significant enough to cause an uncomfortable or money-wasting draft.
2. It’s not always your windows and doors. Yes, a lot of people associate windows and doors as primary air-draft sources, but they are not always the most common culprits. During the winter, many homeowners feel cool air around the base of their windows and assume the window is leaking air. Air leaks occur around window and door framing, and can often be eliminated by a thorough caulking. However, the “draft” most people feel around the base of the window is more commonly your heated interior air meeting with the cold window glass. Cold air is heavier and when this air is cooled, it falls and cascades off your window sill, feeling too much like an unwelcome draft. This phenomenon can be tempered by energy efficient windows or high-efficiency storm windows.
3. Your basement might be the culprit. Many homeowners experience first floor drafts that can be attributed to air leaks in the band/rim joist of your home. The band/rim joist is the junction point of your home’s foundation walls and first floor joists. It is the intersection of multiple construction materials, ninety degree angles and household penetrations (pipes, cables, etc.) and it runs the entire perimeter of your home. Most band/rim joists are not sealed during construction. Some are insulated, but insulation does not stop unwanted air flow. During the winter, as interior heated air rises, cool exterior air is pulled in from the base of your home, often through the band/rim joist. This constant influx of air can feel like an identifiable draft from the first floor. Properly sealing a basement or crawl space band joist is key, and it’s a solution we can provide.
The root of drafty, air-leaking homes can often be identified with a Thermal Scan. This entails using a hand-held infrared camera that “sees” air leaks in your home and senses temperature differences. It’s a no-cost, no-obligation service we provide in order to help make your home more energy efficient. Contact us TODAY to schedule an appointment!