What comes to mind first when thoughts go to heating your home for less? We ask our customers that all the time, and these are among the most frequent answers:
- Raise the thermostat, especially overnight
- Switch to programmable thermostats
- Replace my heating system
- Let more sunshine in during the day
- Make sure my floor vents or baseboard units aren’t blocked
Those are all excellent suggestions and they all work to one degree or another. But here’s another means to reduce heating costs that often appears towards the bottom of the list, assuming it makes the list at all: finding and stopping indoor air leaks.
No home is 100% airtight – you don’t want yours to be. Otherwise you’d keep breathing the same stale air. But a great deal of the ventilation you need for improved air quality can come from opening windows, even in winter, and even if for just a few minutes at a time.
But air leaking from places it shouldn’t? Those you want to stop. Here are a few examples and how to detect them.
- Light a candle. A lit wick on a candle or incense stick can point the way to even the best hidden air leaks. Start by holding the candle near and around your doors and windows. If they’re well sealed, the flame will remain vertical. If it suddenly turns right or left, you’ve spotted a leak in need of sealing.
- Check for dirt spots on your ceilings and rugs plus those near air vents and registers. Any place air can enter your home also provides an open invitation to dust, dirt and grime.
- Open then close your doors and windows onto a sheet of paper. If you can pull the paper out with little or no effort, guess what? Another air leak.
- Have your air ducts inspected for cracks and leaks. When conditioned air exits a duct, it’s heating and cooling areas that don’t need to be. At the same time, dirt and other pollutants can enter the ducts and from there make their way into your living spaces.
- Check your fireplace flue when it’s safe to do so. If the flue is open when the fire is completely out, shut it.
- Request a blower door test from Air Professionals. After depressurizing your house, we’ll blow higher pressure outdoor air back inside to determine where and how it’s entering through cracks and leaks.
This is not a complete list, but they’re all good suggestions and worth trying.
Another great way to lower your heating costs is with our preventive maintenance service. It gives us an opportunity to ensure your system is running as reliably, efficiently, and safely as possible. That means not just lower utility bills, but fewer repairs and longer equipment life. Contact Air Professionals today for service and start paying less to heat your home.