Summer is quickly approaching, and the hot summer months mean that people across America will be turning to their air conditioning systems for relief. If you live in a warm area, you probably know just how important it is to maintain your AC system. However, it's also important to check your home for air leaks.
A small leak may not seem like much, but it can wreak havoc on your summer utility bills and air conditioner. Fortunately, it is easy to check your home for air leaks.
There are several ways to check for air leaks. These four are the easiest:
1. Incense Stick or Candle
An incense stick or small candle is the ideal tool for detecting air leaks in the home. It's a simple method and only requires three things: you, a breezy day, and an incense stick or candle.
If you want to use this method, start by turning off any appliances that block or encourage airflow: air conditioner, heater, or fan. Once these items are turned off, close all windows and doors. Light the incense stick or candle and slowly walk around the perimeter of your home. Stop along common areas where leaks occur, such as windows or doorways. If the smoke from the incense begins to move frantically, you have a leak. As for the candle, you can detect the leak by the flame moving quickly or blowing out entirely.
Another way to detect air leaks is with a flashlight. Again, you only need three things: you, the flashlight, and a second person. While this technique can be done during the daytime, it is much easier to do at night when it is dark.
To use this method, turn the flashlight on and walk around the perimeter of your home. Have one person stand outside and make a note of any area that the flashlight shines through. If the light beam goes outside, you can be sure that you have a leak.
You can also detect leaks with a piece of paper. This method only requires two things: you and a piece of a paper. While simple to perform, this method only really works on larger leaks.
If you want to use paper to detect leaks, simply place a piece of paper underneath windows and doorways. Close the window or door and try to pull the paper out. If the paper slips out of the window or door, you have a leak.
Finally, you can also call a professional air conditioner or HVAC contactor to detect air leaks. The professional will come to your home and perform an energy audit. They may also perform a "blow" test, which uses strong winds to detect air leaks in your home.
If you find any leaks in any of these tests, consult with a professional to seal the leaks. Once they are sealed, you will find that your home remains cooler during the summer months—and warmer during the winter months. You will also save money on your energy bills. For more information, contact a local HVAC company like Southwest Air Conditioning Service Inc.