Do you have leaking AC? Keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter is one of the luxuries of the modern world. This is why we install central air and heating units in the first place, why we maintain them every year, change the filters, and pay for the power to run them. But sometimes your home lets you down, becoming an oven or an icebox despite your thermostat’s best efforts. If you’re watching your vents and power bill go into overdrive just to make your home a tolerable temperature, something has gone wrong. Most likely, your home is no longer as well insulated as it should be, or perhaps it’s an older home that was never that energy efficient initially.
Don’t worry. You won’t have to move to finally feel comfortable during extreme outdoor temperatures. With a few home inspection tricks and minor repairs, you should be able to significantly increase the energy and temperature efficiency of your home by hunting down those costly drafts and stopping them.
Weather Stripping Around Windows and Doors
The first and most important step is to check the weather stripping around any opening to your home. This includes windows, exterior doors, the garage door, and any pet doors you may have installed. Weather stripping is that rubber/cloth/felt strip around the edge of a window or door that forms a soft seal with the frame from the closed. However, weather stripping also needs to replaced about every two to five years so if you’re working with old weather stripping. It’s probably not doing a good job of creating a seal anymore.
Draft Stoppers Under Doors
Inside your home, there may also be some problems with cool or hot drafts moving from one room to the next. This can be especially problematic for semi-interior doors that lead to unconditioned spaces like the basement, attic, or garage. The solution here is a little cloth device known as a draft stopper. These are, essentially, long tubes of fabric with soft stuffing that sit at the bottom of your door, keeping drafts from moving between rooms. You can make your own from socks and old clothes or buy a set online starting at less than $5 each.
Check the Outlets
Did you know that your outlets can be the source of some serious temperature leaking? Outlets are tiny holes that lead directly into the un-conditioned space between your walls which often becomes closer to the temperature outside than the number on your thermostat. As it turns out, those little plastic outlet caps aren’t just to keep toddlers from sticking their fingers into the sockets. They are also an important part of home insulation if you live somewhere with extreme summers or winters. You may also want to add an insulating foam pad behind the thin plastic plate.
Close the Fireplace Flue
If your home has a fireplace, this could also be a source of your leaking AC woes. Whether you like to light it in the winter or have never lit a single log in the fireplace, there’s a chance that your flue is still open. This is a direct vent out through your chimney and can absolutely allow your home to leak both air conditioning and heat depending on the season. This may be a little dirty, but check the opening in the top of your fireplace and find the handle to make sure it is closed and sealed shut.
Get a Home Efficiency Inspection
If you’re having trouble finding the source of the problem or you’re worried that your home is too old to insulate properly, you can call an NYC HVAC expert to help you with a full inspection. Not only can they take a look at your AC and heating units to make sure they’re functioning properly, an inspection can also help reveal if there are hidden gaps in your insulation, windows that are no longer sealed in their frames, and other difficult to spot issues that could be allowing air to leak in or out of the home.
If you want your home to stay comfortably cool in the summer and warm in the winter, taking care of drafts should be your number one priority. Anywhere your home leaks air can be wasting power and making it harder for you to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. For more tips on fixing a leaking AC and how to improve the efficiency of your thermostat, contact Aladdin Plumbing today.