Is It Normal to Feel Cold or Warm Air Leaking from Walls?

June 2, 2020 10:31 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The short answer to this question is no—if you feel air leaks, that is wasted air from your HVAC system, and you will eventually see the signs in your utility bills. The best way to counteract this problem is to know how to locate air leaks in your home in Portage, MI and when to call for assistance. Here is an overview on air leaks and what can be done about them.

Where they come from

We are all familiar with the cold drafts that we feel around doors and windows. These are no doubt annoying, but they’re relatively easy to fix with a little sealant. While many homeowners believe these drafts are a major source of wasted energy, that is usually not the case.

Most air leaks arise from attics and basements. These are the most significant, and result in shocking effects to your energy costs. Common spots in these areas for leaks include behind knee walls, attic hatches, wiring holes recessed lighting, furnace flues or ducts, rim joists, plumbing vents and, yes, windows and doors. If you have holes or cracks in the walls, these spots become major escape routes for conditioned air all summer.

Many people focus on windows and doors, not knowing that most problems arise from behind your insulation. It is a good step to seal around windows and doors, but it is also important to not overlook the quality of your insulation or possible shortcomings in your HVAC system.

What to do

Start by inspecting the area where there is most likely to be air leaks. If you have an unfinished basement, that is likely a good place to start checking conditions. Look around the top of the wall where cement comes in contact with your home’s frame—there may be cracks or holes that you can fill. Also, check where floor joists end at the rim joist, as these also create multiple breaches in the wall. Fill them as well.

While you are there, check your air ducts for separation, holes or kinks in the piping. There could be a leak that is contributing to your draft problem.

If it is more likely your attic is the culprit, do not worry about small holes—those affect basements more than attics. Look for larger holes that are likely near knee walls, soffits or where the walls meet the floor. Another source of leaks is where insulation is dirty or worn out. If you have pests, there is a good chance they chewed up the attic insulation and contributed to your leaks. Be careful if you have an older home, as the insulation may contain asbestos.

Even if your attic is finished, you are not entirely off the hook. You still want to check the floor framing around the side and knee walls. Plug any cavities you detect in this inspection.

Can Portage, MI homes get air leaks? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is yes. However, All Brands Heating & Cooling can help. We are available 24/7 to repair your AC before summer begins. Call us today if you’ve located air leaks in your home and would like to have them addressed.

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