Infographic courtesy of EnergyStar.gov

Are air leaks driving up your bill?

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While we often think of ‘weatherizing’ our homes as a winter task, it is equally important in the warm months to keep cool air inside. Air leaks allow cool air to escape and make your air conditioning system work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Often all of the hidden air leaks in a home can equal a hole the size of an open window. Weatherizing is one of the most cost effective ways to improve comfort and save energy.

Not sure where to start? Windows, doors and skylights and are just a few of the openings that allow air to escape. The good news is, there are simple tips to properly seal your home and ensure it functions efficiently that can be done in an afternoon with major payoff.

  • Check all windows and doors for air leaks. Sealing air leaks first, followed by adding insulation can save homeowners about 10 percent of their total energy bills.  Seal air leaks using caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping.
  • Check out this video about how to seal air leaks with caulk.
  • Inspect your ductwork for air leaks, especially at joints. Doing so can help with common comfort problems, such as rooms that are too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter. It can also improve the efficiency of your HVAC system by as much as 20 percent.  Seal air leaks with foil-faced tape rather than duct tape.
  • Window seals for room air conditioners – At the start of each cooling season, inspect the seal between the air conditioner and the window frame to ensure it makes contact with the unit’s metal case. Moisture can damage this seal, allowing cool air to escape from your house.
  • Keep the air flowing for central air conditioning
    • Clean the area around the outdoor components of your HVAC system.  Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent.
    • Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils. Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
  • Make sure that rugs, drapes, or furniture are not blocking air flow from cooling registers.

For more tips and ideas, go to dteenergy.com/spring.