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How to Prevent Air Leakage This Winter

Dec 03, 2019

Kitchen window that overlooks an apartment building that is covered with snow in the wintertime.

After the snowfall that hit the Northeast last weekend, there's no denying that cold winter weather is upon us. This means cranking up the heat to stay warm inside. But how much of that expense is simply leaking out of your home?

Air leakage, also called air infiltration, occurs when outside air enters a house uncontrollably through cracks and openings. During cold or windy weather, too much outdoor air can enter the home and cause the HVAC system to work harder than necessary, which can substantially increase your energy bills and decrease your comfort.

There are several ways homeowners can prevent air leakage this winter, from minor DIY home improvement projects to large-scale upgrades to your home’s comfort system.

Seal Windows and Doors

Keep your utility bills from spiking by sealing up drafty windows and doors. When windows and doors aren’t properly sealed, air leakage can occur, allowing cold outdoor air to make its way into your home. This means you’ll need to crank the furnace to ensure your home stays warm throughout the winter.

Here are some ways to reduce air infiltration through doors and windows:

Replace weather stripping. Installing weather stripping is an easy way to close gaps around doors and windows. Not only will your home feel warmer, but you can save around 10 to 15 percent on your energy bills.

Use draft stoppers. Over time, window and door frames can warp, creating chilly drafts. While replacing your windows may not be in the budget, you can prevent air leakage by using draft stoppers under your windows and doors. Heavy curtains can also provide an additional layer of insulation from drafts around windows.

Seal windows with temporary insulation film. For extra draft protection, you can purchase inexpensive window insulation film, which can save you upwards of $15 per window during heating season. If you don’t plan on opening windows during the cold winter months, this temporary solution can make a significant difference

Read more: 5 Ways to Save Money on Heating This Winter

Replace Attic Insulation

Over the past few winters, have you noticed the snow on your roof melting at a faster rate than your neighbors?

This is a clear sign of poor attic insulation in your home.

While a lack of proper insulation in your attic is much more noticeable after a heavy snowfall, there are other signs that your home’s insulation may not be up to par, including high heating bills and discomfort in certain rooms of your home. 

Attic insulation seals off any gaps in the structure of your attic that could allow heat to escape your home, which helps significantly reduce energy costs. Sealing off these gaps also prevents moisture and pests from entering your home, both of which can create a variety of other problems for homeowners.

Read more: How Long Does Attic Insulation Last?

The amount of insulation your home needs is determined by R-Value, the insulation’s ability to resist heat traveling through it. Homes in colder climates require insulation with a higher R-Value to properly retain heat, while homes in warmer climates typically do not require as much insulation.

If you’re looking to replace or add attic insulation before the cold weather worsens, contact one of CroppMetcalfe’s home comfort experts to schedule an in-home consultation.

Diagnose Air Leakage with CroppMetcalfe.

If you think your home may be experiencing an abnormal amount of air infiltration, contact the experts at CroppMetcalfe to conduct a Whole Home Comfort Check.

We conduct a thorough analysis of your home’s air leakage via our Infiltrometer™ Blower Door Test. Using a computerized blower door system, our Comfort & Indoor Air Quality consultants will evaluate how well-sealed your home is and identify any areas where improvements can be made.

Call CroppMetcalfe’s 5-star Technicians at 703-698-8855 or contact us online to schedule a service appointment today.


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