Is Your House Leaking Air?

Summer is nearly here and that means long, hot, humid days in the Philadelphia area. And when you run your air conditioning system, you want to be sure that your cool air stays inside your home and the hot air stays outside. What you may not be aware of is the hundreds of little ways your home may be sabotaging that endeavor and wasting hard earned cash on energy leaks.

A Leaking Home is Losing Energy Dollars

Your heating and cooling costs account for more than 50 percent of your household energy costs. Don’t allow small areas of air intrusion and leakage to put a larger dent in your wallet than necessary. Check your home for areas that may be leaking air — and your money!

Small Cracks and Holes

Philadelphia HVAC contractors know that small cracks and holes can account for nearly 25 percent of energy loss. Before the dog days of summer are upon us, make sure your home is sealed and insulated. Your local HVAC technician can conduct an evaluation to help you detect areas that may be allowing your home to leak air. Or you can do a simple DIY check.

DIY Ways to Check for Leaks

Checking for leaks can be as simple as using an incense stick around openings. Seal your home by closing all doors and windows and close all the vents in your home. Make sure you turn on all exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms. Pressurizing your home this way will help you detect air leaks easier.

Then pass a burning incense stick around all the openings in your home. Not only can air leak in from obvious places such as doors and windows but also outlets, skylights, and fireplaces. The smoke from the incense stick will show where you may have leakages.

Check Your Seals

When it comes to windows and doors, air can leak around improperly sealed areas, particularly if the windows or doors in your home are older. Usually, these are simple fixes with a little caulk. Check all weather stripping around your doors and make sure the doors fit securely and hinges are tight. If there are areas where you can see daylight around the doors or windows, make sure to seal these areas.

Insulate Your Attic

One of the ways that homes typically leak air is through the attic. One of the best ways to insulate your home is to make sure your attic is properly insulated. This will save you loads on energy bills, primarily in the winter when your heated air is leaking outside.

Call a Professional

When you are looking for a professional HVAC contractor in Philadelphia, call the experts at Affordable Fixes, LLC. For over 30 years, we have provided trustworthy and dependable heating, cooling, and plumbing services to our clients in the greater Philadelphia area. Call us today if you need air conditioning or heating services you can trust.

Should You Turn Off Your AC if You Are Going on Vacation?

If you are like most people, summertime means vacation time. But should you leave your air conditioning on while you’re gone, or should you shut it down to save on energy costs? The answer is: it depends.

Considering Some Factors

Managing your cooling system while you are away depends on a few different factors. Turning off your AC will save money in the short term but there are other things you should consider before you take that approach.

Turn Up the Thermostat, if Possible

Most Philadelphia air conditioning repair professionals recommend turning your thermostat up while you are gone instead of shutting it entirely off. If your vacation is a relatively short one, it’s far better to just set the thermostat up a few degrees. It’s true that cooling an empty house while you’re not home is wasteful. But it can put unnecessary strain on a system to cool it down completely when you return if it is only for a short duration.

Insulate Your Home

One thing you may consider is closing all curtains and blinds while you are gone. This will cut out the amount of sun and heat that will infiltrate your home while you’re away. You may want to check the forecast to see what the weather will be like while you’re gone. Mild weather may justify a higher setting inside the home. But a very hot forecast may mean you want to keep the inside temperature in your home a bit cooler.

Moisture Control

Remember that your air conditioning system helps remove moisture and humidity from your home. If your vacation will be a relatively lengthy one, you have a few more considerations.

If you turn off your air conditioning entirely, the humidity level in your house will build. If you have important belongings that don’t fare well in a humid environment, you should not turn your AC off entirely. Also, a hot home will make things such as your refrigerator work harder.

Your Home’s Efficiency

How energy efficient is your home? Homes that are well insulated are far more resistant to heat buildup. Window films, attic insulation, and thermal window coverings help to make your home more efficient and less likely to build up heat and humidity while you are away.

Smart Thermostats

Today, we have the availability of smart thermostats. In the case where you are gone for any extended period, you can make adjustments from your phone or electronic device. These will also enable you to cool your home before you return.

Call a Professional

If you are looking for expert air conditioning repair in Philadelphia, call the professionals at Affordable Fixes, LLC. For over three decades, we have been the ones to turn to for dependable heating, cooling and plumbing services in the Philadelphia area. Call us today for affordable and trustworthy air conditioning or heating services.