You can have the best Chicago air conditioning system, call out a Chicago duct cleaning company and schedule routine Chicago HVAC service; however, if you have air leaks your home will still not be comfortable.  Even with the best heating and cooling system, a home cannot maintain a comfortable temperature if there are air leaks throughout the home.  The first step in correcting this problem is to determine where the air leaks are occurring throughout your home.

To be thorough, hire a profession to perform a blower door test to test your home for leaks.  This depressurizes a home to reveal the source of air leaks throughout the home.  If you prefer, you can inspect your home yourself for air leaks too.  Common sources of air leaks include:

  • Around electrical outlets and switch plates
  • Along baseboards and around door and window frames
  • Connections for electrical and gas services
  • Around vents, fans and where dryer vents enter and pass through walls
  • Wall or window air conditioners
  • The weather stripping around doors and windows
  • Attic hatches and entrances
  • Fireplace dampers
  • Around exterior storm doors
  • Outdoor water faucets
  • All exterior corners
  • Around the foundation and the bottom of siding
  • Sill plates
  • Recessed lights and dropped ceilings
  • Plumbing and utility access
  • Around duct work

If you seal air leaks to stop drafts and add insulation to reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain during the summer, you will save lower your utility bills, improve the comfort of your home and possibly reduce the amount of pollen and dust in your home.  You will also have better humidity control after you locate and seal air leaks.  To get started, find the obvious air leaks around windows and doors and seal those.  Caulk, spray foam and weather stripping are perfect for sealing the small air leaks around windows and doors.  For larger holes, use plywood, drywall or rigid foam insulation to cover the holes.  If you are sealing gaps around chimneys or furnace flues, you must use sheet metal and high-temperature caulk.

After you seal air leaks, make sure to add insulation to keep your home cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter.  If you are unfamiliar with insulation, you may want to hire a professional, research insulation online or talk to someone at your local home improvement store.  Insulation is not difficult to install; however, there are precautions that you will want to take when working with fiberglass insulation.

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