Does it seem as if you are spending more on your energy bills than your friends and neighbors are spending? Does it feel like your A/C is constantly running but keeping your home less cool? Or, perhaps you think your energy bills are just simply rising along with the economy.
You may be losing your precious climate-controlled air right through the front door. Poorly sealed doors, windows, and vents cost Albuquerque residents hundreds of extra dollars every year in heating and cooling costs. The Department of Energy estimates that homeowners could cut their energy bills up to 20% by fixing those drafts found in your home.
Finding the leak
The first step in lowering those bills is finding those leaks. Drafts, particularly in the winter, are fairly easy to discover. You should be able to feel the cool air descending from the door and skirting around your baseboards. In the summer, your air leaks won’t be as noticeable, since the cool air is already in your home, and the warm air drifts up. Fortunately, there are a few tests you can perform to find those pesky leaks.
Visually inspect your doors, looking for gaps between the frame and the door. Check for damaged caulking and seals. Look for light coming between the door and frame. Any gaps provide the necessary entry for the outside elements, including moisture. Moisture that penetrates the home can warp and rot old windows and doors, decreasing their ability to keep your home climate controlled.
An easy way to check this is to cover all your windows/light sources on a sunny day. Do you see beams of light around your windows and doors? You may be losing air from these areas.
The Dollar Test
Do your doors shake or rattle? Even if you don’t see visible gaps, doors that shake or rattle tell a different story. Be assured, if a door isn’t stable in its frame, there’s a gap big enough to let outside air in.
Stable doors can still leak, though. Warped or swollen doors can create a tight seal where they meet, but they’ll leave gaps where they don’t meet as doors and frames don’t always swell or warp evenly. You can find those gaps with the dollar test. Shut your door on a dollar bill, and then try to pull that dollar bill out. If you can do so without any drag, you’ve got a gap big enough to impact your energy bill.
Ask a Professional
Whether your doors pass or fail these tests, you still may want to get the advice of a professional. For more than 30 years, Millers has been serving the Albuquerque area, providing free estimates, insulating your home or business, and replacing doors and windows. If you would like more information, please contact us.