When it comes to the efficiency of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC), one of the most overlooked factors is the condition of your ductwork. Failing to properly seal your ducts can lead to a host of problems from wasted energy to reduced comfort levels. Sealing those gaps is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save your energy dollars.
Start by locating where air leaks are occurring. It could be any place where two materials meet, such as the foundation walls and the flooring or where there's an opening to the outdoors. Gaps can also occur around exterior doors and cracked caulking around window frames. Another area to check is in the attic — gaps around ceiling fans, recessed light fixtures and electrical outlets.
If you find any leaks, sealing them is a simple project you can do yourself with supplies available from your local retailer.
1. Windows: Seal windows with exterior caulk. Your best bet is silicone or siliconized caulk.
2. Doors: Fix gaps around exterior doors with weatherstripping and a door sweep.
3. Attic: Ceiling fans, recessed lighting fixtures and electrical outlets in the ceiling below your attic are potential sources of air leakage.