If your energy bills seem a little too high every month, it could be due to many different issues — perhaps the thermostat needs reset, your HVAC air filter may need replacement, or your HVAC may even require a maintenance visit to get things back on track. There is one more problem that often causes an uptick in energy bills, but it’s not one of the first things that often comes to mind… basement air leaks.
It’s true — especially in older construction, basements can be a constant source of heat or cold air loss in the winter and summer, making your home’s heating and cooling system work harder and harder to keep your family comfortable. Dealing with those leaks in the basement could be just the key to getting your bills back under control. What can you do about basement leaks? Let us give you a few tips.
Insulation Is Your First Line of Defense
Is your home’s main floor or upper floor insulated, but your basement isn’t? You’re going be losing that hard-won cool air in summer and warm air in winter. Over time, even the most solidly-built basement will develop cracks or weak points where air can find its way out — or up. It’s important to seal and insulate every part of your basement as best you can. How do you do that? You’ll need a little free time, some caulk, and the job may require spray foam and/or fiberglass insulation.
Note: If you’re not sure how to apply spray foam insulation, you will be able to rent machinery at a local home-improvement store like Lowe’s or Home Depot, and we recommend asking the employees for advice. They’re easy to use and inexpensive to rent, but do take a bit of getting used to.
First Up — Find the Cracks
Check around the floor joists, foundation walls, and even in the ceiling for obvious cracks. You’ll also want to look at already-insulated areas to see if there are any spots where the insulation is thin or missing altogether. You may be surprised at how many areas of concern you find in just a short search. Once you’ve made a note of every single hole, crack, or weak spot in the insulation that you can find, it’s time to start sealing them up.
For tiny cracks or small holes, inexpensive, easy-to-find caulking will do the trick. You may want to split the job into two parts, as it will likely involve a lot of repetitive crouching down and standing up. For larger cracks or small gaps in insulation, get out your spray foam insulation and fill those in. Those dealing with very large cracks or holes may want to go with fiberglass insulation to deal with those issues, although spray foam may still work.
Still Having Issues? Give Us a Call!
If you take these steps and you’re still seeing a stubborn upswing in those energy bills, you may find that a more serious concern with your HVAC is to blame. In that case, you’ll need to call in the professionals, and we’re here to help! At Donnelly’s Plumbing Heating and Cooling, we’ve provided quality worksmanship and exceptional customer service to our communities in the Bucks, Chester, Montgomery, and Delaware Counties here in Pennsylvania. To schedule service, just give us a call at (215) 855-2014 or contact us online at any time!