If there is one thing that can seriously dampen your energy efficiency efforts, it is the issue of having air leaks in your home. Here are some of the telltale signs that should make you suspect an air leak:
Unusually High Energy Bills
An increase in energy bills, sans an obvious increase in consumption, is one of the most common silent signs of air leaks. The increase in energy consumption occurs because the air leaks air to escape your house while also allowing outside air to contaminate your house. The result is that both your heating and cooling system have to work extra hard to heat or cool your house, leading to the increased energy consumption.
Extreme Dust in the House
You should also suspect air leaks in your house if you are seeing an unusual amount of dust in the house. Your house will be unusually dusty if it has air leaks because outside air will be getting sucked into the house without getting filtered. These are the times you find your house dusty a few hours after thoroughly vacuuming it.
Uneven Heating and Cooling
It will be difficult for your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system to maintain a comfortable and even temperature throughout the house if some rooms are leaking air. This is because the rooms with air leaks will be losing heated air, making them feel colder than the rooms without air leaks. Depending on where the location of the leaks, the same thing may happen when some rooms receive cold air from outside the house, lowing their temperatures.
Drafts in Certain Rooms
If the spaces allowing air leaks are big enough, then your house will also feel drafty. You may feel the drafts when in the rooms with the leaks because the air leaks will be experiencing a rush of air from outside the house. Note that with multiple leaks, some spaces will be experiencing a rush of outside air into the house while others will be experiencing a rush of indoor air outside.
In extreme cases, you may even be able to see the spaces that are leaking air in your house. Focus on areas around doors, windows, vents and other openings in the house. Air leaks may also occur due to missing roof nails, loose connections such as loose plumbing pipes, and holes in HVAC ducts.
As you can see, there are times when you may suspect that your AC is malfunction while, in the real sense, your house or duct system is leaking air. That's why it's always best to consult HVAC repair technicians before jumping to conclusions.