Your Home Inspector Tip of the week Air Sealing
As a home inspector in AZ, I see peoples money blowing out the door on a daily basis. People just do not maintain their homes like they used to. Here are some helpful tips fro your AZ Home Inspector to assist you with your home maintenance.
Inspect Your Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping around your doors and windows should be checked on an annual basis.
Close the door, look for light around it or have a dollar bill between door and jamb, if the dollar bill slides back and forth with little resistance or if you see light around the door, your air conditioning dollars could be sliding out the door too.
Another trick to testing weatherstripping is the smoke test. You can use a candle but I prefer an incense stick. On a windy day move the lit incense stick around the inside of the doors and windows. If the smoke floats up, great, however if the smoke moves horizontally, that means there is air passing through the weather stripping in that area. (The down side to this test is you have to wait for a windy day or use a blower door. Another downside is your home will smell like incense and you have to watch for falling ashes)
This is not just about energy, a good fitting weatherstrip will also prevent insects from being able to enter around doors and windows.
Remember to keep the weatherstripping clean, dirt can get trapped in and against the weatherstripping and can lead to damage, simply wiping down the weatherstrip once a month can extend the life.
Look for loose pieces. Often during home inspections, I see weather stripping that simply has pulled loose and needs to be secured, however if left loose it can cause the door to bind and damage the weatherstripping.
You may need to replace the weather stripping. If this is the case, I recommend replacing the weatherstripping around the entire door as it may compress and lose form over time and adding a new section in one area may prevent the other areas from fitting properly.
Weatherstripping is available in foam, metal, rubber, vinyl and other materials. Weatherstripping should keep the drafts and heat out but not interfere with your ability to open and close your door. Many sticky doors that have been treated with weatherstripping were not carefully measured and the instructions were not carefully followed.
If your door has a sweep at the bottom, check it as well to make sure it is intact. As a home inspector I see damaged door sweeps frequently.