As I enter most homes, I can’t help but notice the potential loss of energy these air leaks cost. It’s just a habit. When I shut the door I see a ring of light all the way around it. This is usually followed by a “yeah, I know I need to fix that” from the homeowner. If they only knew how much money that air leak was costing them, they would probably get it fixed much faster!
A Less-Obvious Leak
When I come in through the utility room, one of the first things I do is lay my hand on top of the dryer. If the top of the dryer is cold in the winter, I know that there is a problem. Usually, this means that the dryer vent termination outside has lint built up preventing it from closing. In any case, this allows heat from your home to escape to the outside when your dryer is off. Consequently, the heat that escapes is replaced by cold, dry outside air.
This is the equivalent to leaving a window open! It is a very common air leak, and will cost you several hundred dollars on your utility bills over time. So, your dryer can cost you more money when it is off than when it is in use!
How much will these air leaks cost?
Look at it this way: there are 168 hours in a week. If your dryer runs for 8 hours a week, that leaves 160 hours of potential energy loss. Keep in mind that your heat or air unit has to maintain an appropriate temperature and humidity level in your home.
Opening a window just makes it more difficult and expensive for your heat and air to do this. Fortunately, if you are experiencing energy loss because of a dryer vent air leak, the problem is easy to solve – and doesn’t cost a dime! Just clean the outside termination of your dryer vent, and make sure that when your dryer is not in use the termination is closing properly.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a fortune on replacing your HVAC system, windows, or any other major items to improve the efficiency of your heating and air system – and save money! Tightening up air leaks is just one way to improve the efficiency of your heating and air system. To learn about some other money-saving tips, click here.
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