Learn about one surprisingly serious type of air leak that may be affecting your home’s energy efficiency.
If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve probably spent all winter losing heat through this one weird air leak. Don’t let the trend continue into the cooling season! Now is the perfect time to find and fix hidden air leaks in your home, starting with:
The Bathtub Hole
When you think of a leaky bathtub, you probably think about water leaks. But did you know that many ground floor bathtubs can create big air leaks in your home as well? The problem is that plumbers have to cut a hole into your subfloor in order to connect the bathtub to your water and drain pipes. Often, they make this hole larger than necessary and often fail to properly close it up with insulation.
This can create a serious issue for the energy efficiency of your home. According to expert energy consultants, a large, uninsulated hole beneath your tub can waste as much heating or cooling energy as having your window cracked open a couple of inches, all day, every day.
How to Tell If Your Tub Needs to Be Plugged
The hole around your bathtub’s plumbing assembly is only a problem when it opens into unheated or un-air conditioned spaces such as a basement or crawl space. This is why only first floor tubs are affected—the space under your second-floor tub only lets in temperature controlled air from the rest of the home into your bathroom so you won’t feel a temperature difference there.
If your first floor tub gets really cold in the winter, or if you’ve diligently sealed up all the other gaps in your home you can think of and you still have an air leak problem, it’s likely you are losing air through the hole beneath your bathtub. You can confirm this by going down to the basement or shimmying through your crawl space to check the condition of your plumbing assembly hole visually.
Fix That Air Leak Now
Plumbers sometimes deal with large plumbing assembly holes by shoving a wad or two of insulation in there. Unfortunately, over time this insulation can get wet and sag out of place. A better solution is to fill the gap with specially cut pieces of foam board. Then, you will want to seal the edges with spray foam insulation. This should stop your air loss problem and improve your energy efficiency.
If you want professional help with this task, contact the pros at Econo West Heating Air & Plumbing. As a company with experience in both plumbing and HVAC systems, we make an ideal choice of contractor for this project.