Why You Have to Seal Your Air Leaks

Sealing air ducts

The average family spends approximately a third of their annual heating and cooling budget on air leaks that can easily be sealed. Here are the eight places to start sealing air leaks in your home:

Plug Open Stud Cavities

The average house has plaster or drywall separating the inside and the outside of the house, but some homebuilders skipped this cover behind some areas of the home like above dropped ceilings or soffits. For optimal energy conservation, these cavities should be plugged.

Insulate around Recessed Lights

Recessed lights are a leading cause of household air leaks. You can purchase an airtight baffle at a home center for anywhere from eight to 30 dollars per unit, which is a quick and easy way to seal recessed lights.

Weather Strip the Attic Access Door

This one is pretty much self-explanatory. There are a couple of ways to insulate the access door, but one of the simplest is to apply foam weather-stripping around the hatch opening.

Close Gaps around Flues and Chimneys

When it comes to flues and chimneys, there are building codes that make it easy for air to leak inside your home from these openings. For instance, it’s against code to place a wooden frame any less than one inch from metal flues and two inches from brick chimneys. This can cause a huge air leak, so it is best to eliminate this by covering the gaps with aluminum flashing.

Caulk the Skinny Gaps

Any gap that is more than a quarter inch thick should be plugged with caulk. Silicone works the best for nonporous surfaces. Acrylic also works and cleans up easily with water.

Squirt Foam in the Medium-Sized Gaps

For gaps that are larger than a quarter inch, use a low-expansion polyurethane foam. Be sure to get as much use out of it as you can upon first use because the plastic straw applicator hardens shut within two hours.

Tighten up Around Windows and Doors

If you have old windows, make sure that they are airtight with caulk and weather stripping.

Using these tips to seal your home will not only make your home more comfortable, it will also save you hundreds-to-thousands of dollars in the long run.