Sealing Air Leaks Ensures the Conditioned Air You’re Paying for Stays Indoors

Sealing Air Leaks Ensures the Conditioned Air You're Paying for Stays IndoorsSure, there are more interesting, high-tech ways of saving energy than sealing air leaks in your Indiana home. However, few others pay you back as much or as fast. Homeowners can immediately cut cooling and heating costs as much as one-third by the simple, unglamorous task of caulking and weatherstripping cracks and gaps in the house that allow heat gain and loss. The cumulative size of all small leaks in a home can be the equivalent of cutting a 3 foot by 3 foot hole in an exterior wall. Leakage from some houses can total as much as 60 percent of conditioned air. Detecting and sealing air leaks is a low-cost no-brainer for increasing home energy efficiency.  Here are some tips to get the job done:

  • Locate air leaks by using smoke from a stick of lighted incense to detect tiny air currents. After closing doors and windows and turning on exhaust fans, wave the smoke around doors and windows, electrical outlets, plumbing entry points, ceiling lights and attic doors. If the smoke stream deflects, you’ve found a leak. Another useful method is to turn on interior lights at night, then step outside and look for any spots where light leaks out of gaps or cracks.
  • Close the gaps around movable surfaces of doors and windows using adhesive-backed foam or rubber weatherstripping.
  • Fill structural holes and cracks 1/4-inch or smaller with caulking. Fill larger spaces with expandable spray foam.
  • Seal large gaps where plumbing pipes enter the house or where vent pipes pass from living spaces into the attic with expandable spray foam.
  • Use foam or rubber weatherstripping to seal gap around the attic access hatch.
  • Install gaskets behind A/C electrical outlets and switch plates.
  • Make sure the fireplace flue closes tightly and keep it shut when the fireplace is not in use.
  • Close leaks around fireplaces and furnace and water heater vents with sheet metal,  heat-proof sheetrock or fire-resistant caulking.

With a track record of customer satisfaction dating back to 1922, Paitson Bros. is the Wabash Valley’s premier source of heating and cooling expertise. Contact us for more tips about sealing air leaks in your home to prevent energy loss year-round.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about sealing air leaks and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

    Jeff’s belief is that the business belongs to Jesus Christ; therefore 10 percent of the company’s profits go toward the Maryland Community Church.

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    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

    An Eagle Scout, Ethan spent four years as a non-profit executive with the Boy Scouts of America before joining Paitson Bros. as a comfort advisor and later General Manager. In that role, Ethan has brought a renewed enthusiasm for customer care, integrity, value, and service to Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning.

    Ethan enjoys singing and was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, spending time with his family and two young boys, and volunteering his time and resources with his church, Terre Haute First Baptist Church, which he has attended from a very young age.
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