Learn Different Ways to Air Seal Your Home

Learn Different Ways to Air Seal Your HomeThere’s nothing fancy about the process of air sealing. It’s a low-cost, low-tech procedure, but one that delivers a high payback on investment. Infiltration of outside air in summer and loss of indoor heat during winter are major sources of energy loss and higher operating costs. Ensuring an air seal exists around these structural cracks and gaps that exist in any home can immediately save as much as 20 percent on energy expenses year-round. 

Find The Leaks

For a professional approach to air sealing, an HVAC contractor can perform a blower door test to calculate the structure’s “leakiness,” as well as use artificial smoke and/or infrared imagery to pinpoint the location of air leaks. Simple DIY techniques may also be utilized, such as waving smoke trails from a stick of lit incense around doors and windows to detect air currents or simply feeling for drafts in suspect areas.

Seal The Cracks

Use common silicone household caulking to seal cracks up to 1/4-inch wide. These may be found at the joints between walls and between walls and the ceiling. The intersection between the baseboard and the floor is another prime leakage suspect as is the outdoor joint between exterior siding and the foundation sill. The perimeter of recessed light fixtures in the ceiling should also be sealed to prevent heat loss or gain from the attic.

Larger gaps or irregularly-shaped openings may be effectively sealed with polyurethane spray foam. Exterior gaps where plumbing pipes or electrical conduits enter the structure as well as openings where vent pipes pass through the ceiling are good candidates for spray foam.

Weatherstrip The Gaps

Weatherstripping that seals the gap between movable surfaces of doors and windows frequently deteriorates with age. Replace it with new adhesive foam tape or more durable vinyl or rubber weatherstripping. Also install an aluminum or rubber door sweep to close the opening between the door and threshold. Weatherstripping should also be installed to seal the perimeter of the attic access hatch or pull-down stairs.

Serving the Wabash Valley since 1922, Paitson Bros. offers advice and professional service for air sealing your home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Greg-McGill/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.

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