Air Leaks in Your Home

Nelson's Heating and CoolingGeneral

Stop Wasting Money With Air Leaks In Your home:  Be Prepared For The Upcoming Winter

Your home may have air leaks that is costing you more money every year through gaps and cracks.  Sealing these gaps and cracks yourself can help to conserve energy in your home.  You will want to check your entire home starting with the attic and basement.  Here are other places you will want to check and tips on how to seal the gaps.

1. Recessed Lightsshutterstock_172690319

Your recessed lights in your home may not already be factory sealed.  These fixtures are placed in the ceiling that opens up into the attic.  This leaves a direct area for air to escape and you will want to install airtight baffle in the housing to prevent any leaking air.  Recessed lighting that are already sealed will have an ICAT label on them.  You can be sure that if the fixture does not have the label that air is escaping and your heating and cooling bill will increase due to it.

2. Flues and Chimneys

When flues and chimneys are first installed in your home, building codes require framing to be kept a certain distance away for of course, fire hazards.  However, this leaves gaps for air flow.  Use aluminum flashing to seal these gaps and use silicone caulk to keep it in place and to seal it completely.  In order to keep insulation away from a hot flue pipe, wrap the flue with a cylinder of flashing and leave a 1 inch gap in between.  Maintain spacing with a series of inch deep tabs in the bottom and top edges.

3. Attic Access Door

It is important to put either weatherstripping or caulk around your pull down attic stairs.  The open gap from the access door and framing allows enough air to flow and escape.  There are also hatch cover kits for attic stairs that you can purchase.  These kits may cost a bit a first, any where from $150 and up, but will be cost effective in the long run.

4. Medium Size GapsPD-Seal-AirMovement_fmt

You can use foam in medium gaps.  Use low expansion polyurethane foam around plumbing pipes and vents.  This foam is very useful for gaps that are 1/4 inch to 3 inches wide.

5. Skinny Gaps

Any gaps that are less than 1/4 inch wide should be filled with caulk.  You can use silicone or acrylic latex caulk.

6. Basement

Any part of the basement that is above soil level allows air in.  You will want to seal any of these gaps with caulk and spray foam as well, depending on the size of the gap.  Pay particular attention to the framing that sits on images (1)the foundation in older homes.  To close the gaps between the foundation and the sill plate, spread a bead of caulk to seal it.  The rim joist will also need to be caulked along the top and bottom edges.

7. Windows and Doors

Most drafts in the main living areas of you
r home come from the windows and doors.  Caulking and weatherstripping is necessary around these areas to prevent loss of heat and air during the summer or winter months.  The better the weatherstripping you buy for your windows and doors, the more long lasting it will be.

If you want to save money and not watch it go out the window so to speak…check for gaps.  Look in your attic, basement, and check your duct work, windows and doors.  Most of these gaps can be done on your own for significant less money than you would lose if your homes gaps are not sealed.