Air sealing your home’s shell is one of the most practical and cost-effective home efficiency upgrades you can do. When you consider all of the potential benefits — better comfort, improved IAQ, energy savings and less HVAC wear — put a star next to it on the top of your home improvement to-do list! Read through the following tips to get started.
Ways to Detect Air Leaks
Air bypass and leaks may occur anywhere two (or more) different home building materials meet. So, that’s a lot of ground to cover.
- Outside your home: Note any gaps between the materials of your home’s exterior, such as walls to foundation, walls to windows and doors and cladding to cladding. Note any pipes, cables and vents that protrude the walls.
- Inside your home: Use a smoke pencil or incense stick to detect air movement by wavering smoke. Check around windows, all entry doors to the living spaces, wall switch plates, electrical outlets and your attic hatch.
- Basement: Note cracks and gaps in the floor, walls and ceiling of your unconditioned basement. Check for gaps around pipes, ducts and cables.
- Attic: Look for dirt marks on insulation. Note gaps around pipes, ducts, cables and the flue. Does the attic door seal tightly? It should.
- Garage: Sealing off an attached garage is a matter of safety and health.
Sealing Up Your Home
- Outside your home: Potential air leaks through gaps and cracks can be sealed with silicone caulk or a can of expanding spray-on foam.
- Inside your home: Replace brittle, damaged or missing door weatherstripping with silicone tubing. Caulk of various types, such as squeeze tube and rope, is great for sealing windows. Foam strips generally work well for sealing off your attic door. Gaskets are used to seal wall switch plates and outlets.
- Basement and attic: Use caulk and expanding spray-on for gaps and cracks in your attic and basement. Seal loose ductwork with metal tape.
- Garage: Finish, seal and paint unfinished walls.
If you need a professional’s touch detecting and sealing air leaks in your Broken Arrow area home, contact us at Air Assurance today!
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air leaks and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 918-217-8273.
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