What does it mean to air seal your home? Home sealing is finding air leaks inside your house and sealing them up. Air leaks usually lead to drafts or higher costs in heating and cooling because it all leaks out. Air leaks can be found in the walls, ceilings, windows, doors, power outlets, etc.
Why do you need to air seal?
When your house is sealed, it helps you save on your heating and cooling costs. Air leaks basically let out all the cool and heated air that you want to keep inside the house right along with the money you’re paying for them. By keeping the cool or warm air inside, it creates a more comfortable and healthy indoor environment for you and your family while improving durability. Air leaks lead to moisture build up that can create mold and affect the durability of your home’s structure and foundation. Air sealing can save you more than 20% on your heating and cooling costs.
Let’s break down the perks of sealing your home
- Improved comfort
- Reduced drafts and cold spots
- Reduced risk of mold
- Durability of structural integrity
- Energy savings
Ways to seal your home
Before you even get started on caulking or weather stripping you want to first detect where you have air leaks. Detection can be done by a home energy inspector. An energy professional can do a blower door test to identify where your leaks are coming from.
While you wait for an inspector you can also do your own inspection to for visual leaks by looking for cracks or gaps around electrical outlets, door and window frames, attic hatches, vents, light fixtures etc. It is advised to use a professional because the blower door test can help find leaks in places you might not have thought of or expected.
There are two major ways of sealing air leaks in your home: Caulking and weatherstripping. Caulking works best for stationary items, and it’s great for filling in cracks and gaps. Weatherstripping on the other hand is best for sealing leaks in objects that move like doors.
Caulk can be applied to windows, water pipes, around ceiling fixtures, bathtubs, faucets and more. Caulk can be used for more than just sealing air leaks. Caulking around plumbing fixtures can help prevent water damage. Caulking is something you do can yourself over the weekend, tools and ingredients can be picked up at your local hardware store. Just make sure every area you want to caulk is cleaned for good adhesion, and always make sure the area is dried before applying caulk so you don’t end up sealing in moisture.
Weatherstripping as mentioned before work best for movable building parts. There are many types of weatherstripping on the market, you ideally want to go with the type that will withstand friction, temperature changes and general wear and tear since it’ll be on something that will be moving frequently. Your energy professional can help you identify the best type of weatherstripping for your needs based on what your results are from your blower door test.
Identified possible leaks in your home but need a professional opinion? We can help, sign up for a Home Energy & Home Improvement Maintenance Inspection and an energy professional will inspect your home to identify your leaks and other areas where you’re losing energy.