Finding and Sealing Air Leaks in Your Home’s Envelope
Many homeowners struggle to find a balance between home comfort and saving energy. There are lifestyle changes that can help, such as using ceiling fans more and your cooling and heating systems less. Programmable thermostats are great devices for maximizing comfort and efficiency. One important home efficiency project to strongly consider is finding and sealing air leaks in your home’s envelope. Here’s how.
Detecting Air Leaks
A professional has an advantage for finding leaks in your home’s envelope using specialized equipment, such as blower door and air-pressure tests. Though, you can use other ways to find leaks.
- Inspect exterior corners for gaps.
- Check where the foundation and cladding meet.
- Look for gaps around all wall penetrations, such as spigots, piping, and vents.
- Use a smoke pencil to find drafts around windows, exterior doors, attic door, fireplace damper, vents, and lighting.
- Look for gaps around penetrations in the attic.
- Look for dirt streaks at duct seams.
Sealing Air Leaks
The materials you need for air sealing are fairly basic. Following are the air sealing materials and common areas they are used for air sealing your home:
- Weatherstripping foam strips and rolls work great for sealing attic doors to prevent heat exchange.
- Weatherstripping silicone tubing is used around exterior doors.
- Draft guards or door sweeps block draft beneath exterior doors.
- Tension V-strips may be used to seal leaky window jams and sashes.
- Caulk may be used to seal window frames.
- Metal heat-resistant tape should be wrapped around leaky duct seams.
- Expanding spray-in foam may be used in any gap or crack larger than one-quarter inch, such as those around your home’s exterior and in the attic.
While the difficulty level for this project is moderate, it is time consuming and doesn’t find all leaks. If you have any questions, contact a trusted HVAC provider.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.