Aggressive Mechanical, Inc

How to Find and Seal Air Leaks in Your Home Envelope

08 Mar
How to Find and Seal Air Leaks in Your Home Envelope

In a variable climate like Monmouth County’s, air leaks around your home can noticeably increase your energy bills while also making you less comfortable. Finding and sealing these leaks is one of the easiest things you can do to reduce your energy bills.

Where to Look for Leaks

Tiny gaps and cracks around your home let out your conditioned air and let in humidity and air contaminants. Sealing these leaks reduces your heating and cooling system’s workload and improves your indoor air quality. Common locations for leaks are:

  • Windows and doors
  • Where pipes and wires penetrate an exterior wall
  • Switch plates and electrical outlets
  • Baseboards and crown molding
  • Ventilation fans
  • Fireplace
  • Access hatch
  • Flues, chimneys, and vent stacks in the attic
  • Basement rim joists

To find larger leaks, wait for a breezy day and hold a smoke pen or lit incense stick up to the places you think might be leaky. An air leak will blow the smoke sideways. Smaller leaks are harder to spot, but just as important. The most effective way to find these is by calling in an HVAC technician to perform a home energy audit that includes a blower door test.

How to Block the Leaks

Caulk and weatherstripping are your two most valuable weapons against air leaks. Use an all-purpose acrylic-latex caulk to seal leaks around non-movable surfaces such as doors, windows, and baseboards. Foam gaskets are available to seal outlets and switches.

To seal the movable surfaces of windows and doors, install weather stripping. Different surfaces require different types of weather stripping. The tops and sides of doors can be sealed with self-stick vinyl or V-shaped (spring) metal weather stripping. These types also work well for the inside tracks of sliding and double-hung windows. Foam works well for the tops and bottoms of window sashes.

Also check that the connections in your air ducts are sealed with mastic or heat-resistant tape. Duct air leaks reduce your HVAC system’s efficiency.

For help sealing your home’s air leaks, contact us at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors in Monmouth County and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Norman Pogson/Shutterstock”

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