A bit drafty in certain areas of your home? This could be because of costly air leaks. Springtime is an excellent time of year to perform and air sealing project. It is often warm enough not to need heating, and cool enough not to need air conditioning. Finding and fixing air leaks now will ensure your home is efficiently cooled in the summer, and heated during the winter months. Here are 5 excellent tips for finding and fixing them!
1. Start by checking basements, attics and crawl spaces for cracks or broken seals around windows and ducting that may be admitting cold air.
2. Consider conducting a smoke test. This is done by shutting all windows and doors on a windy day, and then turning off all your appliances. You then light a stick of incense and hold in near areas where leaks might occur. If the smoke blows in or gets sucked out, even if it moves erratically back-and-forth, this is a common sign of an air leak.
3. Insulating your attic is one of the most effective ways to protect against air leakage and keep energy costs down. One of the most common, and easy areas to start is with open stud cavities; the are between to parallel studs. Fiberglass insulation is great for this.
4. The seals around cellar and basement window frames are often neglected and so deteriorate over time and allow air seepage. Use a sealant to fix any openings, but make sure to remove the old, dry caulking first. For large openings ranging from 1/2” to 3”, you can use a spray foam to fix them.
5. Weather stripping can be an effective solution for fixing leaks around doors throughout your home.
Once you have detected and repaired all of the air leaks you can, you still might want to have a professional conduct an energy audit to ensure that you have maximum efficiency in your home. This might cost a few dollars, but it can save you hundreds, even thousands, in the long run.
An air sealing project could accidentally trap harmful gases such as Carbon Monoxide or Radon in your home. Have an Air Quality audit performed by a professional both before and after your project to ensure you and your loved ones are kept safe from exposure to such.