We’ve all heard the saying before – “shut the door, you’re letting all of the hot/cool air out!” However, this isn’t the only way that your home is losing air, and costing you money in the process. Identifying where air leaks may be occurring in your home – and sealing them – can greatly improve your home’s overall energy efficiency.
Air leaks typically occur through gaps and cracks. To easily find leaks in your home, hold up a smoke pencil or burning stick of incense, keeping an eye on the smoke column. If the smoke wavers, there’s a leak in need of some sealing! Common areas that leaks occur include:
- Door and window frames
- Crown moldings and baseboards
- Electrical outlet plates and light switches
- Appliance ventilation and exhaust fans
- Areas of pipes and wiring
The most effective way of sealing a leak is oftentimes caulk. For the indoors, an all-purpose latex caulk will do, but for the outdoors, a more durable silicone product is recommended. If you’re sealing around a chimney or lighting, it’s wise to install metal flashing before applying a heat-resistant caulk. If there are moveable components in the area of your leak, weatherstripping is often used. Expandable spray foam is the likely option for larger spaces around areas such as rim joists.
If you want to take your energy efficiency one step further, consider a Home Energy Audit from Polisnello Fuels, Inc.