Air-sealing is one of the two primary components of weatherizing a home. Along with proper insulation, sealing air leaks in your home’s exterior envelope will improve both comfort and energy efficiency. Keeping air from escaping or infiltrating the home has a number of positive effects, not the least of which is saving your cooling and heating equipment from working harder than necessary. Of course, you’ll also save money on utility bills.
Finding where the air is leaking is necessary before you start air-sealing. This can be done professionally with a home-energy audit or with a basic do-it-yourself assessment.
Finding Air Leaks Yourself
This starts with a visual inspection of both the inside and outside of your home’s outer envelope to find holes, cracks, and seams where air is leaking. Check the sill plate between the foundation and walls, and pay special attention to penetrations for pipes, vents, and wiring. Windows and doors are also notorious spots for air leaks. Take a lighted incense stick and walk the inside of your home’s outer walls, holding the smoke to spots where air might be leaking. When the smoke wavers, you’ve revealed an air leak.
Hiring a Pro to Find Air Leaks
Your best bet is to hire a professional to complete an expert energy audit in your home. Using high-tech equipment, the audit will identify places where air is leaking and also where insulation is lacking, among other assessments of your home’s energy use.
All About Air-Sealing
The main air-sealing materials are weather stripping, caulk, and spray foam, and their use depends on the type, location, and size of air leak. Use weather stripping on movable sections of doors and windows. Caulk is useful for sealing cracks and gaps in your home’s exterior. Use spray foam for larger gaps and holes that caulk can’t fill effectively. We don’t have enough space here to go into detail, but all of these materials typically come with detailed instructions.
For more advice on sealing air leaks in your Corpus Christi area home, please contact us at CCAC.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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