Why Is Air Sealing Important?
Many homes in the Cincinnati area have air leaks from things like drafty windows or poorly-installed dryer vents. Even if they are minor, once all the small leaks are added together, it can be like leaving a large window open. These air leaks can allow conditioned air to escape and outside air to come inside, along with all the pollutants it may carry. Not only is this bad for your heating and cooling costs, but it can also affect your indoor air quality and your overall comfort.
Finding Air Leaks
Air leaks can be found throughout the average home, especially if it is more than a few years old. Some of the most common locations include:
- Windows and doors
- Holes drilled in exterior walls for pipes, wires, or light fixtures
- Poorly-sealed dryer vents, exhaust fans, or appliance vents
- Holes in the attic drilled for wires, pipes, or vent stacks
- Chimneys and flues in the attic
- Stud, floor, and rafter bays in the attic
- Recessed lights
- Walls, floors, or ceilings that are missing insulation or vapor barriers
- Damaged siding or roofing
- Poorly-sealed foundation sill plates
- Outlet and switch covers
Some of these leaks can be found yourself with simple tools on a windy day. Start by lighting a stick of incense or a candle, and watch closely as you pass the smoke or flames by a potential leak. If the movement of the smoke or flame becomes erratic, you may have found an air leak. This will not find all the problem spots, however. For the best results, a professional energy audit is recommended. Using tools like blower door tests and thermal imaging, the energy audit can help to find areas in your home that have air leaks or that lack insulation. Once the test is over, the professional performing it can also give you useful adivce about solving any problems that were found.
Sealing Air Leaks
There are many leaks you can seal yourself, such as drafty windows and doors or leaks in the exterior walls that are easily accessible. Others are best left to a professional. Here are a few tips to seal some of the easier ones:
- Use weatherstripping to seal drafty windows and doors
- Add a door sweep to help seal exterior doors
- For gaps between window or door trim and the walls, use some silicone caulk
- Use caulk to seal around small pipe or wire openings in the attic and exterior walls
- Use cans of spay foam for larger openings
- Repair damaged siding or roofing, and seal small gaps with caulk
- Seal foundation cracks or sill plates with a bead of caulk
- Add foam gaskets behind outlet or switch plates
Adding insulation or sealing around chimneys, flues, and recessed lighting should be done by a expert, and for a more complete air sealing job, consider having the entire process done professionally.
Air Sealing Services in Cincinnati, OH
At National Heating and Air Conditioning we can help you find problem spots in your home with an energy audit, and we can seal them properly with our comprehensive air sealing services. Our professionals have the tools and equipment to locate even the most well-hidden leaks, such as inside walls, and we can offer affordable solutions to correct any problems.
Contact us today at (513) 621-4620 for an appointment!