Sealing air leaks is a tried and true way of making your home more energy efficient. It keeps your conditioned air from seeping out, and keeps unconditioned air from infiltrating. Chances are, if you have a new home, it doesn’t yet require much in the way of air sealing. Over time, however, as houses settle, foundations move and materials deteriorate, minute cracks and crevices will appear. As the years go by, these cracks could account for significant energy losses, and higher utility bills than you need to be paying.
Read on for ways to seal leaks and promote superior energy efficiency in your home.
Finding Air Leaks
There are two basic ways to discover leaking air in your home. First, you can hire an energy auditor to perform a blower door test. This involves mounting a large fan in an exterior door frame, turning it on with all the windows and doors closed, and drawing out the home’s air and lowering the pressure. The auditor then walks around and tries to detect where air might be leaking by means of waving a smoke pencil. The auditor may also employ thermographic scanning, a method using an infrared camera to record warm and cool spots in the home.
You can perform your own air leak check. Use the smoke pencil, or simply hold your hand next to places where air might be leaking. Some of the most common sites are:
- Doors and windows
- Recessed lighting
- Electric plugs and switch plates
- Corners where the attic meets the walls
- Attic hatches
- Holes in exterior walls for plumbing, wires and cables
Fixing leaking air is fairly straightforward. Use weatherstripping, sealant or insulation to plug up the holes, cracks and gaps you discover. Obtain fire-safe containers to place over recessed lighting in the attic. Add insulation to the attic floor so that it covers joists.
For more on finding and sealing air leaks, contact Elite Air. We have served the Hamilton area for more than 25 years.