Simple Strategies For Finding And Fixing Air Leaks

Household air leaks not only compromise the comfort of your family, they can significantly increase the cost of your heating and cooling your home. While these leaks may not always be easily detected by Middletown area homeowners, sometimes it’s simply a matter of knowing where to look. With that in mind, let’s consider some simple strategies for finding and sealing air leaks in the home.

In some cases, these leaks are obvious, drafts near windows and doors being a common example. However, air leakage is often concealed within insulation or in other hidden areas, such as an attic or basement where they are unlikely to be detected. When searching for air leaks in your household, consider these common areas of interest:

  • Attic access points
  • Baseboard molding
  • Basement rim joists
  • Chimneys
  • Duct chaseways
  • Dropped ceilings
  • Electrical outlets
  • Fireplace damper
  • Furnace flue
  • Missing plaster
  • Plumbing penetrations
  • Recessed lighting and fans
  • Wiring penetrations

Of course, finding air leaks is only half the battle. Once you’ve zeroed in on a source of leakage, you have to determine the most effective method of correcting the issue. This depends heavily on the location and size of the leak you’re dealing with. When attempting to seal air leaks, consider these common rules of thumb:

  • When dealing with gaps and crevices no more than a quarter of an inch wide, caulking can be most effective.
  • Flexible foam can be used for larger cracks or even as a backup to caulking.
  • For those larger air leaks that aren’t immediately exposed to moisture or sunlight, expanding foam sealant can be effective.
  • Large openings can be addressed with rigid foam or fiberglass insulation.
  • Sealing around protrusions such as flue pipes and chimneys may require specialized materials such as high-temperature silicone and metal flashing.

Depending on the size and location of the air leakage, you can lose a significant amount of conditioned air to the outside. This can be a heavy burden on both your heating and cooling system as well as your annual energy budget. By performing an energy audit of your home, our trained technicians can help you locate the source of air leaks and advise on the most cost-effective means of addressing the issue. For expert consultation, contact CR Wolfe Heating and Air Conditioning today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

CR Wolfe Heating services Middletown, NY. To get started, check out our website or see our special offers.

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    Chris Kuiken Chris Kuiken is an expert in the fields of heating, air conditioning, construction, and building science... More »