How to Find Air Leaks in Your Home’s Envelope

How to Find Air Leaks in Your Home's EnvelopePerhaps the most preventable source of energy and money loss in your home is air leaks in the structure’s envelope. The envelope consists of the walls, doors, windows, ceilings, and foundation areas that comprise the barrier between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Here is a brief guide to finding and fixing air leaks in this important part of your home’s structure.

The Importance of the Envelope

Air leaks in the envelope can cause significant loss of heated or cooled air. When this happens, you’ve not only lost the air you’ve already paid to heat or cool, but you must pay to heat or cool more air to make up the difference. You waste energy and money while also putting unnecessary stress on your HVAC system, which can cause the equipment to break down or early.

Finding Leaks in the Envelope

Techniques for finding air leaks in your home’s envelope include:

  • Physical inspection, feeling for drafts or areas of inconsistent temperatures.
  • Visual inspection, looking for obvious cracks, holes, gaps, or other openings in the home’s structure.
  • Energy evaluations and testing, which are designed to find areas of energy loss. Testing can include a blower door test, which pressurizes the inside of your home and reveals even small and otherwise hidden air leaks.

Sealing Leaks in the Envelope

Common techniques for sealing air leaks in your home’s envelope include:

  • Caulking around door and window frames and casings with silicone caulk.
  • Caulking around glass panes in doors and windows with clear caulk.
  • Installing rubber or foam weather stripping around doors and windows to seal gaps between the window or door itself and its frame.
  • Adding rubber sweeps or other blockers at the bottoms of doors to stop drafts.
  • Plugging holes in walls with insulating material or caulk.
  • Sealing around penetrations in walls and ceilings where pipes, wires, conduits, or chimneys enter the interior space.

C. R. Wolfe Heating and Air Conditioning has been providing professional heating and cooling services to customers in and around Middletown since 1945. Contact us today for more information on finding and sealing air leaks in your home.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Middletown, New York about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 845-367-4482.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Norman Pogson/Shutterstock”

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