What is Air Sealing?
Air sealing is a system of techniques we use to prevent air leaks in the home from occurring. It helps to keep warm air from leaving the home during the winter and also stops cooler air inside during the summer. A properly air sealed home is an energy efficient home.
Air leakage occurs when outside air enters, and conditioned air leaves the home through cracks and openings.
Why is Air Sealing Important?
First of all, most of homes built after 1980 have insulation in the attic which reduces heat loss. However, it won’t stop air flow from occurring. Insulation covers holes, cracks, and gaps through which forced air from the home is directed into the attic.
Stained insulation is an indicator of leaking air. A home that leaks air has higher energy bills, contains mold, and excess moisture. In conclusion, a home that has been properly air sealed won’t lose air and is comfortable throughout the home, 365 days a year.
Things to Know About Air Sealing
- Twenty-five percent of the energy lost in a home comes from air that leaks out of its heating and cooling system.
- Feeling a draft in the cooler months is a good indicator that the home is leaking air.
- Certified Energy Star program homeowners qualify for air sealing rebates and incentives.
Sealing Air Leaks
- Seal air leaks around fireplace chimneys, furnaces, and gas-fired water heater vents with fire-resistant materials such as sheet metal or sheetrock and furnace cement caulk.
- Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
- Look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet which may indicate air leaks at interior wall/ceiling joints and wall/floor joists, and caulk them.