Home & Design

8 Easy Ways To Seal Windows & Air Leaks Around The House

Is your energy bill higher than anticipated? If so, your house may be compromised by air leaks caused by unintended cracks and gaps. The cracks and gaps may be driving up your energy bill by making your air conditioning unit work overtime to maintain a stable temperature in your home. Even though you can plug most of the leaks yourself, hiring top air gap sealing professionals who can guarantee excellent services is always advisable.

Sealing air gaps in your home is one of the most cost-effective repairs you will ever undertake because it will preserve energy and increase comfort. Attics and basements are notorious for causing air leaks in homes. This post will highlight eight easy ways to seal your windows and other sources of air leaks in your home.

Plugging Open Stud Cavities

Most houses have an inner skin of plaster or drywall between the living space and any unheated areas. If your home is old, the chances are high that builders may have skipped this cover in specific areas, e.g., above dropped ceilings, behind knee walls, above-angled ceilings over stairs, or where the roof angles into the top floor. If you discover that any of these stud cavities are open, it will be necessary to seal them. You can use unfaced fiberglass insulation, which you can stuff into plastic garbage bags to block airflow. Close any significant gaps using pieces of reflective insulation foil or scraps of drywall.

Plug Around Recessed Lights

Recessed lights usually have vents that open up into the traffic and serve as a direct route for cooled or heated air to escape. The more recessed lights your home has, the more energy you will waste on air leaks. Suppose your recessed lights are labeled ICAT (insulation contact and airtight) you do not need to check them for leaks because they are specifically designed to prevent air leaks. If your bulbs aren’t labeled ICAT, you should remove the bulb and push the baffle up in the housing before replacing the bulb.

Fill In Gaps Around Chimneys and Flues

Most building codes have regulations that require wood framing to be kept a minimum of two inches from brick chimneys and an inch away from metal flues, which inevitably creates gaps that can cause air leaks. You can cover these gaps with aluminum flashing that can be cut to fit the gap and sealed using high-temperature silicone caulk. It is advisable to form a barrier by wrapping a cylinder of flashing on the hue and leaving an inch wide space to prevent the insulation from catching heat.

Put Foam in Medium-Size Gaps

After plugging the more significant gaps in the attic are plugged, you can move on to mid-sized leaks. Low expansion polyurethane foam is the best technique for sealing medium-sized gaps around vents or plumbing pipes. When using this foam, you should squirt a lubricant like WD-40 into a pipe cleaner stuffed into the applicator tube to prevent it from sealing shut between uses.

Weatherstripping Your Attic Access Door

Did you know that a quarter-inch gap on your attic hatch or pull-down attic stairs lets out the same air volume as your bedroom’s heating duct? You can seal this gap by caulking between the rough opening and stair frame. It is also possible to insulate this gap using foam weatherstripping on the perimeter of the hatch opening. There are also pre-insulated hatch cover kits for stairs and doors that you can purchase online or at your local home improvement store.

Caulking Small Gaps

Caulk makes the best gap-filler for openings less than 1/4-inch wide, such as those cut around electrical boxes. Silicone costs the most ($8 a tube) but works better next to nonporous materials, such as metal flashing, or where there are temperature extremes, as in attics. Acrylic latex caulk ($2 a tube) is less messy to work with and cleans up with water.

Plug Gaps in Basement

The only gaps that cause air leaks in your basement are those above soil level. It would be best if you sealed the gaps in the basement should be sealed similarly to those in the attic. Most old houses experience air leaks in the basement because of a gap where the house framing meets the foundation. You can spread a bead of caulk between the sill plate and foundation and along the bottom and top edges of the rim joist.

Insulate Your Windows And Doors

If your doors and windows are old, you can try adding new weatherstripping and caulking to tighten them up.

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