Getting your home ready for the summer and winter months can take a lot of work. But, if you want to make your home more energy-efficient and comfortable all year round, one step you should never overlook is air sealing. We’re going to discuss what air sealing is, how it can benefit you and your home, and how it’s done from start to finish.
What is Air Sealing?
Air sealing is the process of reducing air leaks into and out of your home. It involves sealing around windows, doors, and vents, as well as sealing your basement and attic. In the summer, you want to keep warm air out and cool air in, and in the winter you want the exact opposite. Air sealing can help prevent heat transfer to keep your home comfortable year-round, regardless of the weather.
What Are the Benefits?
One of the biggest benefits to air sealing your home is the money it will save you on your utility bills. Cooling your home in the summer and heating it in the winter is expensive, and air leaks can counteract your cooling and heating systems, making them work harder and use more energy.
Additionally, the more strain you put on your systems to fight air leaks, the more often you’ll need to pay for regular maintenance on your equipment. Air sealing your home will not only save you money on energy bills, but it will also save you on service and maintenance fees for your AC system.
Air sealing will also make your home more comfortable, as a sealed home is more likely to stay at the temperature you set on your thermostat.
The benefits are clear, so how do you air seal your home?
Step 1: Do an Energy Audit
The first step to air sealing should be to determine where existing leaks are. Some areas of your home may already be well sealed, so having a professional perform a blower door test will reveal the exact locations of air leaks that will need to be treated.
Step 2: Seal the Exterior
Your next step will be to use a weatherproof sealant on all areas of the exterior of your home that could be letting air in or out. Places, where different building materials meet are particularly prone to leaks. These include where siding merges with roofing or foundation walls, and where your chimney enters your roof.
Step 3: Seal the Walls
Next, seal your walls. This will help prevent air from escaping through any holes in your walls. This includes installing rubber gaskets behind electrical outlets and switches, applying a sealant or weatherstripping around windows and doors to close up any small cracks, and sealing around any cable or internet wires that enter into your home.
Step 4: Seal the Basement
Your basement is often prone to air leaks, so you’ll want to begin by checking for and sealing cracks around your sill plate and joists if your basement is unfinished. Use a sealant around hose bibs or any other entrance or exit point through your foundation walls, including boiler or dryer vents. You should also make sure the HVAC ductwork leading up to your first floor isn’t leaking or allowing airflow between floors.
Step 5: Seal the Attic
Your attic is another easy access point for outside air, so proper sealing in this area will be very beneficial. You can install loose-fill foam or other insulation between the rafters in the floor of your attic, and you should also use spray foam to seal around any holes in your attic floor for lighting to the rooms beneath.
Given the importance of proper air sealing of your home as well as the difficulty in assessing and effectively sealing weak spots, hiring a professional is the best route for a tightly sealed home. To start saving money on your utility bills, contact one of our air sealing experts today.