One essential component of weatherizing a home is air sealing. Along with proper, effective insulation, closing up leaks in the outer envelope of a home and in the home’s ductwork substantially improves energy efficiency. Your heating and cooling systems won’t have to work nearly as hard to condition your home if warm air isn’t infiltrating in the summer or escaping in the winter.
Before starting your air-sealing project, it’s important to determine where the air is leaking. You can do this yourself or commission an expert home energy audit.
This involves visually inspecting the outside envelope of your home, both from inside and outside, to find areas where air is leaking. Look at sill plates (which connect the foundation with drywall), places where utility pipes, wires, flues, and vents protrude through walls and the attic, and around doors and windows, among other places. Light an incense stick and slowly patrol the inside of the home’s envelope, moving the stick past likely locations for air leaks. Where the smoke wavers, you’ve found an air leak.
Professional Energy Audit
This, for obvious reasons, is much preferable to a DIY energy audit. Professional technicians will use sophisticated testing equipment to determine the airtightness of your home, as well as precisely where the air is leaking. These audits, using infrared imaging, also detect where insulation is inadequate or missing entirely.
Sealing Air Leaks
Now it’s time to start air sealing. Depending on the location and size of the leak, you might use weather stripping, caulk or spray foam. Weather stripping is applied around doors and windows, and in areas where there’s a separation between the door or window and its frame. Caulk can seal leaks in your home’s exterior. For bigger air leaks, spray foam should be considered. All of these options typically come with detailed instructions for how to use them. Any comprehensive air-sealing job should include sealing air leaks in ductwork.
For more information on air sealing your home, contact us at NisAir Air Conditioning & Heating. We provide quality services in Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River counties.