Detecting and sealing air leaks in your Cleveland area home will help lower your energy bills while keeping you more comfortable year-round. Caulking and weatherstripping are two inexpensive, easy and effective options for stopping drafts and improving your home’s energy efficiency.
How to detect air leaks
Air leaks are common around doors and windows; service entrances for phone, cable, electrical wires and gas; and around fans, vents and pipes that penetrate exterior walls. To determine if you have air leaks in these areas, close all of your exterior doors on a windy day and turn on all of your fans and vents to depressurize your home. Light an incense stick and pass it around these common leak sites. If the smoke wavers, you likely have an air leak.
Seal movable joints with weatherstripping
Movable joints can be sealed with weatherstripping. Available in felt, foam, vinyl and metal, weatherstripping should be applied to clean, dry surfaces. The most effective weatherstripping is metal, which is also the most expensive, followed by vinyl, foam and felt. Apply weatherstripping to the tops and bottoms of window sashes and around the sides and tops of door frames and door stops. For added protection against air leaks, install door sweeps on the bottoms of your exterior doors.
Seal stationary joints with caulk
Caulk is available in cartridges that fit a half-barrel caulking gun. Construction silicone is the ideal type of caulk for sealing air leaks around non-movable joints. Clean and dry the surfaces to be caulked. Hold the caulking gun at a 45-degree angle and apply it in one continuous stream. Caulk around door and window frames where they meet the walls, as well as in gaps where pipes, vents and fans penetrate exterior walls.
For additional information on detecting and sealing air leaks in your home with caulking and weatherstripping, or to schedule a professional home energy evaluation with one of our technicians, contact us at Stack Heating & Cooling. Locally owned and operated, we’ve been serving the Cleveland area with honesty and integrity since 1976.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about caulking and weatherstripping and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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