Your house may be comfortable, but if you notice increasing energy bills despite your reduced energy consumption, it may be attributed to energy being lost through air leaks. Air leaks happen when warm air inside the house is lost through gaps in the home’s walls, roofs, or floors. When cooled air escapes, it forces the heating and cooling system to work harder, thus using more energy. This article aims to explain how sealing air leaks can improve home energy efficiency, saving you money while keeping your house comfortable.
Understanding Air Leaks
Before sealing air leaks, it is essential to first identify where drafts are coming from. Common areas where air leaks or drafts are found include:
- Windows and doors
- Attics and basements
- Electrical outlets and switches on walls
- Gaps in baseboards and crown molding
- Air ducts and HVAC registers
- Chimneys and flues
Types of Air Sealing
There are several methods of air sealing, such as using weatherstripping and caulking. However, a more comprehensive approach is air sealing insulation. It involves installing insulation material and then sealing any gaps to improve the insulation layer’s efficiency. Foam insulation is often used for air sealing and provides air-tightness, stability, and durability.
Another air sealing technique is called blower door testing – which tests the overall airtightness of your home and determines where air leaks are present.
Benefits of Sealing Air Leaks
Sealing air leaks has several benefits, including:
Sealing air leaks helps to prevent air exchange between indoors and outdoors resulting in less energy needed to keep the house at a comfortable temperature. Saving energy results in lower energy bills and decreased carbon footprint.
Improved Indoor Comfort
Sealing air leaks limits the amount of air that can escape the house, resulting in improved comfort. It also helps to level temperatures around the house, meaning no more cold spots or hot spots.
Reduced Noise and Pollution
By air sealing, you create a barrier that limits sound from outside. It also prevents pollution from entering the house. If you live near a busy road or area that has a lot of noise pollution, sealing air leaks can help improve the overall indoor soundscape.
Improved Air Quality
Air sealing the attic helps prevent dust, pollutants and other outdoor air particles from entering the house. Sealing air leaks also helps to manage humidity levels in the house. Reduced humidity equals better air quality.
Air leaks result in energy loss and higher energy costs. Air sealing can reduce air leaks, effectively eliminating drafts, saving on costs. The seal also creates healthier indoor environments, removes pollutants and promotes better air quality. Air sealing really is a smart investment in your comfort and in the environment. If you suspect drafts and air leaks are impacting your household’s energy efficiency, consider consulting a professional and having your home inspected for air leaks.