A good portion of our energy bill we pay each month is often due to air leaks at home. Unintended gaps and cracks present in areas of the house such as; walls, basement, attic and windows can let air escape thus increasing power consumption for heating during the winter and cooling during the dog days of summer.
Below are some useful tips on how you can detect and seal air leaks at home to help you reduce energy cost:
- First, start by identifying the biggest leak in your house and start working on them. Smaller leaks let out less air thus can be a second priority.
- Look for gaps on your chimneys and close them. Cover the gaps between the wood frame and your metal flue or brick chimney with aluminum flashing and silicone caulk.
- Wrap pipes with foam rubber or other soft materials to prevent drafts. Make sure to use pressurized expanding foam to help deter mildew growth.
- Make sure that your flood drain cover is durable and can be closed tightly. Otherwise, replace it with something stronger and can be tight shut as air leaks through them.
- Make sure your doors and windows are tightened up. Add weather-stripping around your windows and doors especially old ones. You can also install a door sweep at the bottom of your door to fully seal the gap or use draft stoppers.
- Install windows that can be sealed air-tight. This will ensure that air is not leaking in or out after your windows are securely shut – though there will still be some heat/cool air loss as a result of the window panes themselves. This also leaves less effort in caulking the gaps.
- Caulk sill plates and rim joists around where your floor framing and your wall foundation meets. Insulate properly the space between the joists and caulk properly.
- For air leaks found in your baseboard and ceiling, add clear acrylic caulking on the gaps.
- Install electrical outlet cover gaskets on your outlets as air can also leak through them. You can also use craft foam to add insulation on your outlet covers and switch plate.