Air-Sealing Project Gets Energy-Efficient Results Around The House

by Greg Leisgang on October 8, 2012

Posted in: Energy Savings

air-sealing project, West Chester, OhioYou can reduce energy costs and increase home comfort by conducting a simple air-sealing project. Air leaks, which are prevalent in many Greater Cincinnati homes, can significantly lessen the efficiency of a heating or cooling system. Conducting an air-sealing project is inexpensive and easy enough for the average homeowner to do.

The first step in the project? Locate all sources of air leaks in your home. Air leaks, in the form of cracks and gaps, are often found in the following areas of a house:

  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Ducts
  • Fireplaces
  • Plumbing penetrations
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Fans and vents
  • Electrical outlets

Once you’ve identified the air leaks in your home, the next step is to seal them. For cracks and gaps on the ceiling, walls and floors, use basic caulk. You can apply this same method to windows, fans, vents, fireplaces, plumbing penetrations and electrical outlets. Weatherstripping, however, works well to seal leaks around doors.

Caulking takes some practice to master, but the process is easy to learn. You’ll need some caulk and a caulk gun. Squeeze the trigger of the caulk gun as you move the tip over a leak, and then wipe away the excess with a wet finger or a damp sponge.

You can find weatherstripping at most home improvement stores in Cincinnati. There are several different kinds, but the easiest type to apply is pressure-sensitive adhesive-backed foam. Remove the adhesive backing from the foam, and apply it on the hinge side of the doorjamb as well as the doorstop. Make sure that you clean these surfaces beforehand to remove grease and/or dirt.

Use mastic sealant or metal-backed tape to seal gaps around your ductwork. If you discover any disconnected runs, use mechanical fasteners to secure them. Finally, consider insulating your ducts to prevent any further air loss. Enlisting the help of a professional HVAC contractor may be necessary for both of these tasks.

After you seal air leaks, your home will become a much more energy-efficient living space as a whole. For more expert advice about conducting an air-sealing project or other home comfort issues, contact Tri-County Heating & Cooling. We proudly serve Butler County and the Greater Cincinnati area.

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