Detecting Air Leaks
How to Seal Air Leaks
- Check the weather stripping on doors and windows.
- Check caulking on doors and windows. Old, dried and cracked caulking should be removed and replaced. There are many types of caulking for many different applications. You should know what type of caulk you should use before sealing those leaking windows.
- Check caulking where utility penetrations come thru exterior walls. Check plumbing, ducts, electrical wiring, cable TV and telephone cables comes through the floors, exterior walls, ceilings, and soffits.
- Install foam gaskets on electrical outlets and switches on perimeter walls.
- Dirty spots on insulation may be an indication of air leaks and mold. Look for leaks and seal with low-expansion spray foam. Large gaps may require the installation of flashing.
- Dirty spots on your walls, often around electrical receptacles and switches, or ceilings by vents or light fixtures, may indicate air leaks. Use foam gaskets or spray foam to seal leaks.
- Single-pane windows allow hot and cold air to transfer. Double-pane low-emissivity windows are more efficient and the cost to upgrade will be recouped in energy saving over a few years.
- Use foam sealant on larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where air may leak out.
- Check your kitchen exhaust fan for air leaks. Stop air leaks by upgrading the exhaust fan or cover the vent to stop air leaks when not in use.
- Check your dryer vent to be sure it is not blocked. Lint will keep the dryer vent door from closing allowing air to leak in and out of your home. This will save energy and may prevent a fire.
- Check the bottom door sweep and threshold for pliability and damage. Replace damaged seals with energy efficient pliable sealing gaskets.
Fireplace Flues, Dampers and Chimneys
- Seal air leaks around fireplace chimneys, furnaces, and gas-fired water heater vents with fire-resistant materials such as sheet metal or Sheetrock and furnace cement caulk.
- Check your makeup air vent damper to ensure it seals properly.