Air Sealing Your Home: A Complete Guide to Identifying and Sealing Air Leaks
Many households might not fully understand how problematic air leaking into or out of a home can be. Air leakage can create a drafty and uncomfortable home. It can make a home too warm in the summer and too chilly in the winter's cold. Air leaking into a home can bring in dirt and dust, making it more difficult to keep clean. It can agitate allergies by allowing more pollen into the space. If all of this doesn't get your attention, air leaking in and out of a home can cost you in wasted energy and higher heating and cooling bills.
Properly sealing a home is one of the most beneficial upgrades you can make to a living space. That is if you know where to look, the tools to use and how to approach the project. Home sealing should not be confused with insulating a home. This guide is intended to take you through the entire home air sealing process.
We will take a look at how much air leakage is too much, where to look and how you can test for leaking air. We'll address the value of a home energy audit and the various common methods used for air sealing a house. We will explore both long- and short-term fixes for windows, a common culprit for leaking air. We will also discuss the importance of sealing a home in balance with proper ventilation. Finally, our guide will help you determine which of these projects you can do on your own and when it is time to call in a pro.
Perhaps your home is a bit drafty or uncomfortable in extreme temperatures. Maybe your fuel bills are higher than they need be or you find yourself dusting too frequently. The answer may be in sealing your home. This guide can take you down the proper path.
Table of Contents
- Air Leakage
- Detecting Air Leaks
- Air Sealing Your Home
- Prioritizing Your Projects
- When to Call a Professional
- Starting This Project
Air ventilation is the controlled movement of air into and out of a house. Air leakage, however, is defined as when unwanted outdoor air enters a home, or when treated air needlessly escapes a home. When uncontrolled outside air enters, it can heat or cool inside temperatures to uncomfortable levels. It may even cause indoor drafts or breezes. Leakage may also allow heated or air-conditioned air to escape a home, which wastes money and makes a home more challenging to keep at a desired temperature.
Air leakage occurs through cracks in basements and crawlspaces and in unsealed areas of the attic. Air leaks around doors, windows and even through areas where pipes enter a home. Due to settling and older construction techniques, older homes may have bigger air leakage problems than newer construction.
In this section of our guide, we will help determine how much is too much when it comes to air leaking into and out of the home.
How Much Air Leakage Is Too Much?
You know your home is leaking too much air when you can't keep candles lit. You know your home may be leaking too much air when people are standing outside your windows to get cool in the summer. You know your home may be leaking too much air when your curtains are blowing in the wind, and your doors and windows are closed.
While all of these may be true, there are actually better ways to know if your home is leaking too much air. First, it helps to understand proper home ventilation is important for the comfort and maintenance of your home. A home can be sealed too tightly.
You don't want your home completely and totally sealed from the outside. You do, however, want the ability to manage and control the air coming into and out of your home. A good example is in damp places like bathrooms and laundry areas. In these instances, air vents and fans can help discharge moist air outside the home. This can be vital in helping to prevent mold and mildew.
In kitchens, vents can serve to remove unwanted odors and greasy, dirty air from the space. Attics frequently use fans to remove superheated air, allowing the house, in general, to be cooler.
It is the uncontrolled leakage of air through cracks, leaks, poor insulation, and unsealed windows and doors that can cause problems. When leaks are either undetected or uncontrolled, it can create an uncomfortable environment and wasted energy. When a home is sealed too tightly, it may be keeping polluted air inside.
Detecting Air Leaks
Determining if your home is leaking too much air starts with the ability to determine if and where your home may be leaking it. There are several ways in which this can be accomplished. You will first want to familiarize yourself with the common location of air leaks. Most of these locations can be visually inspected to find leaks, especially if they are significant.
Beyond a visual inspection, there are steps an individual or a professional can take that are more sophisticated. There are building pressurization tests and blower door tests, which can provide a good, measurable indication of air loss and leakage. An energy audit can also give you valuable information about air leakage and the costs you are paying for it. In addition, an energy audit can offer suggestions to minimize energy use.
Common Sources of Air Leaks
Homes are said to “breathe”. If your house has cold spots or areas that may feel draftier than others, it may be breathing improperly. Most homeowners know these areas of their homes. These are the rooms where you first want to start in your search for air leaks.
While windows and doors can, and do, cause many air leak issues, approximately half of all air leaks occur through floors, ceilings, and outside walls. If you have an attached unheated garage, this too could cause problems.
Air leaks can occur where pipes and drains penetrate into a kitchen or bath from the outside. They can happen around electrical sockets. Crawl spaces, basements, and attics are notorious for air leaks. Then, of course, you have those doors and windows. Again, the older your home's doors and windows are, the more likely they are to be a source of air leaks in a home.
Many air leaks can be discovered with a simple visual inspection. Start with doors and windows where you may be able to see gaps between windows and frames and glass panes that may not be sealed properly. Make sure window seals are tight when closed and locked. Look around doors for space that leads to the outdoors. Smaller leaks can be determined by having one person with a bright LED light on the outside of a door or window and another person on the inside. Seeing the light would indicate a leak.
A similar visual inspection can be done with lights on in the basement, but none on in the room above. If you can detect light around floorboards or floor vents, you may have a leak that needs attention.
Along with a visual inspection, use a “hand test” to feel for leaks or cool or hot spots. By feeling along walls, windows, floors, and ceilings, you may be able to feel a distinct temperature difference, which can indicate a problem. In some cases, wetting your hand can improve sensitivity to drafts and air leaks.
Blower Door Test
A blower door is a mechanical device designed to help measure the air integrity of a building and/or to determine the airflow between rooms.The components of a blower door include a variable speed fan, which can be adjusted to create a variety of air pressures in structures of differing sizes. The device will also include a manometer, used to measure pressure. The manometer measures the pressure across the fan and the structure's outside envelope simultaneously, to see how increasing or decreasing pressure affects the air integrity of the space. A blower door will include some sort of mounting device so it can be installed temporarily in the opening of a door or window.
A blower door provides a measurable way to determine air leakage in a building and is being used more frequently to improve energy efficiency. The device is being used by building researchers, engineers and designers, weatherization experts, home energy auditors, and contractors. It is perhaps the most accurate way to measure whether air leakage of a structure is too tight or too loose. It is a relatively new measurement tool, first used in Sweden in 1977. A blower door test is best performed by a professional.
Building Pressurization Test
The reason homeowners should want slightly positive air pressure in a house is because this pressure helps keep out undesirable cold or hot air. It also helps keep out pollutants, bad odors, and unwanted air. You can conduct a building pressurization test to see if your home maintains this positive pressure.
It is best to conduct a building pressurization test on a cold and windy day. You will first want to turn off gas appliances like furnaces and water heaters. Next, you will want to make sure all outside air sources are sealed off. This not only includes outside doors and windows, but also fireplace flues.
You'll then want to pull air out of the house using bathroom vent fans, vents over ovens, and clothes dryers vents. If you don't feel this is enough, you can place a box fan in a window facing outward to pull air out of the building or room.
After lighting an incense stick, check the air around sources of common leaks. The smoke will either be pushed away or attracted to these areas if a leak is present. If not, the smoke should simply calmly rise.
This building pressurization test can be combined with other ways to determine leaks to verify whether you have excessive air leaking into or out of your home.
A professional energy audit combines a room-by-room, area-by-area inspection of a home with a look at previous heating and cooling bills to provide a plan to improve the energy performance of a home. Depending upon how detailed the energy audit is, it may also include a blower door test and even a thermographic image of a home to visually demonstrate where hot or cooler air may be leaking.
Homeowners should prepare for a visit from an energy auditor by making note of areas in the homes that seem to be hot or cool spots. Drafty areas should also be noted. The previous year's energy bills should be acquired from the power company.
Generally, an energy audit will start with a physical look at the outside of a home. An auditor will measure the outside of the home and note construction materials and window areas. The energy audit will frequently then move to take a closer look at the living habits of the inhabitants. These will include how many people live in the house, how many rooms are in use, are people at home during the day and the average thermostat settings throughout the summer and winter.
An energy audit will help determine the efficiency of a furnace and other major appliances. It can provide suggestions on steps to take to make the biggest impact on minimizing energy use. Some utility companies offer free energy audits, but they vary in how thorough they may be. You may be better served by contracting with your own energy auditor. If your energy company does not offer a complimentary energy audit, they may still be able to make recommendations for a local contractor. You can also find auditors in your area by doing an online search.
Before deciding on a contractor, you should be clear on what tests will be performed on your home and what a final audit may look like. You will likely want a thermographic image and a blower door test. Be sure to check reviews and/or get references for any energy auditor you may consider.
An energy audit could possibly pay for itself in future energy savings if you take the recommendations as suggested by the audit.
While thermographic images and blower door tests can provide sophisticated ways of monitoring and measuring air leaks, there are multiple “old school” ways to check for leaks. Closing a door or window on a dollar bill, for example, can help determine potential leaks. If you can slide the dollar out, a thorough seal in not present. In addition, you can use a candle to see if it flickers due to a small draft around windows or doors, or watch the smoke from a stick of incense. At night, have someone shine a flashlight around door and window edges. If that light can be seen on the other side, you have leaks that may be easily corrected.
Whether you have an extensive energy audit to work from or your own simple tests, it is time to resolve the issues causing excessive air leakage in your home.
Air Sealing Your Home
Air sealing your home can range from simple, inexpensive caulking and weatherstripping to more involved and expensive insulation and ventilation systems. In this section, we will address these fixes, including how to ensure your home has proper ventilation. We'll discuss some quick fixes for window leaks and examine more long-term solutions. Taking any steps in sealing your home is better than doing nothing. Here are some of your options to get started.
Caulking is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to stop smaller air leaks in your home. Caulk is made from a variety of materials depending on its specific use. It can be clear, white or ordered in custom colors. It comes in a variety of packaging, but is most commonly found in disposable cartridges placed in a half-barrel gun-like device, which squeezes out the caulk as pressure is applied to the trigger. It can also be found in flexible, toothpaste-type tubes, in rope form and even in aerosol cans.
The cartridge form of caulk includes a plastic nozzle at the top, which can be snipped to release the caulk in a fine line, or trimmed back further to apply the caulk in larger amounts to fill bigger gaps. While caulk is a thick, creamy texture when applied, it will usually become dry to the touch in a few hours and completely cure within 24 hours.
You'll first want to determine the type of caulk to purchase and the packaging to best suit your needs. White, latex or silicone caulk is often a good choice for sealing around windows and doors. It is inexpensive, easy to apply, retains some flexibility and cleans up easily when still damp.
Disposable cartridges are by far the most popular form in which to purchase caulk, and caulking guns are also inexpensive. Tubes of latex caulk can usually be found priced from $2-$3 each. When planning on how much caulk you will need, about half a tube will usually suffice per window, with a door likely requiring about a full tube. This, of course, will depend on the age of the home and the amount and size of gaps requiring caulking. You'll also want to consider caulking around the foundation of your home.
A shopping list for a caulking project is pretty straight-forward. You will need caulk, a caulking gun, putty knife, and screwdriver. Clean up can be done with damp paper towels or a damp rag.
Start with a clean dry surface. Use the screwdriver or putty knife to remove loose paint and old caulk. If you use a damp rag to remove dust, make sure the surface is dry before applying the caulk.
Load the cartridge into the caulking gun and cut the applicator tip at a 45-degree angle. Some tubes may have a foil seal at the top of the cartridge, requiring it to be punctured to allow for the flow of the caulk. For those unfamiliar with using a caulk gun, practicing on a scrap piece of cardboard or newspaper can be beneficial. Push the shaft at the rear of the gun until it comes in contact with the bottom of the cartridge. The trigger can now be squeezed as necessary to force the caulk through the tip. Hold the gun at a 45-degree angle when applying caulk, moving in a pulling motion along the gap you wish to seal. The secret to a good seal is constant pressure and speed when caulking, along with limiting starts and stops. After sealing several feet, or for as long as you can comfortably maintain the proper angle, release the pressure on the gun to stop the flow of caulk. Any remaining pressure may produce a little release of caulk, so place the gun somewhere where any excess flow won't do damage. Using a wet finger, brush or spoon tip, the bead of caulk can now be pushed deeper into the crack, providing a better, deeper, cleaner seal. Deep gaps may take multiple applications.
Any “mistakes” should be cleaned immediately with a damp or wet cloth or paper towel.
Homeowners should note the hard material holding and sealing panes of glass in a window frame is called glazing, and is far different from caulking. Caulking replacement glass into a frame is not recommended and will likely produce less-than-satisfactory results. While caulking over slightly cracked glazing may be a temporary solution, a better long-term solution is to have windows re-glazed.
In instances where gaps occur between moving parts in a home, like where doors and windows meet, weatherstripping may be the best option to seal a home. It is also useful where gaps are too wide for caulking.
Weatherstripping should meet multiple requirements:
- It needs to withstand the friction of and opening and closing of doors or windows
- It must stand up to various weather conditions
- It must be compatible with temperature changes
- It should create an effective seal
- It should look good while performing its job
Selecting weatherstripping for a variety of situations that meet the above requirements is not always easy. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of weatherstripping products for various circumstances.
Open-cell foams and felt tend to be inexpensive, but they also can wear easily in weather and may not be as efficient as desired. Metal weatherstripping is often visually appealing, especially in older homes. Vinyl, meanwhile, resists moisture well and is still very affordable. Some weatherstripping products use a combination of materials to provide an effective seal.
Determining how much weatherstripping is needed requires measuring the perimeter in the area you wish to seal, and then add about 10% more for angles and waste.
While weatherstripping installation will depend greatly on the type of material and the area being sealed, there are some fundamentals to keep in mind when installing it.
- It should only be applied to clean, dry surfaces
- It should compress when a window or door closes against it
- You should avoid installing it when temperatures are below freezing
Weatherstripping windows is relatively easy. Place the weatherstripping between the sash and the frame while making sure it doesn't interfere with the operation of the window.
Doors are a little more involved. Thresholds and door sweeps should sufficiently seal across the entire door bottom. Apply weatherstripping along the entire jam of the door, making sure corners don't have cracks or openings. The door should seal when closed without being difficult to close and/or lock.
Since doors and windows are some of the most problematic areas when sealing a home, it is worth investing the time and money when choosing the best solution for you. Take time to research your options either online and through a visit to your local big box or hardware store. Again, these solutions can quickly pay for themselves in comfort and energy savings.
Insulation is often thought of in terms of energy savings. Proper insulation can help keep warm air inside in the winter and cooler air inside in the summer. When it comes to sealing a house from outside air, however, two forms of insulation can work best. These are foam insulation and rigid insulation.
Spray foam comes in a pressured can, mixing isocyanate and polyol resin. When applied, these materials expand from 30 to 60 times their original size. This makes it an extremely useful product when filling in gaps in a home in a variety of areas. It can be used along foundations, in electrical boxes and where pipes and plumbing enter a home. What makes it more valuable is it can be cut and trimmed when dried, plus it offers exceptional thermal qualities.
Rigid foam insulation works well in sealing large areas of a home-like along walls, roofs, and foundations. It can be easily custom cut to fit a variety of spaces, including between studs in an exposed basement ceiling. Rigid foam insulation is a petroleum-based product, which is moisture-resistant and offers superior thermal insulation qualities. It can be found in big box home improvement centers in sheets from 1/2” thick to 2” and may even be special ordered in sheets up to 6” thick.
There are three forms of rigid insulation, including expanded polystyrene (EPS), extruded polystyrene (XPS), and polyisocyanurate. Each offers varying qualities, including R-Value, moisture resistance, and price.
Although other forms of insulation like rolled fiberglass or blown-in insulation may improve the R-Value of a home, rigid foam and spray foam insulation offer the density and versatility to help seal it. Both forms are effective, affordable and versatile for a variety of applications.
Sealing a home too thoroughly can have negative effects on those living in a home. In fact, homeowners too focused on sealing out air may instead trap negative elements like radon gas and formaldehyde inside. A home that is “too tight” may actually promote mold growth, causing health issues and perhaps even leading to structural damage. Like many things in life, the solution lies in balance. When it comes to properly sealing a house, that balance involves proper ventilation.
There are formulas used by HVAC engineers in determining the proper ventilation rate for an indoor space. While that formula can be confusing for average homeowners, it is worth noting there are three fundamental forms of ventilation. They include natural ventilation, spot ventilation, and whole-house ventilation. Understanding these three forms can help you in sealing your home while creating a properly ventilated living space.
Natural ventilation occurs most frequently in homes where no attempts at sealing the home have been attempted. It allows the air to move into and out of the home uncontrollably through cracks, holes, and crawlspaces. Homes are also ventilated naturally by opening doors and windows. While this natural ventilation can be good, it also allows for uncontrolled heat and cooling loss. In an effort to stop this loss, some homeowners seal their homes too tightly, which may be good for minimizing energy loss, but bad when it comes to a healthy indoor environment.
To help prevent a home from being sealed too tightly, houses have been constructed using spot ventilation devices. These are generally vent/fan combinations installed in troublesome areas like bathrooms or kitchens, where humidity and odor levels can be high. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) suggests bathroom ventilation rates be set up for 50 or 20 cubic feet per minute, while kitchen ventilation operates at 100 or 25 cubic feet per minute.
Whole-house ventilation is the option for those who feel uncontrolled natural ventilation may result in higher energy costs, but are also concerned about indoor air quality. They may have spot ventilation but be concerned it may not be sufficient. Whole-house ventilation systems include a series of vents and fans and a duct system to ventilate stale, potentially harmful air from a home while bringing in a supply of fresh air into the home. It does so in a controlled way, which allows homeowners more control of indoor air quality while minimizing energy costs for heating and cooling.
Whole-house air ventilation systems are available in four types.
- Exhaust ventilation systems. These depressurize air in indoor living space and are cost-effective and simple to install.
- Supply ventilation systems. These function by forcing air into a living space and are also cost-effective and simple to install.
- Balanced ventilation systems. These are a bit more complicated systems, which seek to balance incoming and outgoing air. This helps supply fresh outside air at the same rate indoor, polluted air is being discharged.
- Energy recovery ventilation systems. These provide for both managed incoming and outgoing airflow while minimizing energy loss. In the summer, cooler air inside cools incoming air and the reverse occurs during the winter. Homeowners enjoy the quality of fresh air ventilation while pre-heating and cooling incoming air to reduce energy use.
The most energy efficient way to cool a house is through ventilation for cooling. It works best by reducing heat build-up in a structure. While in some climates, natural ventilation is fine, most homes can be made more comfortable with spot ventilation, ceiling fans and/or box and window fans. Larger homes in particular can benefit from using whole-house fans.
Remember, a comfortable, healthy and energy-efficient living space isn't just about sealing a home uptight. It requires efficient and effective ventilation.
Quick Fixes for Windows
As mentioned throughout this guide, windows are usually an area of concern when sealing a home, especially a home with older windows. Single-pane aluminum or wood windows were used in construction when energy costs weren't much of a factor economically or environmentally. The good news is if you want to seal your home to become more energy efficient, there are some quick fixes, even for houses with these older windows.
Here are some simple and inexpensive “quick fixes” for windows leaking air.
- Shrink film. This is a clear, plastic film installed by using double-sided tape to attach to the walls and surround a window. Once in place, the clear plastic can be heated with a hairdryer to tighten it up. This creates a clear, seamless view to the outside world while sealing the window at a nominal price.
- Clear nail polish. When applied carefully, nail polish can stabilize cracked window glass in the time it takes it to dry. Simply apply the polish over the cracked area.
- Rope caulk. This is an inexpensive, soft and gooey substance, which can be molded to fill in any gap. It will stick into place when pressure is applied and is easy to remove when you are ready for a more permanent solution.
- Plastic v-seal weatherstripping. Another, quick, inexpensive fix, this form of weatherstripping can be used to seal windows around the sashes. It does the job without impeding the ability to open or close the window.
- Draft snake. This serves to block the air coming into a home from beneath the window bottom and the sill. It is usually made of foam or even a bean bag type filling in a cloth tube. It is both simple and effective in stopping the bottom of the window drafts.
These simple, inexpensive fixes are a no-brainer for those with older or poor quality windows. They often provide a noticeable difference in comfort and energy savings.
Long-Term Fixes for Windows
Of course, if you have the time and resources, there are longer-term solutions for windows leaking air, the most expensive of which would be replacement. Window replacement has many benefits, including sealing your home more efficiently, saving energy, improving your home's appearance and value, all while reducing outside noise and enhancing security. Window replacement should only be done by someone with experience or a professional. Replacing every window in an entire home can be expensive, however, so you may want to consider less expensive, yet more permanent options.
Many older, wooden single-pane windows can be rejuvenated by replacing cracked panes and re-glazing the windows. Remove old cracked glazing and the old metal points holding in the glass. Replace the glass where damaged. Reinstall the glass using new points and reglaze the window with a glazing compound and putty knife.
In some cases, homeowners may have old storm windows in a basement or garage. These too can be rejuvenated and reinstalled, providing an extra level of protection for problem windows.
If fixing or replacing windows in your entire home seems overwhelming, start by simply counting them room by room. Then approach the task on an area-by-area basis. Not every window needs to be replaced or repaired at the same time. Simply accept it will be a longer-term project and plan accordingly.
Prioritizing Your Projects
An important step in sealing a home is prioritizing your projects from a time and resource standpoint. Of course, missing or cracked panes of glass can be a safety hazard and should be addressed promptly. Beyond that, it may be a good idea to prioritize your projects by which ones may be costing you the most in terms of comfort and energy. Large gaping holes and drafty areas, of course, are sure to get your attention. But you should also keep in mind the areas generally causing the most issues when it comes to leaking air. These include doors, windows, basements, and attics. Addressing these areas first will go a long way in restoring the indoor air quality and energy efficiency of your home.
Attics are often a culprit for leaking and unmanaged air partly due to the fact some are seldom used. In the summer, insufferable heat is trapped in the attic space, while in the winter, it is where much of the air you pay to keep warm travels to. If you have a larger home or live in a consistently warm and humid climate, attic fans can help you manage this upper air more efficiently. Venting this air outside in the summer can make a measurable difference.
Prioritize your attic space, and make sure it has sufficient ceiling and roof insulation and any large gaps are filled. Consider adding an attic fan. Don't forget to seal around any access doors. This will be a significant step in creating a well-sealed, ventilated and comfortable situation in the rest of the house.
Far too many homeowners pay too little attention to how much air is coming into, and out of, their homes through basements and crawlspaces. Basements frequently have uninsulated ceilings where colder air can creep into living areas. The ground stays cold longer than the air temperature in the spring. If your floors feel cold and/or drafty, it is time to prioritize sealing your crawlspaces and basement.
Rigid insulation can help in basement ceilings or under floorboards in crawlspaces. Foundations should be sealed. If there are floor vents for heating and air conditioning, they should be insulated and sealed to stop escaping air.
Basements can also be a source of humidity and even radon gas. Sealing your basement more efficiently from the rest of your home can help. Don't forget about having your HVAC professional inspect your heating, cooling, and ventilation system for leaks and seal them where pipes may have become disjointed.
Whether you spend a lot of time in your basement or not, it can be a significant issue when it comes to air leakage in your home, and this alone should make it a priority.
Doors and Windows
Doors and windows may be the most visible source of air leaks in a home, which can make them a high priority. However, they are not as likely as your attic or basement. What makes windows and doors so tempting to fix first is quick fixes are very affordable and relatively easy to make. Even using shrink film over an entire window can be an effective short-term solution for air leaks through windows. Although resolving air leaks in a door and window can be reasonably easy, it is the sheer number of windows to fix that can make the project so challenging. When prioritizing which windows to seal first, choose windows in rooms used most frequently and ones demonstrating the greatest loss of air.
When to Call a Professional
Sealing a home can be an extensive project. Most of the work, however, can be done even by a homeowner with limited DIY experience. The key is knowing where your experience and comfort level in taking on a project has reached its limits. It is at this point you should contact a professional for assistance.
There are some tasks even a seasoned DIY'er will find challenging. Take conducting a blower door test for example. This requires a more sophisticated piece of equipment and someone knowledge in using the device, taking accurate readings and interpreting them.
It is also unlikely a homeowner will have access to thermographic photography to show a home's hot and cold spots. A consumer will probably not have the experience to conduct a whole-house energy audit. Even developing good caulking skills can take some time and patience.
If a whole-house or spot ventilation is on your agenda, it may call for an electrician or other ventilation installation expert.
While installing weatherstripping is relatively easy, choosing the right weatherstripping products can be challenging. If there are significant gaps in doors and windows, getting advice on appropriate weatherstripping can be invaluable.
Be honest about your limits as a do-it-yourselfer. When in doubt, contact a professional, especially where more complex processes may be required.
Starting This Project
Sealing a home involves scientific principals but it is not rocket science. Just remember sealing a home is not the same thing as insulating your home, although both can have energy-saving benefits. A quality home-sealing project does not end with the home being sealed uptight. In fact, a significant key in sealing a house efficiently is allowing the structure to breathe through appropriate ventilation. This allows healthy, fresher air into your home while ventilating poor-quality air to the outside. At the same time, efficient ventilation minimizes energy consumption.
The benefits of an efficiently sealed home include a more comfortable, less breezy interior. It can result in fresher, healthier air free of radon gas and formaldehyde. It should lead to less energy use and lower energy bills.
Sealing a home does take some thought, planning, and budgeting. For the most part, however, much can be accomplished at minimal costs. Skills required for sealing a home can be quickly learned, and much can be done by the homeowner.
If your home is drafty, difficult to heat or has cold or hot spots, it could be due to improper or poor air sealing. Conduct some of the tests included in this guide and get started sealing your home for greater overall comfort and more efficient use of energy.