Cracks and openings allow outside air to enter your home. Properly sealing air leaks will significantly reduce heating costs and improve your indoor environment, making your home comfortable and energy efficient.
You can hire a contractor to conduct an energy assessment or follow these inexpensive “how to” tips from the U.S. Department of Energy on sealing leaks:
- Conducting visual outdoor inspections: Outdoors, look for areas where different materials meet; i.e., siding with chimneys or where the foundation meets exterior brick or siding. Check exterior corners and water faucets, too.
- Conducting visual indoor inspections: Indoors, look for cracks and gaps at window and door frames, where plumbing or electrical outlets come through walls, fireplace dampers, baseboards, fans, and electrical/gas service and dryer vent entrances.
- Sealing air leaks: One of the easiest and fastest money-saving tasks is to caulk, seal, and weather strip all seams, cracks and openings to the outside. Caulk is flexible material to seal cracks, gaps or joints less than one-quarter-inch wide. Weather stripping is the appropriate material for moving components – doors and windows. Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
- Insulating your home: When selecting the type of insulation, consider your climate, home design and budget. Insulation is made from a variety of materials and usually comes in several types including loose-fill, rigid foam, rolls and batts, and foam-in-place.