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How To Seal Air Leaks In Your Home




Larry P. of Anchorage, AK wrote:

Dear Mr. Itchy,

My home has more air leaks than you can imagine. It seems that every part of the house has a breeze coming in. How can I stop air from leaking into my home?

I'll show you how to test for air leaks and when done you should save on your heating and cooling bills. Any openings to the outside need to be caulked and sealed. The reason why is air infiltrates throughout your home from these, sometimes small nooks and holes.


First, you need to figure out where the leaks are coming from. Light a cigarette or a incense stick and hold it next to any area that may have contact to the outside. It's best done on a windy day if possible. Doors, windows, plumbing fixtures and electrical outlets are all good areas to test.

Here are some tips to reduce air leaks in your home:

1. Shut that fireplace flue when you're not using it. All of your heat is going right up the chimney. On the reverse end of it cold air enters it and comes into your home.

2. Switch plates and outlets need to be sealed. Stop air flow by inserting rubber gaskets behind them.

3. In areas where wiring or plumbing comes through your outside walls make sure you use caulk to seal the air leaks.

4. Do you have storm windows? You may want to consider installing them if your existing windows are leaking air badly.

5. Are your doors weather-stripped. It's actually a easy fix that will greatly reduce air infiltration into your home.



There are many areas where air can infiltrate your home. Check it out:

1 Ceilings that drop

5 Flues for furnace and water

9 Window frames

2 Light fixtures that are recessed

6 Ductwoprk

10 Electrical outlets and switches

3 Doors for attics.

7 Door frames

11 Plumbing and utility access

4 Sill plates

8 Chimney flashing

Related Tips and Advice:

How To Insulate Your Attic With Fiberglass Batts or Blankets
How To Install Blown In Insulation In Your Attic
How To Insulate A Concrete Wall
How To Insulate Ducts

Photos Courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy 

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