Air Sealing Tips For the Home

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, air sealing is a low-cost, do-it-yourself repair that can save you up to 20% on your heating and cooling expenditures. Some homeowners are worried about making their house too small. In an older home, this is unlikely. Hire a home energy rater to test your home if you’re concerned about air quality. First Defense Insulation has some nice tips on this.

Starting in the attic, we’ll work our way down the home and out the front door.

Attic

Move the insulation back sufficiently to expose the wall plates and seal penetrations in the wall plates. Caulk or Great Stuff spray foam can be used to seal around wires and pipelines. It’s a good idea to apply a fire-resistant caulk or foam product here. It is necessary in most regions for new development. Consult a code official in your area. Apply latex caulk on both sides of the wall plate where it meets the drywall or plaster.

Chases should be well sealed, but in older homes, they were virtually usually left open to enable air to travel through. Finish the pursuit with plywood or drywall. Cut as close to the wires and pipes as possible, then caulk or spray foam the remaining spaces.

Attic hatches – These are a common source of air loss in the home. Cover the hatch with an attic tent or a box made of foam insulation board. The high-r foam with a foil face is the most effective. To keep the package together, use mechanical tape with a foil face. Duct tape should not be used. It will eventually fall apart. When possible, wrap a foam weatherstrip around the hatch door. If you have a whole-house fan, make a storage box for it while it’s not in use.

Living Areas

Switch and receptacle boxes should be caulked. Turn off the circuit breaker and double-check that the electricity has been turned off. Remove the wall plate with a screwdriver and use latex caulk to seal the gap between the box and the drywall. Replace the wall plate with a foam weatherstrip gasket. Remove any extra caulk from the wall using a moist towel. Re-energize the circuit breaker.