Air Leaks and Insulation

  • Caulk, seal, and weather-strip around all seams, cracks and openings to protect against drafts. Be sure to caulk and weather-strip all exterior doors and windows.
  • Seal small gaps in plumbing stacks, vents, ducts, or electrical wires with caulk. Seal holes up to three inches in diameter with spray foam. Cover spaces larger than three inches with a piece of foam board and seal with spray foam.
  • Install a door sweep to seal the gap between the bottom of your door and the threshold to prevent cold air from coming in and warm air from escaping from your home. Stopping this air flow will keep heated indoor living space more comfortable and prevent increased energy bills.
  • Install insulating gaskets in electrical outlets or switches on exterior walls. Kits are available at hardware and home improvement stores.
  • Upgrade your attic insulation to a minimum of R-38 (12-14 inches), which can help save on heating and cooling costs.
  • Before you install insulation in an attic, basement or crawlspace, seal any air leaks with caulk, spray foam or weather stripping. The most common mistake homeowners make when installing insulation is to block the flow of air at the eaves. Never cover attic soffit vents with insulation — use rafter vents and soffit vents to maintain airflow.
  • Proper ventilation of the attic with natural air moves super-heated air out of the attic, protecting roof shingles and removing moisture without using the energy needed to run an attic vent fan.
  • Weather strip and insulate your home’s attic hatch or door. You can do this with weatherizing materials and insulation or with a pre-made attic cover available from local home improvement centers.
  • Chimneys or furnace flues that penetrate your attic floor have holes or gaps around them that can allow the air in your home to escape through the attic, increasing your energy bill and causing more drafts. Around chimney and furnace flues that can get hot, cover the gaps with metal flashing and caulk small gaps with high temperature caulk.
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