Air leaks in your northeast Ohio home may be the culprit if your energy bills seem unusually high or you feel chilly drafts or experience uneven heating during cold weather. Properly sealing air leaks will save you money on energy costs and keep you more comfortable year-round. Caulking and weatherstripping to seal air leaks is straightforward and simple, and can easily be done in a weekend.
Detect air leaks
Close your windows and doors on a very windy, cool day and turn on your fans and vents to depressurize your home. Walk around with a lit incense stick and pass it by areas where air leaks are common:
- Doors and windows
- Service entrances for gas, phone, cable and electrical wires
- Vents, pipes and fans that penetrate exterior walls
- Spots where building materials meet
If the incense smoke wavers, you have an air leak.
Seal non-movable joints with caulk
Caulk is used to seal gaps between two stationary building components. Caulk generally comes in a disposable tube that fits a half-barrel caulking gun. Construction silicone caulk is ideal for sealing most air leaks. Clean the area with a damp cloth and let it dry thoroughly. Hold the caulking gun at a 45-degree angle as you apply the caulk in one continuous bead:
- Around window and door frames where they meet the walls.
- In gaps where pipes, vents, fans and wires penetrate exterior walls.
- Along baseboards and molding.
Seal movable joints with weatherstripping
Felt and foam weatherstripping is inexpensive, but less efficient than vinyl at sealing air leaks. Metal weatherstripping is the most expensive and the most durable way to stop leaks. Apply weatherstripping to clean, dry surfaces, such as:
- The top and bottom of the window sash.
- Around the sides and top of the door frame and door stop.
Install a door sweep on the bottom of the door.
For additional advice about sealing your home with caulking and weatherstripping, or to schedule a professional energy audit, please feel free to contact us at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, serving Cleveland and the surrounding area for more than 75 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Western Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about weatherstripping and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!