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Air Leaks 101: How to Detect Them

Air Leaks 101: How to Detect ThemYour home’s envelope is all of the materials that separate your living spaces from your crawl space, attic space and the great outdoors. Air leaks in the envelope waste energy, allow air and moisture infiltration and make your HVAC system work harder to cool and heat your home.

You’re probably already aware of some leaks, as indicated by hot/cold spots, wind noise through windows and doors and high energy bills. However, for a more comprehensive approach, use these tips for detecting and sealing air leaks in your Orlando area home and reap the benefits.

Air Leak Detection

  • Home exterior: Look for gaps and cracks where two different building materials meet, such as siding, brick and/or foundation. Check wall protrusions for gaps around the dryer vent, spigots, cables and HVAC equipment.
  • Home Interior: Look and feel for air leaks around windows and doors. Electrical outlets, switch plates, baseboards, molding and fireplace dampers are more areas common for leaks. Be sure to check the doors to your patio and attached garage, too.
  • Attic: Your attic may be a hot spot for air leakage. The attic hatch should close tightly. If you want to venture inside your attic, look for dirt streaks on insulation and gaps around lighting and pipes.

Sealing Air Leaks

You can purchase the materials you need to seal leaks from any home store.

  • Weatherstripping: Foam weatherstripping works well for attic hatches and window jams. Use silicone tubing around leaky doors.
  • Caulk: In general, acrylic latex caulk is used to seal leaks inside your home, such as between molding and drywall, windows and before painting or applying wallpaper. Silicone latex caulk is used outside to seal window frames and where siding and windows meet.
  • Spray foam: Use a can of expanding spray foam to seal gaps outside your home, such as around pipes and vents. Spray foam is also used to seal leaks in your attic.
  • Gaskets: Foam gaskets block air bypass behind outlets and switch plates.

For the best results detecting and sealing air leaks in your Central Florida home, please contact the professionals at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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