Most homeowners probably think that an efficient attic is one that has sufficient insulation. However, insulation is only half the battle; air sealing is the other. There are many potential areas in an attic for air leaks to occur due to the connections between the walls and the ceiling, framing, soffits and chimney, just to name a few.
Why are air leaks a problem and why is attic sealing necessary? When air is allowed to enter the attic, it causes your heating and cooling systems to work overtime and provide extra conditioned air to counteract air that enters through the attic, which works counter to heating and cooling efforts.
Along with air, moisture can enter through leaks and cause potential mould problems. Moisture can also enter through the home below, through vents from bathrooms and kitchens.
Before we address how to fix leaks, use this comprehensive list to check your attic for leaks around:
- Plumbing pipes.
- Electrical wiring or light fixtures.
- Connections between floors, walls and the ceiling.
- Walls that connect to each other.
Attic sealing is a fairly simple process, as long as you have the right tools. You’ll need caulk and a caulking gun. Most tubes of caulk allow for about seven meters of caulking length. Caulk when the temperature is above 5 degrees Celsius or you’ll have trouble with the caulk stiffening up. Once you caulk along a crack, go back over the caulk with a wet rag to seal it.
A final note: When sealing leaks, remember to look under insulation. Telltale signs such as dirty or wet insulation reveal hidden leaks.
Attic sealing leads to significant gains in comfort and efficiency. Without the additional air entering the home because of good attic sealing, you’ll get better results from your HVAC equipment. Contact Arpi’s for help with energy efficiency. We are leaders in the Calgary HVAC industry, and our years of expertise will have you singing the praises of your home’s attic and the significant benefits of attic sealing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.