Air leaks in a home can cause significant energy loss, so finding and fixing them can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems. Homeowners don’t need any special skills to fix some of the more common air leaks; however, there are times when it’s best to call the professionals.
Most homes have leaks and gaps that occur in certain locations. You can use this checklist to assess your home:
- In your home’s envelope, which consists of the outer walls and ceiling, check for leaks around window frames and window panes, doors, electrical outlets, ceiling light fixtures, chimney and wall connections, exhaust vents and corner wall connections.
- Give your attic attention and check any gaps in the floor where electrical wiring protrudes. Examine duct access as well as ceiling and wall connections.
- Basement areas of concern include the intersections of the walls and floor, wiring and plumbing holes, windows and foundation cracks.
Most leaks, like those found around windows and in wall connections, can be closed using caulking. You can also use a heat-resistant type of caulking for gaps around elements that emit heat (like light fixtures). To seal electrical outlets, you can purchase special leak-protection boxes or install a foam pad (approved by the Canadian Standards Association) behind the cover plate.
In other areas, it can be more difficult to find leaks. Air leak repair in the chimney, plumbing or ventilation systems, for example, is a job that’s best left to the professionals.
A home should have adequate ventilation so that combustion from fuel-burning appliances doesn’t become a problem. A seal that’s too tight can create hazardous conditions. A tightly-sealed home can also increase humidity and create moisture problems that lead to mould. As a result, you’ll want an expert technician to assess the ventilation and prevent backdrafts.
Arpi’s experts can assess your home’s combustion and ventilation systems so that you can save energy, stay comfortable all year long, and stay safe in the process. We’re always happy to help.
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.