Why Air Sealing Your Home Is a Must in the Fall

Why Air Sealing Your Home Is a Must in the Fall

As the blazing hot summer months give way to the slightly cooler fall season, many homeowners take advantage of a chance to perform key residential maintenance. While there are many things that homeowners should do to prepare for the impending winter, air sealing is one of the most important.

What Is Air Sealing?

Air sealing is the process of sealing off potential air leaks that are found throughout a home. Modern air sealing is performed by applying insulation for home applications. Certain areas of a home air sealing are performed with weather stripping and caulking materials instead of insulation.

While sealing up a single leak may not do much to improve a home’s heating and cooling efficiency, closing off multiple openings can certainly reduce your utility bill. Air sealing will help a home maintain a more stable temperature during the cooler months. In turn, this will make the home’s occupants more comfortable.

Benefits of Air Sealing

Air sealing offers many benefits. The most obvious is that it helps homeowners maintain more consistent temperatures within their residences. This setup means that their HVAC units will not have to work as hard, ultimately increasing their service lives.

Proper air sealing will also reduce a homeowner’s utility bills. Again, air sealing alone may not lead to significant cost savings. However, it can be part of a larger cost-saving strategy.

Other tips that can help homeowners cut costs include investing in spray foam insulation and having HVAC systems serviced regularly. Cumulatively, these tactics can lead to a huge reduction in heating and cooling expenses.

Air sealing can also positively impact the air quality of a home. If a home is filled with small cracks and crevices, pollen and other contaminants can creep in. These contaminants can cause congestion and potentially even make residents ill. 

Choosing Insulation for Home Air Sealing

When preparing to perform air sealing, homeowners have several options available. Basic air sealing can be performed using caulking and weather stripping. Caulking can be applied to window seals and other small crevices around the exterior of the home. The same caulking can also be applied inside crawl spaces and around vents.

Weather stripping should be applied to doors and entryways. These easy-to-install devices can prevent drafts and help keep out contaminants. 

However, to perform more advanced air sealing, homeowners will need to invest in insulation. Insulation can be applied to stop larger air leaks and improve a home's overall heating and cooling efficiency.

Can I Air Seal and Install Insulation Myself? 

Technically, yes, you can perform air sealing and install insulation yourself. While it is not unreasonable to classify basic air sealing as a do-it-yourself (DIY) project, you may want to leave the larger jobs to a licensed professional.

To perform basic air sealing, conduct a walkaround of your home and identify potential problem areas. From there, you will need to gather the necessary supplies, such as weather stripping, caulking, and a caulk gun. You can pick these items up at your local hardware store.

Once you have what you need, apply the materials to the previously identified areas. Make sure that you give the caulking adequate time to cure. Otherwise, you may have to reapply more caulking later. 

When it comes to applying insulation and performing air sealing in your attic, a licensed contractor would be better suited to handle these tasks. Your attic and crawlspace may include plumbing, electrical wiring, and other potential hazards. 

A licensed contractor knows how to safely work around these hazards while also performing professional quality air sealing that prepares your home for winter.

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