Air leaks are common problems in older homes. They are one of the biggest ways that Long Island homes lose valuable heat. Here are a few ways you can stop those expensive air leaks.
For small holes and gaps, caulk is the best solution. This can be used on leaks that are less than a quarter-inch wide. Expanding foam sealant is more appropriate for larger cracks that are not exposed to sunshine and moisture.
Backer rod and crack filler can also be used and is sold in coils. It works well for large cracks and can be caulked to enhance the seal.
Rigid foam insulation should be used for very large openings. Examples of openings that require rigid foam insulation are plumbing chases and attic hatch covers. Fiberglass insulation can be used in these scenarios, as well, but should be wrapped in plastic to keep air from getting through.
Specialized materials are required for areas such as chimneys and flue pipes. You will need supplies such as metal flashing and high-temperature silicone sealants that can withstand the heat that these areas commonly experience.
Some common sites for air leakage include:
- Attic-access hatches
- Fireplace dampers
- Missing plaster
- Plumbing penetrations
- Chimney penetrations
- Wiring penetrations
- Window, door and baseboard moldings
- Dropped ceilings
- Recessed lights and fans
If you have any other questions about how air leaks can be fixed to save you money on your Long Island energy bills, contact T.F. O’Brien Cooling and Heating today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air leaks and other HVAC topics, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.