CarbonCurb Action 13 - Home Air Sealing

 

Sealing air leaks in your home is one of the most important Actions. Effectively sealing air leaks will significantly reduce your home energy consumption. In many cases, all the tiny gaps in the walls, ceiling, floor, and ductwork of a home can add up to have the same effect as leaving a window wide open throughout the year.  This lets much of the energy used for space heating and air conditioning go to waste. Caulking, sealing, and weather stripping all the cracks, seams, and openings to the outside of your home can reduce your total HVAC energy demand by roughly 15%. There are multiple ways you can test for leaks around your home. One method is to wait for the next windy day (when there are significant pressure differences around your home) and use a smoke pen or incense stick to identify locations of air leakage. Hold the smoke next to your windows, doors, exterior wall/ceiling fixtures and electrical outlets, and other locations of suspected air leakage to see if the smoke travels horizontally. This likely means that the spot needs to be sealed. You can look up how-to videos for caulking windows and doors, installing foam gaskets behind wall switch plates and outlets, installing weatherstripping to doors, using foam sealant on larger gaps, installing chimney balloons, and more. If you really want to take this Action seriously and ensure you minimize the air leakage of your home, you can hire a professional to conduct a diagnostic pressure test and identify the locations and amounts of leakage for you. These professionals can conduct whole-home energy audits and help you identify ways to save even more energy! It is well worth the investment. The impact of sealing up your home is:

Annual Savings:
145 kg CO2e
0.9% of your GHGs

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