finding and fixing air leaks northwest arkansasEven tiny air leaks can add up if there are a lot of them in your Northwest Arkansas home. To improve heating and cooling efficiency year-round, you need to find and fix these tiny leaks, which can be located everywhere from the attic to the basement. Here are some tips on locating and plugging up air leaks around your home.

Locating air leaks

Before you can fix leaks, you first must find them. Common locations for leaks to occur are around:

  • Attic hatches
  • Wiring holes
  • Plumbing vents
  • Open soffits
  • Recessed lighting
  • Basement rim joists
  • Windows and doors

Sealing air leaks in your attic

The most significant savings come from sealing the largest holes first. Leaks between your living space and the attic are likely to be most profound:

  • Where the outer walls meet the attic floor
  • Around the attic hatch
  • Anywhere there are floor penetrations

Dirty insulation is a sign that air is passing through it, indicating a leak. Fill any openings you find with caulk (for 1/4-inch or smaller gaps) or spray foam (for up to 3-inch gaps).

Sealing air leaks in your basement

A leaky basement is exacerbated by a leaky attic because of something called the chimney effect. As leaks in the attic floor cause air to rise out of the living space, leaks in the basement compensate for the pressure difference by allowing outside air to enter. You can help deter this by sealing:

  • Along the top of the basement wall where your home’s wood framing comes in contact with the foundation cement
  • At the top and bottom of the rim joist
  • Around piping, wiring or ventilation ducts that pass to the outside of your home

You should use spray foam or caulk to seal these areas, depending on the size of the gaps.

To learn more about finding and fixing tiny air leaks in your home, or for more information about other heating and cooling topics, please contact Paschal Heat, Air, Geothermal & Generators. We have more than 40 years of experience serving residents of Northwest Arkansas.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Northwest Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about fixing air leaks and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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