We all want a more energy-efficient and comfortable home, right? We spend a lot of time in our homes, so making sure they’re in tip-top shape is a pretty big priority. One of the best ways to boost the energy efficiency and comfort of your home is through air sealing – it truly can make a big difference (for a relatively small home improvement project).
In this blog post, I’ll be discussing everything you need to know about air sealing in more detail, including how it works, its benefits, and signs that you may need it in your home in Maryland or Virginia. I’ll also cover different air sealing techniques, the pros and cons of DIY vs. professional air sealing, and how air sealing fits into a larger home improvement plan.
How Air Sealing Works (& Common Problem Areas)
As a quick explanation, air sealing refers to closing gaps and leaks in your home's building envelope, which is the barrier between the indoor and outdoor environment. These gaps and leaks can allow uncontrolled air movement between the inside and outside of your home, leading to energy waste, discomfort, and indoor air quality problems. Not fun! But, by reducing uncontrolled air movement, air sealing helps to prevent energy waste, drafts, and temperature fluctuations in your home.
Where do air leaks commonly occur in a home? They can occur in a variety of areas, including windows, doors, vents, and electrical outlets. Even small gaps and cracks around these areas can lead to significant energy loss over time. Other common air leaks can occur around the edges of baseboards, where walls meet floors, or around plumbing and wiring penetrations.
Benefits of Air Sealing
So, why is air sealing important for homeowners? For starters, it can help you save money on your energy bills by reducing the amount of heated or cooled air that escapes your home. It can also improve indoor air quality by preventing pollutants and allergens from entering your home. Not to mention air sealing can enhance your home's comfort and temperature control by reducing drafts and temperature fluctuations. And, if you live in a particularly noisy area, air sealing can also help reduce noise pollution from the outside.
Does Your Home in Virginia or Maryland Need Air Sealing?
Air sealing is a home improvement project everyone can benefit from, regardless if you live in Maryland, Virginia, or any other region. There are three crucial signs, however, that your home needs air sealing sooner rather than later, which are:
Increased energy bills: If you've noticed a significant increase in your energy bills, it could be a sign that your home is losing heated or cooled air through gaps and leaks in your building envelope. By sealing these gaps and leaks, you can reduce your energy consumption and save money on your bills.
Cold spots in your home: If you can feel drafts or cold spots in certain rooms of your home, this is likely a sign of air leaks. Air sealing can help to eliminate these drafts and create a more comfortable living environment.
Uneven temperature: Finally, if you're experiencing uneven temperatures throughout your home, with some rooms feeling too hot while others feel too cold, air sealing can help to create a more balanced indoor environment. By reducing the amount of uncontrolled air movement in your home, air sealing can help to even out temperatures and improve overall comfort.
The 5 Main Air Sealing Techniques
When it comes to air sealing, there are several techniques that can be used to seal gaps and cracks in your home's building envelope. Here are the five main air-sealing techniques you should know about:
- Caulking: This involves using a flexible material to seal gaps around windows, doors, and other areas where there may be small gaps or cracks.
- Weatherstripping: This involves using a compressible material to seal gaps around moving parts of doors and windows, such as where the sash meets the frame.
- Insulation: Insulation can be used to seal large gaps and cracks, such as those found in walls and attics. This can help to prevent energy loss and improve overall comfort in your home.
- Duct sealing: Duct sealing involves sealing gaps and leaks in your home's ductwork, which can help to improve indoor air quality and reduce energy waste.
- Professional air sealing services: For more complex air sealing needs, such as sealing large gaps or leaks in your home’s envelope, it may be best to hire professional air sealing services. A professional can use specialized equipment and techniques to identify and seal air leaks throughout your home.
Should You DIY or Hire a Professional Air Sealing Specialist?
You may be wondering whether you should tackle air sealing yourself or hire a professional air sealing specialist. Here are some pros and cons to consider:
Pros of DIY: DIY air sealing can be a cost-effective option, as you can buy materials at your local home improvement store and do the work yourself.
Cons of DIY: However, DIY air sealing may not be as effective as hiring a professional, especially if you're not experienced with identifying and sealing air leaks. Also, there’s a risk of making mistakes that could lead to energy waste, air leaks, or even damage to your home.
Pros of Hiring a Professional: On the other hand, hiring a professional air sealing specialist can offer plenty of advantages. Professionals have the experience and equipment needed to identify and seal air leaks throughout your home, making sure the job is done thoroughly and effectively. Not to mention a professional air sealing service can provide a warranty or guarantee on their work, giving you peace of mind knowing that the job is done right.
Cons of Hiring a Professional: While generally quite a cost-effective home improvement project (with a great ROI), hiring a professional does cost more outright. However, when done properly, air sealing will save you money in the long run, so it’s worth investing in a professional to do the job right.
Ultimately, the decision to DIY or hire a professional air sealing specialist will depend on your experience, budget, and preferences. If you're confident in your ability to identify and seal air leaks, DIY may be a good option. However, if you want to ensure that the job is done right the first time, hiring a professional may be the way to go.
Air Sealing and Home Improvement Go Hand in Hand
Air sealing and home improvement projects go hand in hand. In fact, most home improvement projects will benefit from air sealing at the same time. For example, if you're planning to replace windows or doors, air sealing can be done at the same time to ensure that there are no gaps or leaks between the new fixtures and your home's building envelope. Additionally, if you're planning to add insulation to your home, air sealing can be done beforehand to ensure that the insulation is as effective as possible. Other home improvement projects that may require air sealing include HVAC system upgrades, roofing repairs, and basement finishing. By incorporating air sealing into your larger home improvement plan, you can make sure your home is as energy-efficient and comfortable as possible.
Get in Touch With the WoW Team for All Your Air Sealing Needs
If you're ready to take the next step in improving your home's energy efficiency and indoor air quality, then it's time to contact the experts at Windows on Washington. Our team of professional air sealing specialists can help you identify and seal air leaks throughout your home, using specialized equipment and techniques to ensure that the job is done right. With our services, you can enjoy a more comfortable home and lower energy bills. So get in touch with us to schedule an obligation-free consultation today.