Air Leakage

Air leakages in your home can affect how well it retains heat in the colder months and cool air in the warmer months. There are several reasons why air may be escaping from the home at any time of year, including worn out weatherstripping, obstructed registers, improperly sealed electrical boxes, etc.

Weatherstripping and Gaskets

Weatherstripping provides a flexible seal around doors, windows and openings to prevent unwanted air from moving in or out of your home. Doors also have weatherstripping along the top and sides as well as a “sweep” along the bottom edge. Sweeps can be adjusted to narrow the clearances and eliminate drafts from the bottoms of doors. Weatherstripping should not be painted. It is also worth noting that even properly fitted, glazed and sealed windows will still lose heat. Therefore, on a cold day, the surface of the window will be cooler than the surrounding walls.

For more information on windows, doors and weatherstripping refer to sections in Chapter 3 regarding Windows and Weather Stripping and Chapter 5 for information about doors.

Drafts around pipes and flues can be reduced with the use of caulking or expanding foams. Drafts emanating from electrical boxes on exterior walls can be reduced with a pre-cut foam gasket material placed beneath the switch or outlet cover. Each year before the onset of colder weather, ensure the following:

  • All opening windows are functioning with ease and can be fully closed;
  • Debris within the window tracks is removed to allow windows to close tightly and seal properly;
  • Weatherstripping is in good condition. If it appears worn, permanently compressed or creased, then it should be replaced;
  • Heat registers located near windows and doors are unobstructed.