Air Sealing

Creating a tight seal around your house is a fundamental step in helping you save money and live more comfortably. Find details as well as advice at

Small gaps around doors and windows or in walls or floors may not seem like a big deal, but collectively they can be the equivalent of leaving a window wide open all year long.

Properly sealing your home with caulk and weather-stripping can save you an estimated 10% on your electricity bills. And if you are considering adding insulation, air sealing is a critical first step.

Benefits of Air Sealing

  • Reduces energy bills.
  • Provides improved temperature and humidity control.
  • Reduces noise from the outside.
  • Improves air quality by preventing allergens, dust, contaminants and insects from getting inside.

What You Should Know

You may be able to uncover some air leaks by feeling around doors and windows, but the bigger problems are usually hidden in attics, basements or crawlspaces. A trained Quality Contractor Network (QCN) member should be able to locate and address gaps around electrical wires, plumbing, ducts, chimneys, flue pipes and recessed lights that aren’t typically visible. Tell your QCN member about any areas that feel particularly drafty.

The materials used to address problem areas—caulk, expanding foam, rigid foam board, weather-stripping and similar materials—will vary based on the location and nature of the gap.

Before Beginning Work

  • Repair, clean and dry surfaces before caulking or glazing.
  • Repair any roof leaks or moisture problems.
  • In areas where air circulation is limited—less than .35 air changes per hour (ACH)—ask your Quality Contractor Network member about adding ventilation.
  • If your home has any gas appliances or an attached garage, install a carbon monoxide monitor.

Air Sealing Best Practices

  • Use caulk for gaps smaller than ¼ inch.
  • Use foam for gaps between ¼ and 1½ inches.
  • Use a backer for gaps larger than 1½ inches.
  • Use low-sheen clear or paintable caulk in visible areas.
  • Include attached garage walls, windows and doors.
  • Use dense-pack or foam insulation to seal off inaccessible areas.
  • Use high-quality weather-stripping with a minimum 20-year life expectancy.
  • Attach weather-stripping with hardware and caulk to create an effective and durable seal.



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