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Sealing Air Leaks in your Home? Don’t Forget the Attic

small_263077085Although some of the most noticeable air leaks in your home can be found in your living spaces, some of the most costly leaks come from somewhere that you probably spend very little time: your attic. Today we’re going to take a look at why sealing air leaks in your attic is so important and the different options you have for performing this cost-effective task.

Why are air leaks in your attic so problematic?

Because your attic is at the top of your home, warm conditioned air from your furnace will naturally rise toward it. If you have air leaks in an unconditioned attic, the warm air that rises to the top level of your home will escape through those leaks and your furnace will have to work harder to heat your home. This can lead to a big rise in your energy bills.

To make matters worse, many openings are made through the floor of your attic to allow things like pipes, recessed lights and electrical outlets through. Without properly sealing those openings, your attic could be sucking a lot of conditioned air right out of your home (often called the “chimney effect”).

What are some common places to check for air leaks in your attic?

Along with easy-to-locate leaks around places like your attic’s knee walls, leaks are commonly found anywhere that a hole is cut through the floor of your attic. When you’re sealing your attic’s air leaks, make sure to seal the area around penetrations for:

What to use to seal air leaks in your attic

Some people choose to take on attic sealing as a do-it-yourself project, while others choose to rely on a trained professional like Jerry Kelly. If you choose to seal your attic’s air leaks on your own, there are a couple of different materials you can use. Low-expansion polyurethane foam works well for larger openings (up to a few inches in size), while caulk is often used to seal smaller openings (about 1/4″ or smaller).

If you have any questions about sealing attic air leaks, or if you’d like a heating system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis HVAC company. We service the St. Louis area and surrounding towns like Wentzville, Frontenac and Town and Country.

photo credit: Manny Hernandez via photopin cc