Sealing Air Leaks in Your Home »

Did you know that 33% of what you're paying to heat or cool your home is wasted before it ever gets to you?

With the arrival of colder weather, it should be easy for you to notice air leaks, better known as “drafts” in your home. Most of the drafts or air leaks are noticeable from your windows and doors. You may think this is the major source of energy waste in your home, but the most significant source of heat loss is in your attic and basement/crawlspace! Even if you currently have insulation in these spaces, improperly sealed areas of leakage will create a significant amount of heat loss and discomfort in your living space.

According to, most homes with unsealed/insulated ducts lose between 10% – 30% of the energy used for heating and cooling because the nice warm (or cold) air in their air ducts leaks out before it reaches your living space.

Sealing the Air Leaks »

Your attic, the number one source of air leaks in your home!
Insulation is the best cure for heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. A lot of hidden air leaks are possible in your attic. Skylights, power outlets,chimney/furnace/water heater vents, are all culprits in the overall energy leakage. Unless you are an expert in proper insulation and techniques for safely sealing all sources of leaks, this job should be left to the professionals.

If it’s the duct work in your home…
it requires special tape (avoid using household “duct tape” as it fails quickly) for the duct connections. Duct work that penetrates through the attic floor should be sealed with foam insulation. The ducts should be insulated AFTER they have been properly sealed. Landmark Custom Homes will guarantee the quality of all duct work sealing/insulation according to BPI standards. Did you know that in most typical homes, 20% of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts? Given the facts, you are guaranteed a higher utility bill, and difficulty keeping the house comfortable no matter how high you set your thermostat.

If the drafts are located around doors and windows…
caulking is an effective solution. You can choose to do this on your own, or have IES do the work for you. Since caulking is performed on a daily basis by our team of experts, we may be able to save you valuable time by doing it quicker and we only use high quality sealants. If the windows are on a second story or higher, safety would be of a major concern in your decision to do-it-yourself or hire a professional.

The opening around a furnace or water heater flue or chimney…
can be a major source of warm air moving into the attic space. These require special sealing techniques, and this work should be performed by a trained professional who understands what materials to use, and which to avoid during the process. Identifying the type of material the flues/vents/pipes are made from will determine the proper sealant to use to insure your safety. After the work is completed, IES will test your home to make sure carbon monoxide has not built up from the extra “tightness” of air, another good reason to leave it to the experts!

If you have many unsealed and uninsulated recessed “can” lights…
special care must be taken when insulating around these fixtures. In the summer, hot attic air can leak into your living space, and during the winter, warm heated air escapes through the recessed lights into the attic. Both the heat from the lights and the warm air leakage can cause problems. In cold climates, the heat melts snow on the roof and forms ice dams (water re-freezes at the roof edge). This is more likely to happen when the “can lights” are closer to the roof deck. Recessed lighting in bathrooms can cause problems when warm, moist air leaks into the attic space. Older recessed lighting required that insulation not touch the “cans” because of a potential fire hazard. Unless you know that the can lights are ICAT rated (Insulated Ceiling/Airtight), it’s best to leave the sealing job to the professionals, or replace them with a more energy efficient, safe model that can use the new CFL light bulbs.

A common area of leakage in the basement is along the top of the basement wall…
where cement or block comes in contact with the wood frame. Outside air can be drawn in through cracks and gaps where the house framing sits on top of the foundation (called the rim or band joist). In the basement, the above floor joists end at the rim joist creating multiple cavities along the length of the wall, and many opportunities for leakage.

[Source:, visit the EIA (Energy Information Administration) website for more information on energy consumption, forecasts, and reports]