U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

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Sealing Air Leaks

Warm air leaking into your home during the summer and out of your home during the winter can waste a lot of your energy dollars. One of the quickest dollar-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal, and weatherstrip all seams, cracks, and openings to the outside. You can save on your heating and cooling bill by reducing the air leaks in your home.

Tips for Sealing Air Leaks

Pie chart shows how air escapes from a typical home: 31% floors, ceiling, walls; 15% ducts; 14% fireplace; 13% plumbing penetrations, 11% doors; 10% windows; 4% fans and vents; 2% electric outlets.

How Does the Air Escape?
Air infiltrates into and out of your home through every hole and crack. About one-third of this air infiltrates through openings in your ceilings, walls, and floors.

Cutaway house illustration showing areas of home where air leaks. Refer to caption for list.

Sources of Air Leaks in Your Home
Areas that leak air into and out of your home cost you lots of money. Check the areas listed below.

  1. Dropped ceiling
  2. Recessed light
  3. Attic entrance
  4. Sill plates
  1. Water and furnace flues
  2. All ducts
  3. Door frames
  4. Chimney flashing
  1. Window frames
  2. Electrical outlets and switches
  3. Plumbing and utility access
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Content Last Updated: 1/15/2009