Weatherstripping and caulking your Cleveland area home is an important safeguard against winter’s cold and wind. The sooner you plug air leaks in your home’s exterior, the sooner you’ll start saving money this winter. You will reduce your HVAC system’s workload, and the task only takes a few hours over a weekend or two.
Weatherstripping is useful for sealing air leaks because it’s a pliable, soft material that expands to fill spaces around windows and doors (including garage and attic entryways). If it can open, it needs weatherstripping. Use vinyl, adhesive-backed foam, metal or combinations of materials. Your goal is to prevent your expensively heated air from leaving your home, and frigid air from entering. Weatherstripping pays for itself in energy savings.
Check the existing weatherstripping. Remove and replace any torn or worn material. Doors need special attention because of foot traffic. You need a sweep – a stiff plastic or metal plate with a fabric edge – for the door bottom. Metal is more durable than plastics around the door jamb. Apply new weatherstripping around your home’s rear doors and windows first, to learn the craft. Then move around to the front of your home. Each window and door you complete puts you a step closer to sealing air leaks and saving cash.
Where weatherstripping does an excellent job sealing air leaks in moving parts, caulking is ideal for sealing air leaks (and preventing water infiltration) between static parts of your home. Look where chimney meets siding, around the outside edge of window trim, and anywhere the envelope of your home’s walls (and roof!) are pierced:
- electrical, cable, telephone or natural gas lines
- laundry dryer and kitchen vents
- condensing furnace vent pipe
- bathroom pipes and vents
Caulking, despite being ultraviolet light-resistant, breaks down and loses flexibility. Dig out all the old caulk, clean the area with isopropyl alcohol, allow to dry, and re-caulk. Your hardware or home store will have many choices and colors. Choose one that is exterior, preferably with silicone for durability.
For more help with sealing air leaks in your Cleveland area home, please contact us at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air sealing and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!
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