“So many questions, and we have answers to them all! You might think we are readers of the mind…”

friendly seal waving

How can I tell if I need to air seal my home?

In the U.S., 90% of homes are not adequately air sealed. Here are a few of the most common signs.

House bugs. A lot of people report ants or tiny bugs around doors, on windowsills, or in the kitchen. They are getting in through cracks and gaps around your house.

Mice and rodents. Have you seen a mouse? Mice can get in through holes that should be sealed with a foam sealant.

Dust or pollen. Does it seem, no matter how much you clean, there is always a little film on surfaces? Tiny environmental particles can easily make their way into your home through gaps and cracks, making cleaning a constant activity.

Respiratory issues. Allergens and mold caused by air leaks and water intrusion can contribute to poor respiratory health.

Temperature fluctuations and drafts. If your home just doesn’t feel comfortable, no matter where the temperature is set, you likely have drafts and are wasting energy trying to keep your space a comfortable temperature.

And speaking of wasting energy—high energy bills are also a common sign that you need to air seal your home.

How can I tell where air leaks are?

Find gaps, cracks, and holes by turning on exhaust fans in your bathrooms and kitchen and lighting an incense stick. Because of the pressure differential between indoors and outdoors, the smoke will guide you to where air is being exchanged in your home. Windows and doors are common problem areas. Learn more here about where air leaks are often found.

What is weatherization? Is it the same as air sealing?

Weatherization is the act of protecting your home from outside elements and can result in greater energy efficiency (which leads to lower energy bills). Air sealing is an easy, inexpensive method of weatherization. Sealed air keeps its temperature better, meaning it requires less energy to heat or cool. And it keeps out bugs, critters, rodents, dust, allergens, rain, and even noise.

Can I overseal or overtighten my home?

Your home does need to breathe, so you don’t want a completely airtight space. However, with these methods of SIY (Seal It Yourself), you are unlikely to overseal or overtighten your home. So, seal away!

Do I need an expert to seal my home?

You can make a considerable impact on your home’s health, energy efficiency, and cleanliness by air sealing yourself. You don’t need an expert! It’s inexpensive, easy, and rewarding. So go ahead … just seal it! Learn how here.

How much energy will I save if I air seal my home?

Heating and cooling accounts for 55% of residential electricity use. But up to 40% can be lost due to air leaks. Air sealing is a simple and inexpensive way to potentially save anywhere from 11% to 14% on your energy bill.

How expensive is air sealing?

Air sealing is inexpensive and, ultimately, helps reduce energy waste, which has some savings potential. Just buy a couple of tools, like caulk, a caulk gun, weatherstripping, and foam sealant, and your small investment could deliver big results.

Why should I air seal? What are the benefits of air sealing?

There are so many benefits to air sealing! First, energy efficiency. As your parents might have said, we’re not trying to “heat the outdoors,” and adequately air sealed homes keep their thermal regulation to themselves. So, if you want to make your home more energy efficient, air sealing is a simple, inexpensive step.

Indoor air quality is a great benefit of air sealing, too. By sealing small holes, gaps, and cracks around your home, you let in fewer allergens, dust, and outdoor elements, like rainwater, which can lead to nasty mold growth. You even reduce noise with air sealing.

Another thing that air sealing keeps out? Bugs and rodents. So, if you are wondering how to keep bugs out of your house or why you have mice in your home, you probably have some holes in your house that could use some foam sealant, caulk, or weatherstripping.

Hopefully you know the benefits of air sealing now, but here is a quick recap: fewer bugs, rodents, critters, dust, allergens, and outdoor elements like noise and water get into your home, and you improve indoor air quality and energy efficiency (which is nice for your wallet, too).

So many benefits when you just seal it!

Do I need a caulk gun to caulk?

Not necessarily. There are squeezable caulk tubes you can use, and you just squeeze them like a toothpaste tube. But caulk guns are recommended because they simplify the process. They apply steady pressure to the caulk, creating a consistent caulk bead and making caulking a lot cleaner and smoother. So, although you don’t “need” a caulk gun, we do recommend one, especially if you are taking on a large project, like air sealing your whole home (which we also recommend)!

How do you use a caulk gun?

Caulk guns are simple to use once you get familiar with them. Plus, they have a couple of neat features that are sometimes overlooked. For instance, most caulk guns have a small hole on the side. This is to snip the caulk applicator at a 45-degree angle. Just stick the caulk tube applicator into the hole and pull the trigger. Snip!

Next, there is a long pin that pulls out from the body of the caulk gun. Push that into the applicator tip and twist it around. This pierces and opens the foil that covers the caulk on the inside of the tube. Be sure to open that foil hole up wide enough to help the caulk flow evenly and to get a good bead of caulk.

Curious how to load a caulk gun? It’s easy! There is a small tab on the back of the caulk gun. Press that down and extend the metal lever by pulling. This makes room for the caulk tube to fit inside the gun. After the metal lever is extended, drop the tube into the gun, with the applicator nozzle pointing away from the trigger and the flat part of the caulk gun against the metal platform you’ve moved via the lever. Now, move the lever back toward the gun so the caulk tube fits snugly in the gun. Finally, turn the angled cut of the caulk tube applicator to face downward, so the caulk comes out on the surface to be caulked.

And just like that, you’re ready to caulk!

How can I improve indoor air quality?

Air sealing is one of the most important first steps to improving indoor air quality. Houses that aren’t air sealed (around 90%!) exchange air 3x more often than they should. This makes your air filtration systems work harder and have a shorter lifespan, which ultimately costs more money.

When you air seal your home, you reduce indoor to outdoor air exchanges, which makes regulating the quality of your air easier. By sealing up air leaks, holes, and gaps, you reduce allergens, like pollen and dust, that can make their way into your home.