EnergyUnited Electric Cooperative
You Can Air Seal Your Attic
If you add up all of the leaks, holes and gaps in a typical home, it would be like having a window open every day of the year, according to ENERGY STAR®. That's a lot of room for conditioned air to leave and outdoor air to get in. Air leaks are inefficient, but even worse, they tend to make your home's temperatures uneven. For instance, an upstairs that's hotter than the rest of the house in the summer and cooler during the winter. Some of the prime areas for air leaks are in your attic. You can seal these leaks with caulk or expandable foam if you know what to look for: •Boxes for recessed lighting fixtures, ceiling fans and other electrical devices that hang from the ceiling •Holes where wires enter the tops of walls and go down to switches or outlets •Vents that go through the attic and into the living space below Notes of caution Step carefully. Walk carefully on top of attic joists and not in between, where you may fall through. Older recessed lighting fixtures. Incandescent light fixtures can get very hot, creating a fire hazard if you seal or insulate too closely. In these cases, you can buy a special cap that goes over top of the fixture, allowing you to safely seal around it. Outside vents. Don't fill any vents to the outside because the attic is supposed to be vented outdoors. Remember, your unfinished attic should be the same temperature as the outdoors. Just fill the holes over the living space. Take a few minutes to air seal your attic. You'll go a long ways toward making your home more comfortable and efficient.