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How to Fix Air Leaks around Your Home

Air leaks mean excessive energy loss — and cost. Summer or winter, you don’t want your house to leak air, especially when you spend your hard-earned dollars warming or cooling it.

  • Windows: Test a window for leaks by holding a lighted candle near all its joints and connections. If the candle flickers, you have an air leak. To fix air leaks, try these tactics.

    • Caulk around the window: Often, air leaks at a window result from a breakdown in the connection between the frame of the window and the frame of the house. To prevent leaks, caulk the window where its frame meets the exterior siding.

    • Replace the weather stripping: Leaks occur when weather stripping wears out. Most home centers sell replacement weather stripping in peel-and-stick rolls.

      You may have to remove the operable portion of the window to find the weather stripping.

    • Inject foam sealant between the frame of the window and the frame of the house. This is a major deterrent to air infiltration and also prevents water from leaking into the house.

  • Doors: An air leak in a doorframe is pretty common. While the moisture content changes in soil, your home shifts. Your doors also shift, creating gaps large enough for a dump truck to pass through. Here are some solutions.

    • Add foam sealant between the frame of the door and the frame of the house by removing the interior door casing. The casing is the wood trim that covers the joint between the doorframe and the wall.

      Use a flat pry bar to slowly remove the trim so you don’t damage it.

    • Add some weather stripping. It doesn’t make any difference whether the exterior door is painted or stained, large or small, solid wood or French style, the same type of weather stripping can be used.

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