Tired of hot air coming inside during the summer while cool, conditioned air escapes, wasting valuable energy?

The U.S. Department of Energy claims almost one-third of escaped air travels through gaps and holes in walls, floors and ceilings. Detect and fix air leaks for a quick and simple way to end the problem and increase your HVAC equipment’s performance.

Windows, doors and more

Look for air leaks around doors and windows by holding a lit candle a few inches from the frame. If it flickers there’s a leak. A candle can also help locate smaller leaks around electrical sockets and light fixtures, as well as around baseboards, molding and telephone jacks. Be sure to shut off your HVAC system before performing this test.

Caulking and weatherstripping these leaks is easy and offers a rapid return on your investment. Foam gaskets will fix leaks behind outlets and switch plates. Take off the faceplate, place the gasket between the drywall and switch box then replace the plate.

Dryers and ceilings

An improperly sealed dryer vent allows cold air into your vent, into the dryer and into your home. Find leaks by shining a light from outside or holding a lit candle near the open door and watching for drafts. Before sealing the leaks, remove the vent and clean it with soap and warm water. Put the vent halfway in and caulk the space between the vent, the opening and the vent tube. Push the vent tight into the wall and place a drop of caulk where it meets the wall.

Check your attic for electrical connections for light fixtures, fans and outlets to see if air’s leaking. Seal the cutouts with acrylic latex, silicone caulk or low-expansion polyurethane foam.


Soiled insulation could mean there are openings where air’s leaking. Low expansion spray foam works well for sealing these gaps.

Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing has served homeowners in greater Cincinnati since 1913. Contact us for more information about how to detect and fix air leaks and other heating and cooling topics.

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