The average home has enough cracks and openings that the combined space equates to a two-foot-square hole. It’s like leaving a window open all year long. Many of these leaks can be found in attics and basements. Windows, doors, and heating ducts are also frequent culprits. Air sealing eliminates the offending gaps, closing off leaks and drafts while at the same time reducing the risk of moisture-related problems like mold and rot.
Any area in your home or building that divides the structure’s interior from its exterior, requires proper insulation. While more insulation is typically better, no two homes or commercial buildings are alike. An experienced contractor should be able to point you in the right direction. And remember, insulation and air sealing work best when leveraged together. Air sealing is always the first step; without an effective barrier, insulation alone will not stop leaks and drafts.
All windows and doors by their nature offer the opportunity for drafts and leaks. Rather than replacing them outright, think about upgrading what you’ve already got with basic components like weather-stripping, gaskets, and sweeps. Consider replacing ill-fitting hardware like hinges, door latches, and sash locks as well. While newly purchased doors and Low-E storm windows are likely high quality and energy-efficient solutions, due to their high price, they’re less cost-effective than simple air sealing and insulating.