Windows and doors are very common areas for air leaks in your home. But air leakage can also occur in cracks and holes in your attic, basement, and even around your chimney. These hidden leaks can often be the most significant sources of energy loss, contributing to up to 20% of your home’s heating and cooling costs. That’s up to 10% of your total energy bill. Keep cold air (or hot air) where it belongs by sealing air leaks in your attic, basement and around your chimney to help save money.
In general, apply caulk or sealant in gaps, cracks or joints in areas where you want an airtight or watertight seal. Here’s a list of important areas to seal:
- Around windows and doors
- Holes in the attic floor, knee walls and cracks where outside air can enter or inside air can escape.
- Basement rim joists (where the foundation meets the wood frame)
- Against the surface where faucets or pipes meet the house
- Cracks in exterior siding or where two different materials meet (siding, chimney or foundation)
- Around air vents and ducts
- Leaks in gutters or cracks in flashing
- Kitchen sinks, faucets, backsplashes and countertops
- Bathroom sinks, tubs, showers, the shower surround and backsplashes
- Between crown molding, baseboards, chair rails and wallboards
Caulks or sealants should not be considered for use in any electrical application.
Contact a customer service representative at 1-866-275-4372 for more information.
Air leakage can ramp up your energy bill, making up almost 20% of your heating and cooling costs. Sealing those air leaks can both improve your home's energy efficiency and give you energy savings in the long run. Fortunately, there are a variety of tests designed to detect air leaks. Many of these leaks are easy to find because they can be felt and are located in common areas of the house—especially around window frames and door frames. But others are much more inconspicuous. In those cases, ask your energy provider to perform a blower door test or a home energy audit to better identify your home's most vulnerable areas. That way, you can take the necessary steps to improve your home's energy efficiency.
Sealing air leaks in your home depends on the size and location of the leak. There are two ways you can seal leaks:
FOR SMALLER GAPS AND CRACKS:
Seal smaller gaps and cracks, such as around window frames and door frames, with a caulk or sealant. If the area needs excellent water or weather protection and will not be painted, a 100% silicone sealant is recommended. If the area may come into contact with water and will need to be painted, a siliconized acrylic or hybrid caulk or sealant is recommended. For more details, check out our steps to a successful caulking project
FOR LARGER GAPS AND CRACKS:
To seal larger gaps and cracks, use an insulating foam sealant. These products expand to fill gaps and cracks for an airtight seal while also adding insulation value to the area. Not only will this improve your home’s energy efficiency, but it will help keep the cold air (or hot air) outside where it belongs. Learn more about using our insulating foams
for at-home repairs.
Caulking is as simple as five easy steps. Visit our Projects & How-To's Page
for directions, as well as tips for specific projects.
GE-branded caulks & sealants feature a "Use By" date on the bottom of the cartridge. This will tell you if the caulk/sealant is still fresh and able to be used. If you cannot read the use by date or want to test the caulk/sealant prior to starting a project, there is also a simple test that only takes 10 to 15 minutes. Run a small bead on a piece of cardboard. If after about 15 minutes, the product doesn't form a "skin," the product is probably too old and won't ever fully cure (dry completely).