Applying Caulk Correctly Can Really Impact Furnace Efficiency

by Greg Leisgang on March 23, 2014

Posted in: Energy Savings

applying caulkIf you've ever been in an old, drafty building, you know that air leaks aren't your friends. But even if you can't detect air leaks by feeling them blow over your skin, they still have noticeable effects on your home comfort and your home furnace. Air leaks mean you're losing some of your heating and cooling energy to the outside world, and no homeowner wants to pay to heat or cool all of Cincinnati.

Sealing air leaks with caulk prevents this air transfer, and allows your home to retain more of the hard work your furnace puts into keeping you warm. It can also help eliminate unpleasant cool spots near walls and windows. But it has to be applied correctly for maximum benefit.  

How to Apply Caulk Correctly

  • First, locate the air leak, and clean the area. If it's been caulked over before, remove the caulk with a putty knife or with caulk-removing solvent. 
  • After you've cleaned the area, let it dry. If you caulk a moist area, the caulk won't adhere as well, and you run the risk of creating a sealed, moist environment where mold can grow. This also compromises the seal and can damage your fixtures.
  • Hold the caulk gun at a consistent 45-degree angle to get the most caulk into the cracks.
  • Caulk in one smooth line. Don't stop and start. Keeping it steady ensures a better seal and a more aesthetic finish.
  • If the crack is deep, use enough caulk to seal it to the bottom, forcing out any air bubbles.
  • Release the trigger of the caulk gun as you pull the gun away, so you don't get bulbs of excess caulk at the end of the line.
  • When you're finished, smooth the caulk with a putty knife. Check on the caulk as it dries. If it shrinks, opening up the crack again. You can immediately apply another layer to make the seal complete.

For more information on sealing air leaks, caulking, or how to help your furnace perform at its best, contact the HVAC pros at JonLe Heating & Cooling.

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