The average home has the equivalent of 2-foot square hole in the ceiling from recessed lights that allow warm air to leak out through the attic. That can account for anywhere from one-quarter to one-third of your annual heating expense! I am frequently asked what methods are the best for sealing these leaky lights.
Here are three methods of dealing with leaky can lights:
1. If they can be reached from the attic, I recommend using an insulite® box to cover the can. After covering the can with the insulite® box, apply a two-component closed-cell spray foam (I recommend Honeywell’s Enovate™PRO ) to seal the box to the attic deck.
2. If you are unable to reach the can via the attic (for example, a vaulted ceiling), then a baffle trim insert can effectively reduce the air leakage. The cone-shaped insert is easily installed in the can from inside the house and a little caulk applied to seal around the trim.
3. Probably the most energy-efficient (but rarely selected) solution is to remove the lights, patch the holes and invest in new air-sealed lighting (e.g., track lighting, sconces, table lamps, etc.).
Sealing recessed lights can have a dramatic effect on air leakage reduction and save hundreds of dollars in wasted heating energy. For more detailed information on the techniques or products mentioned in this article contact me at [email protected].
Steve Curtis is a Colorado-based, BPI Certified home energy auditor. He also a Sales Coach for Tom Piscitelli and conducts a one-day seminar on how to incorporate a Weatherization approach to in-home selling of replacement HVAC systems titled, “WeatherizationPRO Edition of Selling with T.R.U.S.T.®”