I need to air seal non-ic recessed 3" cans, but I can not get into the area installed to seal. Ideas?


I need to air seal non-ic recessed 3" cans, but I can not get into the area installed to seal. Ideas?

Asked by Max Trouble

I installed 12 - 3" non-ic recessed cans in my family room of my cape cod home. I went with the smallest can possible for the look I wanted, and they did not have any IC cans in that size. Now I am noticing a lot of air leaks coming from the cans. I can not get to the back of the cans to seal them - it is a finished room above the cans. The can's are wiggled, so I glued the lips of the can's in, and can't be removed. What are my options?

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Lucas Johnson's picture

Actually, to be totally honest, I am a bit stumped by this one.

  • If you had used 4" or 6" can lights, you could get a "trim-integrated" LED retrofit that would provide some air sealing benefit.
  • However, I am not aware of an LED retrofit product for 3" cans.
  • Also, since the existing bulbs are very likely halogen, it would be a fire risk to install any sort of air sealing in the can light fixture itself, especially since they are non-IC rated cans.

I would say that unless there is a 3" LED retrofit with trim integrated, there isn't much that can be done. Even if the 3" retrofit exists, the trim-integrated strategy will only reduce leakage by about 50% and is not a true solution.

That being said, you could always hire a BPI Accredited Contractor to come take a look and help determine options.

Lastly, since the air leakage is occurring in an inter-floor space, I am also not that concerned about it.

It is possible that you could try to follow the inter-floor joist bays to see where they intersect with the exterior of the home.

  • Then, it would be a good idea to air seal anything accessible where the inter-floor space intersects with the ambient outdoor conditions.
  • Also, any other accessible pathways from the inter-floor space to anywhere else should be air sealed.
  • If this can be done, then it is a solution for the can light air leakage that does not require doing anything directly with the existing can lights.