Easy Ways to Detect Air Leaks in Your North America Home
A leaky house is dramatically less energy efficient than a correctly sealed one. Understanding how to detect air leaks in your house, sealing those leaks and scheduling a home energy assessment when warranted can help you establish a comfy living environment and decrease your energy bills.
Detecting Air Leaks from Inside Your Home
Initiate your air leak inspection on the interior. Here are four reliable techniques for finding air leaks in your house:
- Conduct|Perform|Carry out]13] a detailed visual inspection, looking for gaps and cracks around windows, doors, electrical outlets and baseboards. Pay particular attention to the corners of rooms, because gaps can often be found there.
- Put your hand close to potentially leaky areas on a cold or windy day. If you believe there is a draft, you’ve discovered an air leak.
- Complete a smoke test by lighting an incense stick or smoke pen. Then, slowly move it near the edges of windows, doors and other potential leaky areas. If an air leak is occurring in this location, the smoke will blow around or get sucked through the gap, exposing the location of a leak. The smoke test is more effective when done on a windy day.
- Utilize an infrared thermometer or thermal camera to detect temperature differences in your home. These devices help you identify rooms with significant temperature variations, which often indicate air leaks.
Detecting Air Leaks from Outside Your Home
Examining the outer structure can also reveal potential leaks. Here are two methods for finding air leaks from the outside:
- Do a visual examination, paying close attention to corners and places where different materials meet. Hunt for gaps or cracks that could cause air leaks, as well as deteriorated caulk or weatherstripping and improperly sealed vents and exhaust fans.
- Perform the garden hose test on a chilly day. This is where someone sprays water from a garden hose onto the exterior while another person stands inside near a suspected air leak. If there’s a leak, the person inside will more than likely feel cold air or moisture entering through the gap.
Sealing Air Leaks
After pinpointing serious air leaks, it’s time to address the issue. Here are the best ways to seal air leaks in your home:
- Utilize caulk to seal small gaps and cracks around windows, doors and other areas where air is getting out of the home. Pick a high-quality, long-lasting caulk designed for indoor or outdoor use and the specific materials you are trying to seal to ensure a durable seal. Follow the manufacturer’s details for proper application and curing time.
- Apply weatherstripping to doors and windows to help them close tightly. Different kinds of weatherstripping are sold in stores, examples include adhesive-backed foam tape, V-strip and door sweeps. Choose the proper style for your needs and follow the installation instructions.
- Use expanding foam to fill and seal larger gaps and holes. Expanding foam is sold in a can with a spray applicator for easy application in hard-to-reach places. Wear protective gloves and adhere to the manufacturer’s directions to make sure you use them carefully.
- Apply insulation to newly sealed walls and attic floors to further reduce heat transfer. Even if you already have some insulation, consider upgrading to a higher R-value or adding more insulation where it’s currently lacking.
- Add door sweeps along the bottom of exterior doors to stop drafts. Door sweeps are offered in various materials and models to fit your needs and aesthetic preferences.
Considering a Comprehensive Home Energy Assessment
A home energy assessment is useful for identifying concealed air leaks and pinpointing areas of improvement. A professional energy auditor performs this inspection, which consists of the following:
- A blower door test involves setting up a temporary door with a sturdy fan over an exterior door opening. The fan pulls air away from the house, lowering the inside air pressure and pulling in outside air through unsealed openings. This test measures your home’s air tightness and makes thermal camera images easier to read.
- Infrared imaging helps the energy auditor detect temperature discrepancies in the walls, floors and ceilings, revealing unseen air leaks and insulation deficiencies.
- A combustion safety test makes certain your home heating system, water heater and other combustion appliances are operating safely and effectively, lowering the risk of potentially harmful carbon monoxide buildup.
- A homeowner interview is when the energy auditor discusses your energy usage habits, home maintenance history and comfort obstacles to identify additional energy-saving possibilities.
Schedule a Comprehensive Home Energy Assessment
While doing your own air leak tests is an excellent launching point, talking everything over with a professional is far more thorough. Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can help you improve your home’s air tightness with a comprehensive home energy assessment and personalized solutions to boost performance and comfort.