Air Sealing

How To Find Air Leaks In Your Home

If you’re wondering why the energy bill seems to be increasing every month, it might be from that heat sneaking out the window.

Air leaks can be a big problem for homeowners trying to save money, and it can be a nuisance in all seasons. Here are some easy ways to find air leaks in your home.

These classic methods will ensure your home is airtight and energy-efficient.

Flashlight Test

This method is simple, quick, and works in all weather conditions. All you need is a flashlight and a friend to find air leaks in your home.

Wait until night time and turn off all the lights in your house. Then, have your friend stand outside. Shine the light from the flashlight over the indoor side of spots you suspect might be leaking air. If your friend on the outside can see the light, you’ve got a leak.

This method is not good for finding tiny leaks, but for the big leaks, it’s a great help. This is a good first step to take when you begin trying to find air leaks in your home, as it will find the biggest problems immediately.

The Eye Test

The simplest method is to trust your senses. Air leaks are most common where two points of a home come together, which makes up for a lot of your home. Wall to wall, wall to floor, wall to door, wall to window — you get the idea. All these connecting parts are where air can seep through, so you’ll need to be thorough.

On a day with especially extreme temperatures (very hot or very cold), take a stroll through your house to visually and manually inspect all potential air leak locations. Run your hand across the junctures, and if you feel a noticeable temperature difference, you might’ve found the leak. It might help to wash your hands before doing this test. The airflow on your wet hands will make air leaks more detectable.

Don’t skip on the areas that you check. The smallest draft can rack up a lot of wasted money on energy. Air leaks can also occur in the spots you don’t consider. Be sure to inspect your wall outlets, baseboards, and any vents hidden behind furniture.

The outside of your home needs to be checked as well. The same rules apply: wherever two home components meet, that’s where to check. Be sure to check high and low, as air leaks often affect basements and attics in particular.

The eye test is tedious, but effective and worth doing before spending additional money on a contractor to come and inspect your home.

The Dollar Bill Test

This one is easy. Take a dollar bill, or any piece of paper with comparable dimensions, and stick it in between a door/window and its frame.

Close the door or window, and try to pull the bill out. If you can easily slide the bill out of the closed door or window, then your sealing is not up to standard.

This method won’t detect big leaks or leaks outside of your door or window, but it is a good measure of how sealed your home is. If this method works, you’re losing money, plain and simple.

Pressure Test

As you might imagine, it’s not always easy to find a tiny air leak across all the potential locations in your home. To thoroughly find air leaks in your home, you may need to conduct a pressurization test.

There are a few conditions you’ll need to create to do the test right. First, you’ll need to prepare the test to occur on a cool, windy day. This will make the location of the leak as obvious as possible. You will also need to make some changes to your home during the test.

Start by closing off all the exits to your home. Doors, windows, fireplaces, vents — all of it needs to be sealed and secured. Next, turn off all the combustion appliances. This means your heater, furnace, oven, and stove. Then, you’ll want to turn on all exhaust fans that are currently in your home. This means clothes dryers, kitchen overhead fans, and bathroom vents.

Once you’ve got the environment all set, light a candle or incense. Take the flame around your house near any possible leak locations. The smoke from the flame will naturally float toward a leak’s location as it attempts to escape the house.

A Professional Test

Sometimes, you just don’t have the time or confidence to perform these tests yourself. That’s when the professionals come in handy.
Contractors will not only be able to find air leaks in your home, but they’ll likely be able to solve the problem as well.

Using professional techniques and equipment like a blower door, energy auditors will take the worry out of your hands and ensure your home is airtight.

If you choose to go with this method, be prepared to allow access to your entire home to the energy auditor. Just as you would do yourself, the professionals will need to seal off the whole house and inspect every nook or cranny for a leak.

Save Home Energy Today

Contact yellowblue today for information on how we can help you save your home some energy and your bank account some bills.