How to Detect Air Leaks in Your Home

December 13, 2021 10:50 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

As winter fully descends upon us and the weather cools down more and more, most of us find our eyes turning towards our homes. As energy prices go up and the mercury drops, energy efficiency becomes the name of the game, and one of the biggest culprits that costs you money can be improperly sealed windows and doors.

As a result, it’s usually a good idea to check if your windows are leaking air—this can be a major source of losing heat during winter (as well as cooling during the warmer months), so it should absolutely be on your energy efficiency checklist.

Perform a visual inspection

The first tool for finding the location costly leaks in your home is an old-fashioned one: your eyes. You of course see your house every day, but when you look at it with an eye for energy waste, more things will come to your attention. By performing a dedicated visual inspection of your home, you’ll be accomplishing a lot and finding quite a few inefficiencies.

On the exterior of the building, check the corners and around water faucets for costly gaps, as well as where the foundation and the siding meet. As you move inside, look for damaged weather stripping or gaps around doors and windows (daylight is often a key indicator), and then you can easily seal these air leaks in your home to increase energy efficiency.

Perform the candle test

Another tool you have at your disposal is a simple candle. If you first turn off the HVAC system and then light a candle, you can then move throughout the space and place the candle near the spots of potential leaks (doors, electrical outlets, baseboards, etc.). If you note that the candle’s flame starts to waver or move when it’s near those types of features, it could be an indicator that air is moving where it shouldn’t be, and that you might have detected a leak. The candle test is an effective and inexpensive way to check if windows are leaking air throughout the house.

Depressurize the house

This one is a bit more labor-intensive, but it can pay some serious dividends if you’re wondering how to locate and seal air leaks in your home. First, turn off the HVAC and close all doors and windows before turning on all fans in your kitchen, bathrooms and elsewhere. Next, walk around the house with a lit incense stick that’s giving off a tiny plume of smoke. Pass that stick over the areas in the house where gaps are likely to be found—if the smoke moves into or out of the house through one of those spots, it’s a good indication that you have an air leak that needs to be addressed.

Energy inefficiency can eat away at your wallet, and improving the energy efficiency of your home is a great way to go green these days. If you would like a professional HVAC technician from KVK Inc. to take a look at your home and give a professional opinion on sealing air leaks, get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment.

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