Spotting air-leaks in your home

Attic Insulation Contractor in Columbus, Ohio.

The weather is quickly cooling, and the most horrible feeling is that dreaded breeze, while you’re snuggled up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate and a blanket on a cold winters night. Not to mention how much more you’re paying on your energy bill – that’s enough to send chills down your spine. Here’s a list to detect these money wasting, good mood stealing air leaks:

  1. Visualizing

Check anywhere where the floor and wall meet or wall and ceiling – any cracks losing air and therefor $$$. Also have a look at all the pipelines that feed through the walls – if there’s a gap between the wall and pipe – it needs to be sealed with caulk.

  1. Trust nature

Have you ever noticed webs in certain places in your home, normally in corners of the window or doors? There is a very simple reason for this. Spiders are very intelligent and build their houses in places where they’ll get a never ending supply of food. Tiny bugs will enter your home through these opening and straight on the spider’s dinner table.

  1. DIY Depressurization

Close all windows, doors and fire place flues tightly on a cool and very windy day.  Turn off combustion appliances (gas furnace and water heater) and turn on all exhaust fans (stove vents, bathroom fans, clothes dryer, etc). Then light up an incense stick or a candle and hold it still in common areas of air leaks (windows doors, outlets, etc) – if the smoke or flame moves (blows inward or outwards) then you have a leak

  1. Very simple trick

Doors and windows are the biggest air leaking culprits. A simple test for checking the seal is closing the door/window on a dollar bill and trying to pull it out without tearing it. If the dollar bill stays in place then you have an excellent seal, if it drags – not so much.

  1. Air leak tester

You can also go to the local big box store or online and buy a little air-leak gadget. There are many different kinds that range in price from around $20 to $400 and upwards. It’s in most cases a light that you point to suspecting areas of air-leaks and the light will change color if there is a leak. You can also buy the digital kind that will tell you and takes the guessing out of color coding.

  1. The more accurate route

If you’d rather have the professionals air-leak proof your home then you can hire a qualified technician to conduct an energy assessment, particularly a blower door test on your home to find all the leaks using depressurization and infrared cameras. This way they can tell you exactly where the leaks are and where you could use more insulation to make your home more energy efficient and less drafty.

For more tricks to make your home energy efficient, click here

Fixing the biggest air-leak problems could be as simple as replacing old windows and doors with new Energy Star, energy efficient doors or windows. This could save a lot of $$$ off your energy bill plus the government still offers tax credits if done before 31 December 2013.

Please comment and let us know if you have any more ideas.