How can I find the air leaks in my home? This question tends to be the increasingly widely used. And with good reason, we ask how we can protect our homes against the harshness of weather.
Energy costs continue to rise. Of course, unconventional energy, alternative energy is a solution that is emerging increasingly more.
However, its implementation is quite expensive and anyway, why not to start with conventional energy efficiency improvements.
It is not really, necessary to rely on the services of a technician to find out where your home may have air leaks.
Yes, indeed, he can give you a professional advice. There are advanced methods to detect accurately, air leaks, such as:
1. Blower door test – Your home is depressurized to find air leaks.
2. Infrared camera – An infrared camera takes images that represent accurately, the air leakage.
However, following some tips you will be able to identify yourself the air leaks in your home.
1. Check the Doors and Window Frames
The entrance door is of course the first thing you should check it. First, check the space underneath the door. Here, it is possible to have the largest heat losses.
But not only. Check all exterior doors and window frames.
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2. Consider all the Places Where Air Might Leak
Check the mail chute and all the service entrances such as electrical, water, cable, gas or phone lines.
The Hand Test: On a cold day, when the heat is on, you can use your hand to find air leaks. Place your hand over all places prone to air leakage such as all the exterior doors and windows, kitchen vent, bathroom vent, around electrical outlets. The hand test is one of the best and easiest methods for finding air leaks.
The Candle Test: Light a candle and check all places prone to air leaks such as light fixtures, electrical outlets, around crown molding and baseboard, etc. If the candle flame is flickering then most likely you have an air leak.
The Paper Test: Put a sheet of paper on the windowsill or on the door threshold. Close the door or the window over it. If you manage to pull out the piece of paper, without tearing it, then most likely you have an air leak.
The Flashlight Test: This test is best to do it night after sunset. Turn off the lights and position the light beam of a flashlight over the air leak susceptible points. It is good to have assistance outside the building. If there are any cracks the light of flashlight will shine through them.
3. Depressurize Your Home
This test is good to be done in a windy and very cold day.
– Turn off the heat;
– Make sure all windows and doors are tightly closed;
– Turn on all fans throughout the home such as kitchen fan, bathroom fan, stove fan, etc
– Light an incense stick;
– Walk along places likely to have air leaks.
– If the smoke is sucked outside or is blown inside you have air leaks.
4. Solving the Problem
Once you locate the air leaks, you have to find ways to fix them. A kind of sealant would be the best for fissures and small cracks.
Consider installing storm windows inside and outside of the windows.
Update your old single glazed windows with modern energy saving windows.
Consider installing a draft guard for your exterior doors.
However, it may be necessary to apply other solutions depending on the complexity of the problem.