How to Check for Air Leaks in Your Home

How to Check for Air Leaks in Your Home

 

For El Dorado Hills, CA homeowners who are looking to get their homes ready for the summer months ahead, there’s no better way to start than to identify the presence of air leaks. Many people don’t realize just how common a problem air leakage is throughout California and the rest of the country. Even if your home isn’t particularly old (and especially if it is), it may well be riddled with tiny cracks and gaps that allow outside air to flow in and inside, conditioned air to escape. 

Many homeowners go year after year without realizing that they have air leakage problems within the home that need to be addressed. Fortunately, even the worst examples of these issues are usually fixable, and there are a few things you can do to see if you might have a problem on your hands. 


Method 1: Visual Inspection


Your home’s building envelope should be free of cracks and gaps in order to promote home efficiency and performance. A visual inspection for cracks and gaps throughout the home is the logical first step to identifying air leakage problems. While not all sources of air loss will be visually evident, some will, and these must be dealt with immediately. 


Method 2: DIY Light Test


One way to discover leaks that might not be obvious at face value is to shine a flashlight through potential problem areas while a partner observes the exterior of the home. If the light shines through, you’ve got a surefire leak that needs dealing with. With windows and doors, look specifically through the edges to ensure that light isn’t leaking through. 


Method 3: DIY Paper Test


This is an easy one. Take a piece of paper and shut a door or window over it. If you’re able to freely pull the paper out without tearing it, you’ve got a leak and are losing energy. Fortunately, identifying the problem is the first step towards solving it. 


Method 4: DIY Smoke Test


Turn off any combustion appliances (gas burning furnaces, water heaters) on a cool, windy day and shut all of your windows/doors/fireplace flues. Next, turn on any exhaust fans that blow air outside (bathroom fans, stove vents etc.). Light an incense stick around common leak sites (talcum powder dust can be used as well), and if you notice that the smoke wavers or is being sucked out of the home, you’ll be able to identify the presence of an air leak. 
 
Want a more thorough evaluation? California Energy Services can help with air sealing and insulation. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.