Finding Air Leaks in Your Home
Aside from water entry and moisture issues, air leaks may be the next cause for concern within homeowners. Whether it be summer time or winter, outside air leaking into your home will increase energy bills and affect your home comfort—much like moisture and humidity. However, while moisture problems are typically easier to detect, you can’t say the same for air leaks. Though some may noticeable, locating every air leak within your Michigan home can be difficult, yet it’s essential.
Keep in mind, while sealing air leaks is crucial to energy efficiency and home comfort, ventilation is still necessary. To explain, ventilation is a planned system, and air leaks are not. If you suspect your home may have some air leakage, Applegate Home Comfort can help. However, there’s also plenty you can do around the home to find air leaks yourself, and we’re happy to fill you in.
Detecting Air Leaks: Where to Look
In general, air leaks can be quite difficult to locate, yet there’s a range of areas throughout your home that are often the main culprits. Whether you’ve noticed an increase in energy bills or your AC has been running more often, it may be a sign of air leaks. Whichever the case, start the process by doing a walkthrough of your home and assess the following areas:
- Door and window frames
- Electrical outlets
- Cable & phone lines
- Switch plates
- Attic hatch
- Recessed lights
- Crawl space
- Wherever wood and concrete meet (foundation)
- Wherever pipes meet walls, floors, etc.
As you check each of these areas, you should be feeling for a slight draft, holding your hand or face near the area. If you do feel a breeze, you should call an expert to help you seal the leaks. If you don’t notice a draft, there’s a few more actions you can take to pinpoint the source.
Testing for Air Leaks
In most cases, a professional inspection is going to suit you best, but if the issue seems minimal and you’d rather take a shot at it yourself, there’s a couple of tests you can perform in your home to better detect the air leak source. For starters, you can take a candle throughout your home and hold it near all the above-listed areas, as this will be a little more sensitive and easy to read than testing with your hand or face. If that doesn’t work, or the natural ventilation of your home is affecting the test, you can also try what’s often called depressurizing your home.
Depressurizing Your Home
On a windy day, you can go through the following steps to best locate the air leak on your own:
- Shut all the windows and doors to your house, and make sure they’re shut tight.
- Turn off the furnace or AC unit.
- Turn on any exhaust fans, like bathroom fans or the dryer.
- Using a lit incense, walk around each area of your home again and lightly move the incense across each area. If you notice the smoke is pulled or blown in any area, you’ve found a leak!
Air Leaks? Call a Professional
If you’ve detected air leaks in your Michigan home, be sure to contact Applegate Home Comfort so we can completely seal the leaks and prevent outside air from making its way into your home. If you’re having trouble detecting leaks, we can come assess your home ourselves and determine the issue. To get started, give us a call at 517-337-7700.