Air leaks in your home can be a serious issue and shouldn’t be ignored. An enormous amount of energy can be wasted due to air leaks that come from cracks, gaps and holes. If left too long, air leaks can result in home deterioration and can even affect your health if they lead to moisture problems. If you find your air leaks are more than a little bit concerning and you can’t seal them yourself, you may have to invest in new windows, siding or doors. If that’s the case, visit your local Gentek retailer for more information!
To ensure your home is a comfortable living space and to save on energy costs, take these steps to find and stop air leaks in your home.
Where to Look for Air Leaks
There are common areas around your home that are susceptible to air leaks. Make sure to check all these spots to determine if you need to take action to air seal your home.
On the exterior of your home, you’ll want to specifically check where two different building materials meet. Here are some common outdoor air leak locations to check:
- All exterior corners
- Outdoor water faucets
- Where siding and chimney meet
- Where the foundation and the bottom of the brick or siding meet
Here are common interior air leak locations:
- Exhaust vent
- Floor drain
- Electrical outlets
- Cable tv and phone lines
- Fireplace dampers
- Vents and fans
- Where dryer vents pass through walls
How to Find Air Leaks
Now that you know where to look, here are some things you can do to find air leaks around the interior of your home. If you want the help and opinion of a professional, you can have an energy adviser come in and do a ‘door blower test’. With this test, a large fan blows indoor air out of the house so outdoor air will enter at air leak locations. You can also perform your own air leak test. On a cold, windy day you can detect air leaks with the help of incense sticks. Walk around your home with lit incense sticks and hold them up near common air leak locations such as electrical outlets, your exhaust vent, window frames, doors, etc. If the smoke disappears and the ends of the incense sticks glow, it signals you have an air leak.
How to Seal Air Leaks
You can do a few things to seal air leaks in your home. This includes caulking and weather-stripping your doors and windows, covering single-pane windows with storm windows, using foam sealant on gaps around windows and baseboards, covering your exhaust fan to stop air leaks when it’s not in use, checking to make sure your dryer vent isn’t blocked, installing foam gaskets behind outlets and switch plates on your wall, and keeping the fireplace flue damper tightly shut when you’re not using it.
Don’t Go Overboard
Keep in mind you don’t want your home to be too airtight. Your home needs ventilation, and the more airtight you make your home, the more moisture and condensation you’ll experience. Some houses have a ventilation system, but if yours doesn’t, your house relies on natural ventilation, so you’ll need to limit the air sealing you do.
If you’re worried about air leaks in your home, take these steps to find and seal them to ensure top comfort and energy savings!