Home Air Leak Detection
Posted in Windows and Doors, on February 10, 2021 By Admin
Some ways and reasons for detecting air leaks that can dramatically help to reduce your utility costs
Today, with the ever-increasing focus on the energy efficiency of our homes, ferreting out a home’s vulnerability for air leakage can prove to be a big money saver as well as providing a homeowner with a wonderful new sense of home comfort. Small fixes that stop air leakage problem spots can add up to big savings and will help you take control of your home’s energy bills. The average home has numerous air leaks — some obvious, some quite hidden. Let’s take a look at a few of the culprits.
A sure sign of air leakage is temperature inconsistency. This can occur from room to room or even varying temperatures within one room itself. Other signs of an air leak issue would be in these classic locations. Basically, it’s where two different building materials meet.
In the exterior area of the home:
Door and window surrounds
- Drafts in areas near a door or a window are a sure sign of air leakage. The cause here could be aging windows and doors that need to be replaced with higher quality and energy efficient versions. Or, there may be water leakage that has affected the surrounding insulation to fail.
Where siding meets a chimney.
- Often, a visual check can reveal cracks or gaps and separation.
Wood inset into brick, such as with a veranda or deck.
- Water damage or aging materials may be the root cause of any separation between the wood and brick.
Cement foundation and brick siding.
- Cracks and gaps can occur here for a few reasons, such as ground settling, water pooling, tree roots invading the lower level of the home, etc.
The surround of outdoor faucets and/or electrical outlets.
- Look for crumbling cement or easy movement of the faucet or outlet.
Any type of ductwork or piping that exits the home.
- This would include a dryer vent or chimney vent, or any type of venting that vents out. Again, a visual inspection can show separation in the surround area.
Attached garages and the garage door surround.
- Garages can be notorious spots for air leakage. Depending on the quality and insulation rating of the garage door, they can be a big source of air leakage through both the door itself and the door surround. It’s for this reason garages need to be properly insulated, to prevent the air leakage from extending into the living area of the home.
In the interior areas of the home:
- When there are air leakages from outlets, they can often be felt quite easily as a cool draft entering through the outlet. The outlet itself will also be cool or cold to the touch.
Window and doorframes.
- Since drafts in the home caused by windows or doors often occur gradually over a longer period of time, we tend to get used to it by either consciously or unconsciously avoiding certain areas located near a drafty door or window. This is a real shame because not only are our utility bills higher because of the energy leakage but we can also be missing out on enjoying pleasant locations within the home.
Cables, such as for TV or phone lines.
- Again, these can be an air leakage trouble spot because they go through walls or baseboards and, if not properly sealed, will leave a gap for air to travel through.
For a thorough inspection for potential air leakages, you may consider getting an energy audit done on your home. Energy audits are conducted by professionals in the industry who use hi-tech equipment, such as thermal scanners that can pinpoint the home’s trouble spots, and they also offer repair or upgrade suggestions to help increase your home’s energy efficiency. In fact, energy audits can be a wonderful investment for your home and for the environment.