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Air Leaks: Where to Look and How to Fix Them

Air Leaks: Where to Look and How to Fix Them

May 15, 2020

how to fix air leaks

Having air leaks in your home can be a great nuisance; it can force your AC to work overtime, worsen your indoor air quality and increase your energy bill. If you notice any air leaks, it’s important to fix them as soon as possible. However, finding and fixing air leaks isn’t always easy—that’s why the pros at DFW Thermal are here to help you out. Here’s a quick and helpful guide on how you can find and fix air leaks.

Where to Look for Air Leaks

Before you get to fixing air leaks, it’s important you look in places where air leaks are most common. Here are some examples!

  • Doors and Windows

Some of the most common places where you will find air leaks are doors and windows. This is often caused by worn out weatherstripping, which is essentially a foam or vinyl sealant meant to prevent air leaks. If you want to check for air leaks around your doors and windows, try out the dollar bill or paper technique. Simply take a piece of paper or dollar bill and shut the door or window on it. Gently tug it making sure not to tear it—if you’re able to pull the paper or bill out easily, you might have an air leak.

  • Attic Access Door

Attics need to be properly insulated and sealed, because air has the highest likelihood of escaping from here. This can cause an increase in your energy bill as well as something called the “stack effect,” which is a phenomenon that occurs when indoor air escapes from the top of your house and outdoor air is sucked in from the bottom. To check from leaks around your attic access door, you can first try feeling for drafts of air around the edge of the closed access door. You can also light an incense stick and hold it around the edge of the door. If the smoke is sucked in, you have an air leak.

  • Fireplace

According to Energy Informative, 14% of air leaks are found in fireplaces. If you have an air leak in your fireplace, chances are your fireplace will be noticeably drafty, especially during colder weather when frigid air is entering your warm home. Keep reading to see what you can do about it!

How to Fix Air Leaks

  • Doors and Windows: Add New Weatherstripping

If you have an air leak around your doors and windows, chances are you need new weatherstripping. Weatherstripping is a process of sealing up any draft of doors and windows using various materials like foam, vinyl, caulk and even metal. There are various materials you can use to ensure your doors and windows are well-sealed—all you need to do is stop by your local home improvement store and take a look!

  • Attic Access Door: Get an Attic Stair Cover

If you notice any air leaks around your attic access door, consider getting an attic stair cover. This cover, which resembles a rectangular tent made of foil, is placed right behind the attic hatch door and is effective in insulating it. These covers are easy to install and remove and even come with zippers to ensure easy access to your attic. Read more about insulating your attic hatch door here!

  • Fireplace: Replace The Damper or Add a Draft Guard

Your chimney’s throat damper is essentially a sealing object located right above where the fire is lit. Over time it can become worn out and dislodged, leading to outside air entering your home. Contact a professional and check if they can replace the damper.

If you want a more short-term but effective solution, add a draft guard around your fireplace for the times it’s not in use. You can find a draft guard or cover at your nearest home improvement store.

Want more tips on preventing and fixing air leaks? Contact the pros at DFW Thermal! Call us today at 214-731-3115 or schedule a service online!