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How to Spot an Air Leak in Your Home

How to Spot an Air Leak in Your Home

December 20, 2019

how to spot an air leak in your home

Air leaks can worsen indoor air quality, force your air conditioner to work harder and waste energy. That’s why it’s important to cover up any air leaks as soon as you spot them. However, it’s a little complicated to figure out whether you have an air leak or not. Luckily, the pros at DFW Thermal have a helpful and effective guide on how to spot an air leak in your home!

1. Use the Paper Method

If you suspect an air leak near your doors and windows, try the paper method. It is an easy method that can help you figure out whether you need to add more weatherstripping to your exterior doors and windows or not. Take a piece of paper and shut the door or window on it—if you can easily pull out the dollar bill without tearing it, you might have an air leak. Luckily, weatherstripping is pretty easy to add and can be found in your nearest home improvement store.

2. The Light Test

Another way to check for leaks around your windows or doors is to use the light test. Have someone stand outside your home at night, while you shine a flashlight into a suspected air leak spot. If the light visibly shines through the sealed edges of your door or window, you might have an air leak. This test might sound like stretch, but there is no harm in trying!

3. Check Insulation in Your Walls

At DFW Thermal, we believe having proper insulation is the key to indoor comfort and energy-efficiency. That’s why if you feel like you have an air leak, you should most definitely check the insulation in your exterior walls. To do so, follow this two-step guide: 

  • Turn the power off to the outlet—to make sure there is no power in the outlet, use a voltage detector
  • Unscrew the cover of the outlet and shine a flashlight in the area around the outlet box. If you have insulation in your exterior walls, you should be able to see it.
  • You can also check whether your interior walls have insulation or not. During the cold weather, your interior walls must be warm and dry. If you touch them and they feel damp and cold, you might have some problems with your insulation.

The best way to determine whether you have enough insulation is by scheduling a professional to perform a proper inspection.

4. The Building Pressurization Test

The Department of Energy recommends this test to make it easier for you to find air leaks. Make sure you carry this test out on a cool, windy day. You will need to shut all the doors and windows around your home as well as all combustion appliances like your furnace. Following that, turn on all exhaust fans such as your kitchen vents, bathroom fans etc. Then, light an incense stick and pass it over areas where there could be potential leaks such as door frames, switch plates and outlets. If the smoke is affected by moving air, you might be dealing with an air leak. If you don’t have an incense stick, you can use a damp hand to feel for drafts.

Seal Up Your Home with DFW Thermal!

If you want to learn more about how you can spot an air leak in your home, get in touch with the pros at DFW Thermal! Call us today at 214-731-3115 or schedule an appointment with us online!