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How to Check for Air Leaks in Your Home

checking for air leaks

Did you know that air leaks often account for a 5-30 percent increase in home energy consumption? When conditioned air is able to escape and outdoor air is able to infiltrate your home, your HVAC system is forced to work harder to maintain the right indoor temperature. If you’re wondering what you can do to find these problem areas around your house, check out these tips for how to check for air leaks in your home.

How to check for air leaks in your home: 4 DIY methods

  1. Survey your home for gaps and cracks. The easiest way to find air leaks in your home, albeit the least effective, is to visually inspect your home for gaps and cracks. Some of the most common problem areas include door frames, window frames, wall outlets, and the areas around vents and fans.
  2. Try the “smoke test.” The smoke test works best on an extra windy day. It’s very important that before you try the test, you turn off all gas-burning appliances. Once that’s done, close all of your doors and windows and turn on all of your exhaust fans (in bathrooms and above your stove). Next, walk around your home with a burning incense or candle, making sure to cover all suspected problem areas. Anytime the smoke is sucked out or blown into the room, you have likely found an air leak.
  3. Use a flashlight. This method requires two people, one inside and one outside. The person inside will walk around your home and shine a flashlight on any potential gaps in your home, especially around window and door frames. If the person outside is able to see light shine through the cracks, you’ve found an air leak.
  4. Try the “paper test.” One simple way to check for air leaks in door frames is to close a door on a piece of paper. If you are able to remove the piece of paper without it ripping, there is probably enough room for air to pass in and out just as easily.

If you have any questions about how to check for air leaks in your home, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Louis area heating and cooling company.

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