Tips for Detecting Air Leaks in Your Home

Tips for Detecting Air Leaks in Your HomeIt’s safe to assume your home has air leaks. As building materials age, cracks and gaps develop in the structural envelope, allowing more air infiltration into and out of literally any house. The result can be higher heating and cooling costs and inconsistent comfort from room to room.

Every house is different, but in most cases a simple survey of the home followed by easy DIY procedures to seal leaks can reduce total air leakage by 20% to 30%.

Do It Yourself

  • Feel them. Feel for the sensation of cold air entering around windows or doors, particularly on a windy winter day. Ask family members if they notice chilly drafts anywhere. Where you identify moving air around windows or doors, the typical cause is worn weatherstripping that seals the gap between component surfaces. Replacement using peel-and-stick foam tape or more long-lasting vinyl or rubber weatherstripping is straightforward.
  • Look for them. Inspect the interior for leakage between wall joints and the joint along the ceiling, as well as where the baseboard meets the floor. Check for gaps around recessed ceiling lights and pull-down attic stairs. Most/all of these are narrow enough (1/4-inch or so) to be filled with silicone caulking. Outdoors inspect exterior corners for air gaps where siding intersects as well as where siding meets chimney. Check along the joint between the foundation and the exterior wall for openings and around pipes or conduits that penetrate the wall. For outdoor air leaks too wide for caulking, use expanding spray foam insulation in a can to fill the gap.

Get A Professional Opinion

More comprehensive results are possible with a home energy audit by a qualifed HVAC contractor including blower door testing to quantify the exact leakage rate and use of artificial smoke as well as infrared thermography to pinpoint the location of leaks. This translates directly into even greater savings on operating costs, as well as a more comfortable indoor environment.

For suggestions on doing the job yourself or professional service to locate and seal air leaks, contact Paitson Bros., your Wabash Valley source of HVAC excellence since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about detecting air leaks and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

    Jeff’s belief is that the business belongs to Jesus Christ; therefore 10 percent of the company’s profits go toward the Maryland Community Church.

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    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

    An Eagle Scout, Ethan spent four years as a non-profit executive with the Boy Scouts of America before joining Paitson Bros. as a comfort advisor and later General Manager. In that role, Ethan has brought a renewed enthusiasm for customer care, integrity, value, and service to Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning.

    Ethan enjoys singing and was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, spending time with his family and two young boys, and volunteering his time and resources with his church, Terre Haute First Baptist Church, which he has attended from a very young age.
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