With all of the spring rainfall we’ve recently had, everyone’s had an eye open for leaks. While unwanted moisture can be a big problem, so can air leaks—and they’re often more difficult to spot. Air leaks are the places in your home where the outside elements have easier access. In the winter, this means more cold spots and drafts. In the summer, this leads to energy losses related to air conditioning and higher utility bills. So, before you turn the AC up, take the opportunity to look for common signs of air leaks throughout your house.
1. Start by looking around.
With a thorough visual inspection, you might be able to spot some spaces where air is getting either in or out—or both. Pay special attention to places that were already sealed or caulked, as that has the tendency to wear out after a certain time. Additionally, any space where two different building materials meet, such as that between your siding and foundation, has the potential to form gaps. So, exterior corners, faucets, and chimneys should all be checked periodically.
On the inside of your home, try to conduct your inspection during the day, since sunlight can shine through the cracks, illuminating sources of air leaks. Doors and window frames are obvious places to start, but don’t forget about the smaller spaces. Electrical outlets, switch plates, and even your cable entry points can also create energy losses this summer. If you haven’t been up in your attic in a while, you should definitely take a walkthrough to check for holes and/or gaps. Plus, be careful when using window-based air conditioning units, vent, fans. These are prime causes of energy loss during the warmer seasons.
2. Turn up the pressure.
If you’re unable to see the sources after examining the premise, then you have the option of hiring a professional to conduct further tests. With the proper equipment and training, they can build negative pressure inside the house, making it easier to spot the places where air is escaping outward. Remember, if the air can get out, that also means it can get in! Energy auditors can also conduct a blow test, which uses more advanced methods to identify causes of energy loss. They’re also trained to spot insulation issues, energy drains (from an electrical standpoint), etc.
We come in when the leaks are either beyond repair, or simply too numerous to tackle anymore. In these instances, it may be more beneficial to pursue replacement instead of your siding, roofing, windows, etc. When it comes to your home’s exterior, we can install airtight solutions. Ask about our house wrapping, too, which can further reduce your monthly utility bills!