Air leaks are common in older homes that have gaps near windows and doors. When air gets trapped inside the walls, it can then trickle into the rest of your residence through electrical outlets and gaps in the floorboards. As air from the outside invades your home, the heating and cooling system has to work harder to keep your interior temperature comfortable. In turn, this affects your utility bills. If you suspect your house has air leaks, there are a few ways you can check.
1. The Candle Trick
Minor leaks can easily be detected with a lit candle. First, prepare your home by turning off your AC or heating. Next, light a small candle. With your candle in hand, walk around your house to areas you suspect may have leaks. Common places for air leaks are electrical outlets, windows, external doors, baseboards and crown molding. If the candle flame wavers, you’ve located a leak.
2. Depressurize Your Home
This test is best done on a cold, windy day. To get started, turn off your furnace as well as any fans. Be sure to close your windows and any external doors. Next, light a stick of incense. Do a walkthrough of your house while passing the lit incense near the edges of windows, doors and vents. When you encounter a spot where you notice the smoke getting blown around or sucked out of the house, that’s where you have a leak.
3. The Hand Method
The simplest technique doesn’t involve candles or incense. Instead, all you need is your hand. This test is best for detecting larger leaks. Pick a cold day when your heater is running indoors. Place your hand near the edges of your home’s windows, vents and exterior doors. If you feel a draft of cold air against your skin, that’s a red flag for an air leak. When you notice any air leaks in your home while performing these tests, you’ll certainly want to seal them. If you need further advice, we’re here to provide it. Since 1977, MM Comfort Systems has been supplying the residents of Redmond, Sumner and the surrounding areas with expert heating and cooling installation, repair and maintenance services. Give us a call to discuss your heating and cooling needs.