How to Check for Air Leaks in House

Air leaks raise your utility bills and create drafty areas in your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 25 to 40 percent of of a home's energy is lost as a result of air leaks. Energy Efficiency Arkansas reports that the majority of the air lost is through the ceilings, walls and floors. In addition, air not only leaks out of your home but it also leaks in, allowing pesticides and other outdoor chemicals inside the home. Check for air leaks in your house to prevent high utility bills and other issues.

  • Paper
  • Flashlight
  • Ladder
  • Incense
Draw a diagram of your house so you can indicate where you find air leaks. Because finding air leaks is such a large project, divide it into sections. Check the main floor of the house from front to back, then check additional floors, basements and attics. Find a helper, because you need a person inside and outside of the house.

Close the door on a piece of paper. Pull the paper out of the door. If it comes out without tearing, you have an air leak.

Shine a flashlight at night on walls of the house. Have someone outside look for the rays of light. Check from one side and to the other, and then have the person outside get on a ladder to check for light from a higher vantage point. Likewise, shine a light on floors and have a person in the basement or lower floor watch the ceiling for light. This methods works primarily on large cracks.

Choose a windy day and turn off your furnace, air conditioner, exhaust fans and shut all the windows. Light an incense stick and move it over the walls, doorways, windows, mail chutes and dryer vents. Have someone outside watch for the smoke.

Tips and Warnings

  • Hire an energy auditor to find out how much energy you are using and wasting a month.
  • Caulk holes, seal windows with putty and keep your fire damper closed to save energy.

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