Air Leaks?

With the cold season approaching find out if you have any air leakage occurring in your home, such as an under-the-door draft, but have a look for the less obvious gaps to properly air seal your home.

For a detailed and precise measurement of air leakage in your home, hire a trained technician to carry out an energy assessment, particularly a blower door test. A blower door test, which depressurizes a home, can reveal the location of many leaks. A complete energy assessment will also help determine areas in your home that need more insulation.

 

Have a visual inspection around you house and examine these areas:

¨  Where 2 different building materials butt up next to each other (ex. siding next to brick)

¨  Foundation (ex. around windows, bottom of building materials that meet up to)

¨  All exterior corners

¨  Dryer vent

¨  Outdoor water faucets

¨  Where siding and chimneys meet

 

Now have a look on the inside that could cause air leaks thru cracks and gaps:

¨  Vents and fans.

¨  Where dryer vents pass through walls

¨  Switch plates

¨  Door and window frames

¨  Attic hatches

¨  Electrical and gas service entrances

¨  Cable TV and phone lines

¨  Electrical outlets

¨  Baseboards

¨  Weather stripping around doors

¨  Fireplace dampers

¨  Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners.

 

Windows:

 

Inspect windows and doors for air leaks, in most cases consider replacing your old windows and doors with newer energy efficient ones, if cost is too high consider installing plastic over the windows (available at most home hardware stores and easy to install).  If you can rattle your windows there is movement which means a possible air leak. If you can see daylight around a door or window frame, then the door or window leaks. You can usually seal these leaks by caulking or weather-stripping them.

 

Caulking:

Look for gaps around pipes and wires, foundation seals, and mail slots. See if the caulking and weather stripping are applied properly, leaving no gaps or cracks, and are in good condition. Check the exterior caulking around doors and windows, and see whether exterior storm doors and primary doors seal tightly.

 

Here’s a little trick I found online that may work and end up saving you some money.

 

Self Pressurization Test

1.       Turn off all combustion appliances such as gas burning furnaces and water heaters on a cool, very windy               day.
2.       Shut all windows, exterior doors, and fireplace flues.
3.       Turn on all exhaust fans that blow air outside, such as your clothes dryer, bathroom fans, or stove vents, or                use a large window fan to suck the air out of the rooms.
4.       Light an incense stick and pass it around the edges of common leak sites. Wherever the smoke wavers or              is sucked out of or blown into the room, there's a draft. You can also use a damp hand to locate leaks; any                drafts will feel cool to your hand.

 

If you don't want to turn off your furnace, you can just turn on all your exhaust fans to depressurize your home.

 

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