Tips For Tracking Down Air Leaks in Your House

Drafty windows

If you’ve recently noticed that your home seems to be less energy efficient than usual, perhaps because your utility bills have been higher or you’ve been feeling drafts, you are probably trying to figure out what the cause is. In all likelihood, your home has at least one air leak that is causing it to feel less comfortable than usual. Here, you’ll discover several tips for figuring out where air leaks are so you can get them repaired more quickly. 

Try the dollar bill test

The dollar bill test is one of the most popular ways to test for residential air leaks. To do this, you simply need to shut a door or window you think might be leaking air on a dollar bill. If you can pull the bill out with little to no difficulty, the odds are good that that particular entry point does have an air leak. If, however, you have to tug reasonably hard to remove the dollar, that door or window is likely to be in good shape, at least for the time being. 

Perform visual inspections

In some cases, you don’t need anything beyond your eyes to find a residential air leak. There are a number of areas you can inspect for gaps and cracks that could be letting cold air into your home during the winter and air-conditioned air out in the summertime. First, check the exterior corners of your house. Sometimes, corner pieces of siding can begin to pull apart, allowing air leaks to form. While you’re outdoors, it is also a good idea to look at your home’s foundation. If it has developed cracks or has started crumbling in certain sections, at least one air leak is almost certainly present. 

Once you’ve checked the outside of your residence for potential air leaks, there are some interior features you should take a look at as well. While checking windows and doors is an obvious course of action, electrical outlets are an oft-overlooked source of air leaks. If there are gaps around any of the outlets in your house, they are probably a leading cause of energy efficiency and may also allow pests into your residence. It is also important to take a look at any attic hatches in your house, as these can be problematic if they aren’t properly sealed. 

Get a professional’s opinion

After you’ve performed your own air leak inspection, you should call in a professional to look at your home. Often, window and door installation specialists, general contractors, and even some utility companies will perform air leak assessments at a minimal cost. Point out any areas you are particularly concerned about, but also listen to the advice that is given to you. After all, the expert you hire is sure to have seen many types of air leaks throughout his or her career. 

Finding a reliable professional to check your house for air leaks may be easier said than done once you begin doing research. It’s worth the effort to find a reputable local professional, though. If you are struggling to conduct online research, see if any of your friends and relatives have had air leak inspections done on their own houses. In many cases, word-of-mouth recommendations are the most trustworthy when it comes to finding exceptional service professionals in any part of the Carolinas. 

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