If you have wondered why your utility bills are suddenly climbing or you are constantly cold in your home, you might have leaks around your windows, doors or other exterior portions of your home. Before things get out of hand, you should learn how to detect the energy leaks to determine what type of repairs you need in order to get your utility bills and level of comfort back in order.
Where you Should Look
There are a few key places that you should look for air leaks, some of which are obvious and others might not be quite as obvious. Start with your windows and doors, as they are the most common culprits. You should also include areas such as vents, furnace flues, ductwork, electrical outlets, caulk, weather stripping and baseboards.
How to Look
Since you can’t see air leaks, it might seem difficult to find a leak. You might know of one or two around windows or doors that you know about because of a slight draft that you can readily feel. The other areas might not be as obvious and will require a simple test to determine the exact location.
The test is simple and only requires incense sticks and a lighter. Start by completely closing all windows and doors and the fireplace flue, if you have one. Then walk around your home and turn on all exhaust fans. Once your home is ready, light the incense sticks and hold them near windows, doors and all other pertinent areas. If the area you hold them in contains a leak, you will see the smoke blow either in or out of your home, signifying a leak.
What to Do
If you determine that you do have air leaks, it is best to take care of them right away in order to save yourself money, reduce the amount of energy loss in your home and to make everyone more comfortable. If the problems do not seem like those that you can fix on your own rather easily, it is best to call a professional to inspect the area and determine the right way to fix the problem to give you the greatest results.