How to Find Air Leaks in Your Home

Article Posted By: Home Depot Staff

Checking for leaks and subsequently filling gaps around doors and windows can help your home become more energy efficient. These cracks can occur in homes with either new or old construction and are a major source of heat loss. This can account for up to a third of the overall heating costs of your home. This short video will show you exactly how to find air leaks in your home.

Applying caulk and weather stripping around your doors and windows can mitigate some of this expense. Since heating and cooling costs account for approximately half of your utility bills, poor sealing can be a major factor in cost. Other factors include poor insulation, the number of air conditioning units, the number of stories, and the number of windows.

Consider this, a 1/8 inch gap around a typical entry door is equivalent to drilling a 5 ½ inch diameter hole in an outside wall. Sealing cracks and gaps is well worth the effort when it comes to your utility bills.

When checking for leaks, some are easier to detect than others. Cracks of light under the door and drafts around windows are some of the obvious places that leaks can occur. To detect the more difficult ones, use the following method.

Step 1: Turn off your AC unit on a windy day

Step 2: Close all windows and doors

Step 3: Turn on bath fans and stove vents

Step 4: Use incense to check for leaks

In order to use incense to check for leaks you will want to light it. Then walk around your home, passing the incense along the edges of doors and windows. If the smoke from the incense gets sucked out of your home or blown into your home, there is a leak.

Check out more DIY and home improvement videos here on the Home Depot blog and on The Home Depot’s YouTube channel.

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