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Simple DIY Hacks to Spot Air Leaks

Posted On: February 24, 2020

Air leaks are a pain. They’re tiny, hard-to-see and often a big reason why your home isn’t as energy efficient as it should be. Because these leaks let out warm air and let in the cold, extra money may be literally floating out of your windows, doors and plenty of other places like:
• Electrical Outlets
• Door and Window Frames
• Baseboards
• Fireplace Dampers
• Attic Hatches
• Cable TV and Phone Lines
• Recessed Lighting

Energy.gov notes that you could save 5-30% on your energy bill by sealing air leaks. We found four simple ways to find leaks with just a little patience and things around the home.

The Flashlight Method
Ask someone to shine a flashlight through the windows and doors of your home when it’s dark outside. Stand outside and watch for rays of light. Wherever light seeps through are where your cracks are and mark them with a marker to be sealed later.

The Dollar Bill Test
This one’s simple: shut a door or window on a dollar bill, and if you can easily pull it out, you likely have a leak that needs to be sealed.

The Paper Test
Think you’ve found a leak? Place a piece of paper over it and if the paper moves, there’s a leak! This method works great with electrical outlets and window frames.

The Smoke Test
Windy days will help you get the best results with this test. Turn off all ceiling fans, combustion appliances, doors and windows – generally anything inside your house that creates a breeze or wind. Then, light an incense to create a smoke stream. Hold that incense up to a window or door and wait to see if the smoke stream changes direction. If it moves, either from a draft or by leak sucking the air out of the room, then you’ve found a leak!

Once you’re done testing your home, you can seal up any leaks with caulk or weatherstripping.

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