Detecting Air Leaks – What You Need to Know

If you’ve felt chilly at home on a windy day, it’s obvious that this is due to the unwanted flow of air through the house.

Yes, you’ve got a wind effect leak which is usually easy to detect. However, there is another type that might take you a while to detect known as a stack-effect leak where warm air rises through the house – warm air that you are paying for.

So plugging both types of leaks will ensure that you don’t rack up large energy bills, thanks to heated air escaping your home.

For the wind effect leak, hanging tissue or plastic wrap on a coat hanger or placing lighted candles near doors and windows can help you easily find leaks. However, the method that you use to find stack effect leaks involves a thorough search of the foundation or the attic.

For starters, begin with the inside of the foundation. It is a good idea to not only look for gaps in cinder blocks or cracks in concrete while also inspecting the mortar between blocks. Poorly fitted basement windows as well as the gaps between the foundation and framing that rests upon it can also be reason for stack effect leaks.

As for the attic, the areas to check are chimneys and plumbing vent stacks as well as doors and attic access panels. In kneewall attics, you must look for open floor joist ends and dirty insulation.

Finally, in the interior of the house, looking for gaps between plaster or drywall and trim is also advised as well as plumbing and electrical outlets and openings.