Tips on Detecting Air Leaks in your Home

air leaksAir leaks in your home draw a substantial amount of energy, whether it’s for heating or air-conditioning. Perhaps you are already aware of some air leaks in your home, like doors and/ or windows, but to have your home well sealed, you should detect other, less noticeable leakage.

For a really detailed and precise measurement of the amount of air leakage in your home it’s best to contact a professional service that offers expert assistance in energy-efficiency. If you live in San Diego and the surrounding counties GGR Energy + Remodelling is a licensed design-build firm that uses innovative contemporary methods to assess and improve your home’s energy efficiency. Among other things, we deal with detection and sealing of air leaks.

Professional services have the skill and tools necessary to carry out blower door test, which is the perfect way to establish hard-to-notice leaks.

GGR performs whole home assessments that enable you locate areas in your home that require additional insulation.

But, there are numerous ways in which you yourself can explore exactly how much your home is leaking air.

Visual inspection

The meeting point of different building materials should be inspected visually on the outside of your home. This includes:

  • Outside corners
  • Exterior taps
  • The point where roof siding and chimney meet
  • Places where exterior brick or siding bottom meets the foundation

Inside you should have a close look searching for cracks and gaps in these areas:

  • Sockets
  • Switch plates
  • The area where the AC unit is mounted
  • Cables and lines
  • Areas around pipes and wires
  • The points where electricity and gas enter the house
  • Frames, weather strips and caulking on doors and windows
  • Baseboards
  • Fireplace damper
  • Attic hatches
  • Dryer vents in walls
  • Vents and fans
  • Foundation seals
  • Mail slots

Also check whether the outer storm door and the door shut properly and tightly.

If you can rattle your windows, it’s possible they leak air. The wiggle room suggests they’re not sitting tightly. If daylight creeps in through door or window frames, that’s where air leaks are. Inspect the storm windows for cracks or breakage.

Pressurizing the building

If leaks are particularly difficult to detect, you can carry out a basic “amateur” pressurization test for the building which will strengthen air infiltration through cracks and gaps, making them easier to spot. Here is the procedure. Remember you can only perform this on a cool windy day.

  1. Shut down all appliances that have combustion, like gas furnaces and water heaters.
  2. Close all doors, windows and flues.
  3. Turn on all the exhaust fans that will suck the air out, such as the dryer, bathroom fans, stove vent and window fans.
  4. Light an incense stick or a smoke pen and run it close to places where air leaks commonly occur. The smoke will tell you where the leaks are by wavering, tilting toward the outside or by being blown into the room. Instead of an incense stick or a smoke pen, you can moist your hand and use it as an indicator.

Other methods

There are two more ways in which you can test your home for air leakage.

The first is to have someone stand outside your home when it’s dark, while you hold a flashlight over all probable places for air leaks. This method, however, isn’t great for small holes and cracks.

To test your doors and windows, you can close them on a dollar bill. If you can pull the bill out without a lot of difficulty or dragging, the door or window definitely doesn’t shut tightly and allows air to infiltrate.


If you detect air leaks in your home, remember that investing in proper insulation saves you a lot of money and improves the quality of life of all the residents in a house. Contact GGR Energy + Remodeling today to find out how we can help you make your home more energy-efficient.