How Do You find Expensive Air Leaks In Your Home?
Air leaks can occur from gaps and cracks in the building's fabric. Air will travel through these gaps and cracks and enter the home if not sealed correctly. Locating leaks themselves isn't expensive, but it is crucial, because if the home has many air leaks, it would take a while for the house to heat up using more energy, increasing your bills. To learn how to identify these leaks, you can use these methods to test your home:
- Use your hands
- The candle test
- Smoke machine test
- Air leak detector
- Get a qualified engineer to conduct many variant tests, which can help and make the process easy.
The hand method to identify air leaks
When it's a cold, windy day and the heating is on, creating a warm environment, place your hand around edges of doors, windows and vents. If you can feel cold air on your hand, then you will have an air leak.
Getting a qualified engineer to do a blower door test or a smoke test
The engineer will place a blower door fan in the front entrance of your home. What this fan does is suck out all the air within the build by depressuring. This will let outside air come into the build through the gaps and cracks, and these areas would be identified as leaks. The engineer will turn the equipment on and move their way throughout the house, trying to identify where the leaks are coming from. They usually appear around bathroom and kitchen pipes, behind appliances, loft doors, electrical sockets, plumbing, lighting, radiators and chimneys. A smoke test would be smoking the entire build, and where smoke escapes the build from viewing the build from outside, those areas will be where the leaks are.
If you are going to test on a warm day, make sure you turn off the central air conditioning, and when it is a cold day, turn off the central heating before starting the test. Place the candle near areas you think would leak, and if the flame slightly shifts direction, it could mean there are small leaks around the build. Places to go around would be electrical sockets, light fittings and window frames.
Using an air leak detector
When you turn the device on, start with the areas where you may think that will leak, and point the device towards that area. A light from the device will scan the area you are looking at. If there are potential leaks, the device light will change to blue, meaning the leak is cold. If the light shows red, then the leak is warm. If there are no leaks, the light won't change at all.
The ideal way to keep your home air tight, and cheaper to run, is to get a specialist out to help detect where your problems lie. This can save you a lot of money in the future! Let's face it, with bills getting more expensive, there's never a better time to save your pennies!