If you’ve ever read any tips on how to prepare your house for winter, you’ve probably seen the tip over and over again that you should “seal air leaks and cracks around your home.”
That sounds great in theory, but what most of these blogsnever get around to answering is, how do you find these leaks? You can’t sealwhat you can’t see!
This critical step is something that a lot of people don’tknow how to do, so today, we’re not just going to give you that tip and leaveit there…We’re going to teach you to become an expert hunter for cracks aroundyour home, so that you can ACTUALLY be prepared for winter!
The best way to detect air leaks is to hire a professionalto conduct an energy audit, because they can do what’s called a “blower door”test. They blow a fan in your home that depressurizes the air, and can detecthow much air is leaking, before and after the professional seals your home. Butthat’s kind of an expensive option! So here are some tips for detecting airleaks yourself:
- Check areas where one building material meetsanother building material. For example, if you have vinyl siding, check whereit meets your brick chimney.
- Next, check areas inside your home. From dryer ventsgoing through the walls, to your attic hatch, to door frames, it can be easy tofind places that need to be sealed when you’re looking around inside, not justoutside.
- Also, there’s a neat trick that you can do withdoors and windows: shut the door or window on top of a dollar bill. It shouldbe difficult to pull the bill out, and if it comes right out, chances are youneed to do some weatherstripping. Try not to rip the bill in the process…Ifyou do, we take no responsibility!
- Last but not least, here’s a comprehensive listof places you should be checking for air leaks – the most common places whereyou’ll find them:
- Attic walls
- The shaft for pipes or ductwork
- Exterior staircases
- Chimney shaft
- Fireplace wall
- Garage walls
- Foundation and rim joists
- Windows and doors
So, like many around-the-home DIY tasks, it may seem intimidating at first but it actually isn’t so hard! Soon your home will truly be air-tight, and not only will you save money but you’ll be prepared for winter, too!