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Air Leakage Detection and Sealing Tips for Homeowners

If you were to ask a panel of energy experts to share with you some of the main reasons why people tend to spend more money than they should on energy costs, there is one thing that they are definitely going to have on their list: air leakage. Being that so many homes have small cracks and holes along their windowsills and doors and because some of them even have air coming out of their appliances, many individuals are wasting money without even realizing it.

If you’re interested in knowing some ways that you can detect air leakage and also seal the places with leakage problems up, here are five ways to do just that.

Conduct an energy audit. One of the best ways to detect air leaks inside of your home is to conduct an energy audit. It basically is a process that shows you how to know if your windows (and doors) have small holes or cracks, if your pipes are leaking water and even if your appliances are not working as well as they should. You could hire a professional auditor to do the job for you. However, there are also websites that will walk you through the process too. One of them is Simply go to the site and put “DIY energy audit” in the search field.

Do “the paper test”. If you only want to look to see if it’s one window or door that is causing a draft inside of your house, there is also something called “the paper test” that you can do. Simply take a piece of paper and then close the window or door on top of it. If when you attempt to pull it out, it’s easy to do, then you probably have a leak somewhere.

Apply some caulking. So, what do you do if you happen to notice that you do have an air leak? In most cases, all you need to do is go to your local home improvement store in order to purchase some caulking. It is one of the quickest and easiest ways to seal air leaks inside of a home. If you’ve never used caulking before, is one website that can show you how to do it. Just go to the site and put “caulking slideshow” in the search field.

Try a towel. What about if you’re on a tight budget? If the air leak is along the bottom of your door or the bottom of your window, another handy trick is to place a towel there. Do keep in mind that while it’s an effective way to keep air from leaking, it is pretty much a temporary fix. Eventually, you will need to find a more permanent solution.

Add more insulation. Being that you can lower utility bills by sealing air leaks , it’s also important that you add insulation to your house. You can start by making sure that your attic has at least 12″ of padding that’s made out of a material like sheep’s wool or cotton. And when it comes to your pipes, make sure that they have fiberglass or foam on them during the winter months; that will keep them from freezing. For tips on how to insulate your pipes, visit This Old House and put “how to prevent frozen pipes” in the search field.

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