Detecting and Sealing Air Leaks At Home

With the fall season upon us and outside temperatures cooling down, it is a good time to make sure your house is sealed properly.  Air leaks can be costly and can lead to an unhealthy environment, so it is best to find and fix them as soon as possible.

How to Find Air Leaks

Whenever two building materials meet, there is the possibility of air leaking.  One way to detect a leak is to do a visual inspection, looking for gaps or cracks.  Outside caulking should be examined to make sure it is in good condition.  You can also feel for leaks by placing your hand over problem areas, such as outlets, doors or window frames.  Checking theses areas with a candle flame can provide an even better visualization of the presence of a draft.

Where to Find Air Leaks

Some common trouble spots for air leaks around the house include:

  • Around all four sides of every exterior window and door
  • Light fixtures, including recessed lighting
  • Electrical outlets and phone jacks
  • Along baseboards and crown molding
  • Attic access
  • Flue or chimney shaft
  • Basement foundation

Problems That Air Leaks Can Cause

Air leaks can make it difficult to regulate the inside air temperature, which can cause an uncomfortable environment.  Energy bills may increase due to overuse of air conditioning or heating.  Air leakage may also contribute to increased moisture, which can affect the health of those inside the house as well as compromise the structure of the home.

Ways to Seal Air Leaks

Some ways to prevent unwanted air from entering your house include:

  • Replace worn out caulking or add new caulk where air leaks have been detected
  • Install foam gaskets behind outlet or switch plates on walls
  • Install storm windows or double-pane windows
  • Keep the fireplace flue damper closed tightly when not in use

Paying attention to the details of your home can make a big difference in the overall environment inside.  At Lakes Area Home Inspections, we know that details matter.  We will take our time during the inspection to look at all of the important interior and exterior components and inform you of any details that need to be addressed.  Contact us at 262-818-0911 or visit for more information on our inspection services.

Full referenced articles HERE and HERE

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