The arrival of fall is typically accompanied by concern for most people because they are worried about the increase of energy costs that is associated with this cool time of year. During the cold months, most homeowners don’t think about the fact that several areas of their homes could be permitting cold air to come inside, and sealing these areas could save them money.

Air leaks around windows and doors are often to blame for increased energy costs, and that’s why testing for these leads is essential prior to the drop in temperatures. Here are a few simple ways to gauge the quality of the insulation that your home has:

A Visual Inspection Should be Conducted

 Prior to testing for any air leaks that may exist around the windows and doors, look closely at the interior and exterior of the home for any existing cracks, openings or faulty caulking materials. This will give you a good idea of where the areas likely exist that are making your energy bills higher.

Exterior areas to investigate:

  • Sidings and chimneys
  • Outside faucets
  • Corners

Interior areas to investigate:

  • Frames to windows and doors
  • Gas entrances
  • Vents and fans
  • Phone lines and cable

While checking for gaps, feel around suspected areas to test further any suspected areas that are colder than other parts of the home.

Blow Smoke

 Items to Use:

  • Candle or incense
  • Lighter

To start the smoke test, close all windows and doors, and turn off all fans or other items that may be circulating air in the home. Light the incense or the candle, and move it cautiously around the frames, making sure to keep the flame upright.

If there is any smoke or flame circulating in a horizontal direction toward the outside of the home, there is a leak present in the home. Repeat these steps with all windows and doors in the home and remember to check around the frames for dirt and trash that may be causing gaps for cold air to gain access.

Purchase an Air Leak Detector

Using an air leak detector, also known as an infrared thermometer, can measure the ambient air temps around the doors and windows. This tool shows the areas in the home that have colder temps, which could indicate the presence of a leak.

After you take the necessary steps to seal all air leaks that you’ve found but still notice that some areas are still leaking, it may be time for window or door replacements in some or all areas of the home. Direct PRO Windows & Doors can help you with replacements and give you the enjoyment of living in an energy efficient home that is always comfortable.