Funding for this site provided in part by the Nebraska Environmental Trust. The Trust is funded by proceeds from the Nebraska Lottery.
Detecting Leaks in Homes
Even well-insulated homes can waste energy through air leakage or infiltration in the building shell. In fact, about 10% to 30 % of a typical fuel bill results from “accidental” air infiltration. Because air leaks occur around foundations, windows, foundations, chimneys, ducts, and utility entrances, weatherizing your home by caulking and weatherstripping can effectively reduce energy waste. This saves you money on fuel bills, and pays back your weatherization costs in about one or two years with energy bill savings. Weatherizing also reduces drafts, insects, pests, dust, moisture entry, deterioration, and noise.
The biggest leaks in a home are typically found in the attic, crawlspace, or basement. Carefully inspect for leaks, or hire a qualified weatherization or energy audit professional to conduct an inspection to determine the location and amount of leakage or how “tight” the home is.
Contact your area utility company or the Nebraska State Energy Office for information about who conducts audits and tests.
How do I test for air leaks?
On a cold, windy day, close all outside doors and windows. Turn on exhaust fans and the dryer to depressurize the home or temporarily seal a large fan in an open window to exhaust air. Use your hand, lightweight paper, or an incense stick to test for airflow around windows, doors, attic hatches, utility entrances, foundation, and other areas including all walls. If you feel air or see smoke moving inside, you have a leak.
Make sure carbon monoxide alarms are working and that any back draft problems are handled by a heating and ventilation professional.