Inspecting for Air Leaks Doesn’t Require an Expert

Conducting an energy audit involves checking the home for areas where air could be leaking in or out. Much of the time, this is left to a professional. But it doesn’t have to be. Even if you don’t have the proper tools to fix the leaks, you can certainly conduct an audit yourself and determine whether anything needs to be fixed in the first place. Plus, if you do have the tools or can acquire them, the fixes don’t require a professional either.

All that testing the walls requires is a candle and a way to light it. Bring a lit candle with you as you tour any exterior wall, door, or window. If the candle goes out or starts wavering while you’re not moving, it probably means air is coming in. You can fix the leak yourself with caulk if you find one. Besides exterior walls, doors, and windows, other areas you should check are the attic and ducts. You don’t need a candle for this, but you’ll want a mask and gloves for protection. Lift up insulation in your attic to see if there is any lack of coverage, and fill it with additional insulation before sealing it. Check the ducts for holes, and also check the joins to make sure they’re airtight. Ducts can also lose heat if they’re not clean.

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