Locate the Air Leaks in Your Home
LESLIE: Valerie in Utah, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
VALERIE: I have a Craftsman-style house. It has a tongue-and-groove knotty alder ceiling and huge open beams and the ceilings are 23 feet high.
VALERIE: But in my bedroom, when the wind blows from the west we get a breeze.
TOM: Do you have any idea where the wind is getting in?
VALERIE: That’s the problem. We thought it was maybe coming in through the tongue-and-groove. My husband got up on our tall ladder and it seems as though that’s where it’s coming and there’s only about 18 inches between the ceiling and, you know, the roof.
VALERIE: Most of the house doesn’t have an attic.
TOM: Let me tell you the type of test that can tell you exactly where your house is leaking. It’s called a blower door test and it’s the kind of test that an energy auditor might do; perhaps your utility company might do. Essentially what they do is they bring in a piece of equipment that is a fan that’s mounted sort of in the opening of your front door and they either pressurize or depressurize your house by blowing air in or out and in doing so they can actually determine the location of every, single crack, gap or opening of any sort in the walls or the ceiling. And then once you know where they are then you could figure out which ones you’re going to fix. You’ll be able to tell where the leaks are around the windows and the doors; if there are any leaks in the roof structure. You’ll be able to figure all that out. It’s called a blower door test. So contact an energy auditor or your local utility company and see if you can get one of those done. That’ll answer this question.
TOM: Valerie, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.