How to Check for Air Leaks Around Your Door


Air leaks around your exterior doors can lead to a rise in your energy costs. It’s difficult to heat and cool your home properly if hot or cold air from outdoors is creeping into your home. Here’s how you can check for air leaks around your door so you can fix these minor problems before they drive up your utility bills.

Start with a visual inspection

Most major leaks can be detected by looking around the edges of your door. When it’s closed, you shouldn’t see daylight around the edges. If you do, that space is letting air leak into your home.

Even if you don’t see daylight, check the weather strip around the edge of the door. Small tears, frayed edges, or loose weather strip can let air in, so replace it if it’s worn or missing altogether.

Do the smoke test

Once you’ve visually inspected your doors, try this simple smoke test to see if you can find any invisible leaks. Close all the doors and windows in your home and turn off any combustion appliances, like your water heater or furnace. Turn on your bathroom and kitchen exhaust vents and light a stick of incense.

Place the incense near the edge of the door. If the smoke flows up normally, you’re leak-free. However, if the smoke is pulled inwards or moves around as it flows, a leak could be pulling air from outside into your home, blowing the smoke in the process.

Use an infrared thermometer

Infrared thermometers measure the ambient temperature of the air. They can detect hot or cold spots in your home and are useful for detecting air leaks around doors. However, most people don’t have these lying around, so they’re not the most practical method of leak detection.

Of course, the easiest way to detect leaks is to call in a professional. They’ll not only help you find those pesky leaks, but they’ll also help you get them fixed so you can save money on your energy costs.

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