Common Sources Of Air Leaks In Properties

Semi Detached Houses

If you’re constantly feeling draughts in your home, noticing that it doesn’t keep the heat in or out very well or some rooms struggle to maintain a regular temperature, then there’s a very good chance that you have an air leak in your home.

Whilst this is quite a common issue and can be simple to fix, it can have a negative impact on the efficiency of your home, making energy bills more expensive and being bad for the environment.

If you’re a landlord, new government laws mean you need to make your home as efficient as possible to reach MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards) of an ‘E’ rating on your EPC or higher. Fixing air leaks can be a great way to improve your rating and meet government legislation.

Using our expert knowledge, we have put together a guide that contains information on the most common sources of air leaks and how to detect them.

Common sources of air leak

Air leaks can cause major energy loss, which in turn can mean energy bills are a lot higher. Here are some of the most common places that we find air leaks happen in homes:

  • Loft hatch
  • External doors
  • Windows
  • Recessed lighting
  • Unsealed vents
  • Unsealed electrical outlets
  • Fireplace walls
  • Wiring holes
  • Between floor joists behind knee walls
  • Plumbing wires

The majority of these issues can be fixed or reduced with proper sealing, however some may need professional experts to visit and treat to ensure longevity.

How to detect air leaks

The best way to accurately detect air leaks and heat loss is through dedicated testing.

Air tightness testing
Air tightness testing discovers if there are any air leaks in a property and therefore how efficient it is. This method uses a large fan to measure the pressure across the different rooms in a property. These readings are recorded and calculations are made to determine the air leakage rate. This will determine where there are leaks in the house and how serious they are.

Thermographic testing
Another way to test for areas where air and heat can be lost is through thermographic testing. This uses an infrared camera to look to hot and cold areas in a property and where heat is being lost from. It also detects:

  • Poor insulation
  • Damp areas
  • Roof damage
  • Thermal bridging
  • Plumbing or drainage blockages

These types of tests need to be undertaken by a professional and qualified company in order to get accurate results. We have years’ of experience in the energy industry and undertake these types of tests regularly.

Impact of air leaks

If you’ve determined that your home has an air leak then it’s best to get this solved as soon as possible, as they can cause a negative impact on your home

The main impact of air leaks is energy loss and this has several implications:

  • Higher energy bills
  • Badly regulated temperature in rooms throughout the home
  • Bad for the environment

Not only can this be extremely expensive for you, increasing your energy bills unnecessarily, it can also be very harmful to the environment. With domestic energy accounting for more than 25% of the UK’s CO2 emissions, doing all we can to reduce our excess energy usage will help to reduce our carbon footprint and help the environment.

Ways to seal air leaks

A lot of issues with air leaks can be solved quite quickly and easily. Depending on what the issue is, you can do this yourself from home. Here are some of the best ways to stop air leaks.

Sealant
Sealing around pipes, vents or recess lights that you think are letting in air is a really quick and easy way to stop leaks from happening. Using materials such as caulk acrylic filler to seal cracks or gaps will help to fix the issue, as it expands inside the gaps to stop any air from getting in or out.

Weatherstripping
This is designed specifically for any air leaks around doors and windows and stops rooms feeling draughty and uncomfortable. Weatherstripping works by having one adhesive side which sticks to the problem area, therefore stopping any air coming through gaps and helping to control the temperature of the room.

Insulation
Although most homes already come with insulation, adding extra insulation or replacing old and tired insulation can really help to improve the efficiency of your home. This itself isn’t that simple to do yourself and would most likely require professional help, as a lot of the insulation would probably need to be added inside the walls or to the roof, as this is where a lot of heat can be lost.

Get in touch

If you’d like expert advice on how to make your home more efficient, or would like to organise expert testing of your home to determine any air leaks, then get in touch with our team. We’d be happy to help you improve the efficiency of your home.

Posted in Air Tightness Testing, EPC's.