Detect Air Leaks in Your Home

How To Detect Air Leaks in Your Home

Air leaks in your home can lead to significant energy waste and higher utility bills. That’s why homeowners must be aware of how to find air leaks in the house and what they can do to fix them.


All Year, in partnership with Energy Upgrade California, provides the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Home Performance Program, an intensive energy efficiency evaluation that can help homeowners upgrade their homes to be more energy efficient without compromising comfort.


In this article, we’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to detect air leaks in your home, as well as how All Year’s Home Performance Program can assist you in achieving your energy efficiency goals.


Why Detecting Air Leaks is Important

Detecting air leaks at home is an important step in maintaining a healthy indoor atmosphere. A home with air leaks can waste a significant amount of energy, leading to higher utility bills. Air leaks can also make your home uncomfortable by allowing drafts and moisture to enter.


Sealing air leaks and adding insulation in your home are critical first steps to improving energy efficiency. By sealing air leaks, you can reduce the amount of conditioned air that escapes your home and reduce the energy needed to maintain a comfortable temperature. Adding insulation can help your home retain heat in the winter and stay cool in the summer, reducing the load on your HVAC system and saving you money on energy bills.


How to Find Air Leaks in Your House

Here are some ways to detect air leaks to keep your home comfortable and efficient:

  • Visual inspection: One of the easiest ways to detect air leaks is through a visual inspection. Check for cracks, gaps, and holes in areas such as walls, floors, ceilings, and windows. Look for areas where you can see daylight or feel drafts.
  • Smoke pen: Light the smoke pen and hold it near suspected areas of air leaks. If the smoke moves in a specific direction, this can indicate an air leak.
  • Infrared thermometer: An infrared thermometer can help identify areas in your home that are colder or warmer than others, indicating potential air leaks. Use the infrared thermometer to scan walls, floors, and ceilings to identify temperature changes.
  • Ultrasonic detector: This tool works by detecting the sound of air moving through small openings or gaps, such as around doors, windows, and electrical outlets. To use it, place the device near the suspected leak and listen for the sound of air moving through the gap.


If you think your home might have air leaks but aren’t sure what’s causing them or don’t have the tools to detect all of them, it’s best to get a professional inspection done. A team of professionals will be able to do the job quickly and address them more effectively.


Common Locations of Air Leaks and How to Seal Them

Air leaks can be found in several areas of the house. By knowing where to look, you can detect air leaks and take the proper steps to seal them.


In the attic, air leaks can occur around pipes, chimneys, and recessed lighting. These areas can allow conditioned air to escape and outside air to enter your home, leading to energy waste and discomfort. 


Adding insulation in the attic can help prevent air from escaping and reduce the energy needed to maintain a comfortable temperature. Insulation is available in different types, such as fiberglass, cellulose, and spray foam. The type of insulation you choose will depend on your home’s specific needs, climate, and budget.



When checking for basement leaks, look around the edge of the house, doors, windows, and pipes. These areas can allow air to enter your home, leading to energy waste and uncomfortable drafts. 


You can seal these air leaks with caulk or expanding foam and insulate the basement walls to keep the basement comfortable and prevent outside air from coming in.



Crawlspaces are prone to air leaks as they are not typically well-insulated and they often have numerous openings, such as vents, access doors, and pipes and wires. Air leaks in the crawlspace can also draw in cold air in the winter and humid air in the summer, making your home less comfortable all year.


Your contractor may recommend lining the floor with plastic to keep the dampness out, and sealing and insulating the crawlspace walls.


Main Living Space

If you live in an older home, there’s a good chance that your walls have air leaks in them from windows, doors, or gaps in between pipes under the sink. You can easily fix these leaks to keep out dust and pests by adding insulation to your walls and sealing up any gaps in between wall studs with caulking or weather stripping.


If you live in an older home, there’s a good chance that your living room may have air leaks. They can usually be found around doors, windows, and pipes under sinks. These areas can lead to uncomfortable drafts and may even allow dust and pests to enter your home.


To seal air leaks in the main living space of your home, you can use caulking, weatherstripping, and foam sealants. Sealing leaks in the ductwork with mastic or tape can also help prevent conditioned air from escaping.


Tips for Maintaining a Well-Sealed Home

Regular inspections of your home’s windows, doors, and HVAC system can help identify and address any potential air leaks before they become significant issues. Additionally, changing air filters regularly and keeping the HVAC system well-maintained can help ensure that it is running efficiently.


Furthermore, energy-efficient home improvements, such as adding insulation and upgrading to Energy Star-rated windows and appliances, can greatly improve the energy efficiency of your home. These improvements can reduce energy waste, lower utility bills, and improve home comfort. All Year’s Home Performance Program can provide recommendations for energy-efficient home improvements that can make your home more comfortable and sustainable.


All Year’s Home Performance Program

All Year, Inc. has partnered with Energy Upgrade California to offer the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Home Performance Program. This program is designed to help SMUD customers identify and address energy leaks and inefficiencies in their homes, making it the ideal solution to enhance your home’s energy efficiency while maintaining comfort.


The program entails a comprehensive energy efficiency assessment that involves various tests such as blower door testing, duct leakage testing, infrared photography, HVAC capability and flue testing, carbon monoxide testing, indoor air quality testing, and more.


Based on their findings, All Year experts will advise homeowners on upgrades or fixes to make their homes more energy-efficient. However, the program is only available to vested owners of single-family detached, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses, and condominiums. Mobile homes and manufactured homes are not eligible.


The SMUD Home Performance Program offers various benefits, including reduced utility bills, enhanced comfort and indoor air quality, and protection against moisture damage. Homeowners can also enjoy rebates of up to $9,000 for a limited period. All Year will install the upgrades and submit the necessary documents to ensure homeowners receive their rebates.



Detecting and sealing air leaks in your home is critical to improving energy efficiency, reducing energy waste, and creating a comfortable living space. By following these tips and taking advantage of All Year’s Home Performance Program, you can significantly improve the energy efficiency of your home, reduce energy waste, and save money on utility bills while creating a comfortable living space for you and your family.

For homeowners seeking professional assistance with air leaks, All Year’s Heating & Air Conditioning provides expert energy audits and air sealing services. For more information on our services, contact us at