Lookout for Leaks Where Warm and Cold Air Can Escape From Your Home

Roughly 15-25% of winter heat loss in buildings is caused by air leakage, which can also contribute to a significant loss of coolness in warmer climates like much of Australia, where air conditioners are frequently used. Simply reducing the amount of air that leaks in and out of your home is a cost-effective method to cut both heating and cooling costs whilst increasing the comfort of the rooms inside your home. Sealing your home against air leaks can reduce your energy bills and carbon emissions by up to 25%

The following is a list of all the places in your home where air typically leaks through:

  • Unsealed vents, exhaust fans, and skylights
  • Poorly sealed or unsealed windows and doors
  • Poor design or absence of airlocks
  • Gaps around the ceiling and wall penetrations (downlights, pipes, cables, power outlets, switches, air conditioners, and heaters)
  • Shrunken or poorly fitted floorboards
  • Gaps between envelope element junctions (wall-ceiling or floor-wall)
  • Gaps in insulation
Detecting a leak:

The following steps in Table 1 can be taken to detect and repair any air leaks that may be present in your home.

Table 1: Steps to detect air leaks in your home. Source: Commonwealth of Australia, 2013

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To check for leaks more thoroughly in your home, consider hiring or buying a thermal camera to examine the outside of your home for sources of heat or cool air loss, or have a qualified professional conduct an air leak test and suggest tailored solutions.  

Safety disclaimer

Do not undertake draughtproofing if you have an unflued gas heater or any open flued heater. The gases from such appliances can present a carbon monoxide poisoning risk in a tightly sealed home.