Air leaks should also be called money leaks, because with having air leaks in your building could be costing you up to 40% more on energy costs. It is easy to find out if you do have air leaks and there are a number of ways to go about it.
The use of a CMMS program with scheduled preventative maintenance is always a great way to identify issue's fast. Here are a few ways to find out if you need to seal up areas that are wasting energy:
Infrared cameras are not free but they are invaluable to finding air leaks and some even work with a smartphone. What they do is use thermal energy to see differences in air temperatures and using them during the coldest or hottest time of year is best. They also work well to locate wet insulation, water leaks, insufficient insulation, as well as air leaks.
Blower Door Testing
This works by mounting a sealed fan onto an exterior door with having access to the indoor space you are testing for air leaks. Among blower doors that are calibrated, air pressure gauges determine how air tight the entire indoor space is. This test can also be done with installed mechanical ventilation to create a positively or negatively pressurized interior. The caveat is that it will not tell you where the leak is, just that you have one.
Smoke allows you to visualize air flow. Most tests utilize a handheld smoke device such as a smoke pencil or smoke tubes to generate small amounts of concentrated smoke. If an air current is present from a leak, the smoke will be forced to move in the direction of the current. If smoke is being blown into the facility, there is air infiltration from outdoors or if it is being sucked out, there is air ex-filtration from indoors. It is a good idea to pair this test with thermal testing to verify that temperature differences are caused by air leakage versus water damage or insufficient insulation. This is one of the less expensive options with the kits being around $30 – 60.
Read More: Don't Throw Your Money Away
Infrared Laser Temperature Reader
This is similar to the infrared thermography except this is a laser that allows you to read temperatures. The difference is that infrared thermography overlays thermal readings over the surroundings where laser readers only report the temperature of what is being detected by the laser. If you know where problem areas could be, verifying air leaks with a laser temperature reader may be all that you need.
Improving building efficiencies using preventive maintenance software minimizes costs and allows you to schedule regular routine checks to ensure that your facility is working at its maximum ability while reducing operating expenses.