Is Your House Leaking Money?

Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

(WFLX) - With this year's record setting winter and hot summer nights just right around the corner, home energy bills can take a big bite out of monthly budgets. But your home could be leaking energy and money right out the window.

Like many homeowners, Tony McElroy looks for ways to stop the energy drain. "With the economy being the way it is, I was trying to save a few bucks," he said.

Now, a new device developed by engineers, called a thermal leak detector, uses light to help find leaks in your home, revealing energy and wallet-draining drafts. "The thermal leak detector is a device that literally points out areas where your home is losing hot air in the winter time and losing cold air in the summertime."

Hidden gaps and cracks in a home can add up to as much lost energy as an open window. Finding and fixing leaks can save up to 20-percent on heating and cooling costs. "If people can see problem areas, they're more likely to take action for a problem that's normally invisible."

Pointing the device at an inside wall sets a reference temperature with a green light. Then, point the detector at a window or doorframe. When it hits a cold or hot spot, an infrared thermometer, together with a color changing light, will change to blue when spotting a cold leak and red for a hot air leak. "So, it's really looking for a change in temperature, and when there's a big enough change in temperature, we change the color of the flashing light."

Homeowners can save about 20-percent on their energy bill, so if you usually spend 100 dollars a month, you'd save $20 a month or $240 in a year.

Tony found leaks around his doors, windows and outlets. Sealing the leaks was a quick and cheap fix that will put some cash back in his pocket. "Saving somewhere around 20 percent a month on my heating bill would be really nice cash flow."

The device sells for $49 at Lowes and at