Energy Efficiency: 4 Ways to Find Drafts in Your Home

Warm weather is just around the corner, you can almost hear the humming of the air conditioning units running throughout the neighborhood. If you are like most homeowners,  your home in the summer is the one place where you can beat the heat- except for the places in your house that you just can’t quite keep the warm weather out.

Fighting Drafts in your home can be an ongoing battle but money you will save by making your home more energy efficient will be worth the fight.  Repairing the draft is pretty straight forward you can replace your insulation, seal cracks, or add some weather stripping but the hard part is actually finding the drafts in the first place. Tower Equipment is here with four tips on how you can hunt down exactly where these pesky drafts are coming from.

Step #1: Check the obvious draft locations- windows and doors. If you can feel it, you have found the source of the draft. If it’s a warm day and your air conditioning is on or vice versa, you can effectively test for drafts just by moving your hand along the edges of each door and window seal. While doing this also take note of areas of your home that feel warm as you walk through. Of course, there is always conditions depending on the design of your home. For example, if you have a mail slot or a pet door you will always have a significant air leak – if you want something more energy efficient you may want to seal these areas for good.

Step #2: Try to catch the breeze. Some drafts are hard to spot the exact place they originate from, this is when you should try to catch the breeze. The simplest way to do this is to light a candle and walk slowly through your home. If you notice the flame flickering, you know there’s air movement in that location and you can trace it back to the source. If this technique isn’t working try using a draft detector it emits a thin, steady stream of odorless smoke that reacts more visibly when it comes into contact with moving air.

Step #3: Hire a specialist. If neither of these steps work for you and you are serious about fixing the draft issue in your home,  try getting a blower door pressurization test. For this test, a technician closes all windows and doors except for the front door. A door-sized panel with a powerful fan is sealed against the front door frame, and the fan is activated to pull air out and depressurize the home. The low pressure inside will increase the strength of the drafts from the outside, making them much more apparent for the purposes of an interior inspection. This approach is especially useful for finding drafts in attics and basements, which are typically the draftiest areas.

Step #4: Contact an HVAC specialist to conduct a household energy audit with thermographic imaging. To employ this technology, technicians use handheld devices with screens that display heat patterns in all areas of your home. Cold spots stand out without the need for any significant air movement.Thermographic imaging is an ideal solution for finding drafts in your vents, electrical outlets, recessed lighting and other wall openings that aren’t directly connected to the outdoors. At the end of your session, you will know exactly where your home is letting your energy efficient capabilities down.

Any one of these four steps could be the solution to your draft issue and we hope that this article will help you find all your leaks. Need to replace some of your ventilation to fix your draft issue or looking for another way to control the temperature in your home? Contact Tower today to find out what your options are. 

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