During the summer, you may not be aware of small cracks and holes in your home. But once colder weather arrives, you’ll probably be able to feel the drafts. Up to 25% of a residential home’s heating during the winter is lost through holes and cracks you may not even notice.
Drafts are the biggest foe to an energy efficient home in the winter months because they can make your heating system work twice as hard. Fixing cracks and holes throughout your home is a simple process. But how can you find the drafts in your home in order to seal them and replace insulation?
Try the below three tips:
- Focus on the doors and windows first
One of the biggest sources for drafts are the places in your home where there are meant to be openings: your doors and windows. To test for drafts, close your door or window on a cold day while you’re running your furnace. Run your hand leisurely by the edges of the window’s seal or the edge of the door. If you feel cool air coming through, you’ve got a sealant problem. The cold air on the outside of the house has a higher pressure than the warm air on the inside of the house. Therefore, the air will naturally attempt to stabilize the pressure by sucking the warm air out in any way that it can.
- Use a candle for more than your Jack-O-Lantern
Candles make for great draft-detectors because they’re cheap, simple, and can be found anywhere. Make sure your HVAC system is turned off in order to keep any air from blowing through the air ducts. Light a candle in your hand and walk around your home slowly while watching the flame. Any trace of a draft or forced air will send the flame of your candle wiggling. Follow the direction of the candle’s flickering the source of the draft and then fix the crack or hole.
- Consult your HVAC service
In the event that the drafts in your home are truly a problem, you may want to get a professional opinion and contact your HVAC service. HVAC services are there for more than just furnace installation, heating repair, and air conditioning repair. Your HVAC service is also there to conduct thermographic imaging and a household energy audit at your appointed request.
Thermographic imaging helps professional heating contractors and technicians locate drafts in openings around your home by analyzing heat patterns. Openings like electrical outlets and recessed lighting could be letting in drafts without your knowledge.
To keep warm in the winter, it’s essential to ensure the cracks and holes in your home’s walls, ceilings, windows, and doors are sealed and secure.
Be sure to investigate your own home for drafts before the weather gets too cold and sucks the energy from your HVAC system.