Do you feel a chill in the air, but you’re not sure where it’s coming from? You may have a draft in your house! A draft is a cold breeze that comes in through cracks or openings in your home.
Drafts can make your home uncomfortable and even increase your energy bill. And for this reason, finding a way to fix the problem as soon as possible is highly recommended.
But do you know how to find drafts in your house? Well, if not, this post is just what you need. Here are some great tips on how to go about it.
Common Areas to Find Drafts
Before looking into how to find drafts in your house, knowing where to look is crucial. Check out these places as they tend to be the main culprits for drafts,
Windows are notorious for drafts. You can usually feel a draft coming in if you place your hand near the window frame. If the windows are old, they may not have proper insulation and will easily let in cold air or heat.
You can install weather-stripping around the window frames or buy insulated curtains to fix this problem. Installing energy-efficient windows is the ultimate solution if the problem is severe or persistent.
Like the windows, doors are another common area where drafts sneak in. A lot of times, people will notice a draft when they walk through a door. This is because most doors do not fit tightly against the frame and allow cold air to come in.
You can solve this issue by installing a door sweep on the bottom of the door or using a towel to create a tighter seal between the door and frame.
It’s no secret that chimneys are a nuisance when it comes to drafts. If you have a fireplace, make sure that the damper is fully closed when you’re not using it. Otherwise, heat will escape, and cold air will come in.
You can also invest in a chimney balloon, an inflatable device that you place in the chimney flue. This will block any drafts from coming in.
- Cracks and Gaps
This goes without saying. If your house has some cracks or gaps on the walls or ceiling, these will certainly be a source for drafts. You can also find cracks and gaps around electrical outlets, baseboards, light switches, door frames, and windows.
Sealing these areas with caulking or weather-stripping is the best way to get rid of the drafts in this case. You may need to reapply these materials every few years as they can wear down over time.
And while some of the cracks or openings might be quite hard to identify, it is for your benefit that you do.
- Attics and Basements
This is where most of your home’s heat escapes from. If you have an unfinished basement or a furnace installed in the attic, the chances are that there are some cracks or gaps that need to be sealed.
You can do this by adding insulation to these areas. This will help with the drafts and make your home more energy-efficient.
- HVAC Systems
Not many people would suspect the HVAC system to be a source of drafts. But, it’s undoubtedly one of the main places where drafts can come from.
Generally, if you notice a draft coming from your vents, it could be because they’re not properly sealed.
Sealing the ducts with mastic sealant or metal tape is an excellent solution to this problem.
Best Ways of Finding Drafts in Your House
Now that you know where to look for drafts, follow these tips. They will show you how to find a draft in your house to solve your persistent high energy bills problem.
- Flashlight Test
This is among the easiest ways of identifying drafts. Turn off all the lights in your house and then hold a flashlight up to the windows, doors, or any other place you suspect of causing drafts. If you see any light shining through, that means there’s a draft.
- Candle Test
Another effective way of testing for drafts is by using a candle. And, it’s easy!
Simply hold the candle near the areas where you suspect to have drafts. If the flame flickers, then you know there’s definitely a problem.
- Wind Meter
If you’re looking for an extremely accurate way of finding drafts in your house, using a wind meter is your best bet. This tool will measure how much air is flowing in or out of specific areas in your home. And it will certainly help to pinpoint the exact places causing drafts.
- Thermal Detector
Using a thermal detector is another accurate way of locating that hot or cold draft in the house. The device will show you temperature differences on the surface of your walls, allowing you to pinpoint where the draft is coming in.
Why are Drafts a Problem?
During the summer or winter, drafts in your house are always a problem.
For instance, cold drafts will seep into your house during winter, lowering your indoor temperature. This will cause your HVAC system to overwork while trying to maintain comfortable temperatures.
Also, the cracks and openings will certainly let heat escape from the house. The results here will also be an overworking HVAC system.
Subsequently, these effects will cause a spike in your monthly utility bills due to increased energy consumption.
On the other hand, during summer, the opposite scenario occurs. Hot drafts seep into your house, rising indoor temperatures. Subsequently, the AC works even harder to try and maintain the desired cool indoor temperature.
Also, cool air will escape from the house through the cracks and gaps. This means that your system will have to work more to compensate for the lost cool air.
The end result is increased electricity consumption in all these scenarios, leading to higher energy bills.
Knowing how to find drafts in your house helps you develop a solution, as mentioned above. But, if you still can’t do this yourself, outsourcing for professional assistance is always the best alternative.
And, at Anderson Air, we have some of the best technicians in the market. With us, all your HVAC problems are sorted.