Feel a Draft? How to Locate Air Leaks, Stop Drafts and Maximize Heating Efficiency

Air LeaksWhen there’s a nip in the air, the last thing you want to deal with is an uncomfortable winter chill leaking in through hidden cracks. While many of us first think of windows and doors as the biggest culprits; however, oftentimes, air leaks come from other spots in the house such as the basement and attic.

Common Locations for Air Leaks

Energy Star identifies ten common locations you could be experiencing an air leak (and might not even know it). To find them, you’ll need to take a walk around your house and conduct a few tests.

  1. Behind Kneewalls
  2. Attic Hatch
  3. Wiring Holes
  4. Plumbing Vent
  5. Open Soffit (the box that hides the recessed lights)
  6. Recessed Light
  7. Furnace Flue or Duct Chaseway (the hollow box or wall feature that hides ducts)
  8. Basement Rim Joists (where the foundation meets the wood framing)
  9. Windows
  10. Doors

3 Tests for Air Leaks

  1. Open Your Eyes: Walk through your home and visually inspect for obvious issues such as cracks and gaps.
  2. Get a Feel for It: On a cold, windy day, use your hand to feel for drafts in any of the above locations.
  3. Conduct a Smoke Test: Energy Star suggests to carefully light a stick of incense and hold it near any potential areas of drafts in your home. If the smoke begins moving unsteadily or if it’s getting sucked out or blown into your home, you have an air leak.

Seal Up Air Leaks. Save Money.

Air leaks are not only a nuisance, but they can also cost you money. For example, since warm air rises (like a chimney), the air which you have paid to heat is wasted as it rises up through a leak in the attic.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s states that homeowners can save as much as 10 percent on total energy bills each year just by properly sealing and insulating your home. Thankfully repairing a draft is fairly simple (once you find it). Simple fixes such as installing weather stripping on your door trim, caulking around windows, and applying plastic over windows, as well as sealing basement leaks and adding insulation in your attic can help you start saving immediately.

Maximize Heating Efficiency

Ready to start saving as much as 10 percent or more on your energy bills? Read more on our blog, “Are You Spending Too Much? 8 Surprising Ways to Slash Energy Costs for Good” and learn some practical tips to increase your home’s efficiency while lowering energy costs at the same time.

Contact a Point Bay Fuel professional to conduct a heating equipment tune up to help you maintain peak performance, safety and reliable operation all winter long.  Call (732) 349-5059 or contact us online to learn more and to schedule your HVAC tune-up today.