It is a feeling that all homeowners hate to have- drafts in the house. It is a unique problem to winter as a cold snap can really call to attention drafts throughout the house. Not to mention its impact on the efficiency of your heating system and costs.
In this blog, Feazel will walk you through the following:
What causes drafts
How to safely eliminate them
Preventative maintenance so that you are not caught off guard next winter
Why you should take steps to stop them
Common places where drafts occur
What Are the Signs of Drafts?
The signs of a draft are cut and dry. Are you feeling frigid air in various places around your home? Does your home whistle when there is strong wind?
Or do you have condensation forming on the inside of your windows? You are likely experiencing a draft problem.
Identifying Common Areas Where Drafts in Your Home Sneak In
Drafts can occur for a variety of reasons, and it all depends on where the draft is happening.
There are major culprits when it comes to usual places where drafts can occur. Some of these may be obvious but there are other areas of your home where chilly air can penetrate your cozy home.
Windows- Drafty windows can reduce the energy efficiency of your home and raise your energy bills. This makes tackling heat loss to save money a priority if you discover a window draft. There is no need for your furnace to work harder if all you need is a simple trip to the hardware store.
Exterior Doors- Your door may have worn out weather stripping, improperly fit the door frames, or have a worn-out threshold. Drafts around doors allow freezing air to seep into your home.
Outlets- Wall outlets on exterior walls of your home are susceptible to leaking air. This may be due to the age of your home and insulation.
Attic Access- Your attic should be sealed off from the rest of the house. There are many benefits to sealing off your attic space and it all has to do with heat loss. An attic space that gets too warm in the winter can create conditions ripe for ice dams. Additionally, cold attic air can seep into your home and cause your heating system to work harder.
Attic and Basement- Many utilities enter and exit from your roof or basement. These entry points are typically surrounded with material to prevent air penetration. That material can break down over time or be damaged during weather events.
DIY Solutions for Draft Elimination and What Causes Drafts
While some DIY draft solutions are not long-term fixes, your family members will certainly thank you for reducing frigid air penetrating into the home. Some DIY solutions for winterizing your home against drafts will need repeating, depending on the situation. DIY tips on eliminating drafts may provide a reprieve from the elements over a short period of time before requiring a long-term solution.
Stopping Drafty Windows- Pop off your window trim and remove the old insulation. Use spray foam insulation to fill the gaps around the window frame. Once it has dried, cut away the excess. Replace the trim and seal around it with caulking.
If your exterior caulking has failed, remove it carefully and replace it with new caulking.
If the window seals have failed or it is single pane glass, we recommend a shrink wrap to slow the frigid air penetration.
A window replacement project will help get your windows back to top shape. The Department of Energy has valuable information about rebates and benefits of Energy Star window replacement.
Preparing Your Exterior Doors for Winter- Homeowners will need to take a quick assessment of the condition of their door as there could be several causes of a draft. You may need to install new weatherstripping, replace door sweeps, replace caulking on the door frame, or add a draft stopper.
Draft Coming from Outlets- Outlet gasket covers are a quick way to create a barrier between the outlet box and the outlet cover. All you need is a screwdriver and gasket covers and you are good to go.
Attic Entry Door- if you have a simple wood attic entry door, it may be worth looking to upgrade to an insulated door to help keep the cold at bay. The old wood access doors simply do not have the insulating ability.
Eliminating Attic and Basement Drafts- If roof boots have deteriorated, you will want to contact a roofing professional. Your attic has other places that can be open to the elements. Areas around your chimney, wiring holes, light fixtures, and ventilation exits are all prime areas for air penetration.
When it comes to your basement, look at rim joists as a culprit. Use sheets of foam insulation and spray foam to seal off your basement from the outside air.
How To Find Air Drafts in Your Home
“It feels cold here” is a good start in determining where the air draft is happening. Do not worry, Feazel has several different tests you can use to pinpoint where the freezing air is getting into your home.
The Flashlight Test- You only need two people and a flashlight. Turn the lights off inside your home and shine a light around where you suspect an air leak may be occurring. If you see light shining through, you have found the space where air is coming in.
Air Draft Candle Test- Air can cause flames to flicker and even blow out. Hold a lit candle near the places where you think a draft is occurring. If it flickers, you have found the leak.
The Dollar Bill Draft Test- Take a dollar bill and close it in your door or window. Pull the dollar and if it pulls out smoothly, you are losing air at that door or window.
Draft Detection Tools and How to Use Them
There are draft detection tools that homeowners can use to pinpoint where the leak is happening. How to locate an air draft is up to you and dependent on your comfortability using these tools.
Using a Wind Meter to Find Air Leaks- A wind meter can help determine the location of air currents within your home. There are several types of wind meters on the market, and it is up to the homeowners to find the perfect one for their needs.
Energy Audit by Professionals to Diagnose Your Draft- Don't know where to start or are intimidated by trying to find a draft by yourself? There are energy audit companies that can help diagnose where you have energy inefficiencies.
Feazel Has Been Helping Homeowners for Over 30 Years
What does a top-rated roofing company have to do with air leak detection? Our roofing company offers services that may be required to eliminate an air draft. We proudly offer roof replacement, repair, siding services and replacement windows for customers in our markets. We are happy to help if you find an air draft in your attic and need your roof inspected. Contact us today to schedule your free roof inspection.
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