True story: a friend bought their very first home. As you might expect, there were a few discoveries here and there in terms of upkeep that they didn’t expect. In fact, they had to replace their toilet within the first week. But the most surprising discovery was their ghost. No, not a real ghost. But the wind howling in from the front door all winter long was something to hear. Not only is a draft annoying, but it brings a chill into your home and makes your HVAC system work harder than it should, keeping your home at the preferred temperature no matter the weather outside.
Some drafts – like my friend’s front door draft mentioned above – are easy to hear. In other cases, it is harder to spot. In this case, you can ask Gas Man to take a look. The best time is during extreme weather (like those -40° windy winter days), but we can spot if drafts are occurring, and where they’re coming from, at any time.
In the meantime, here are some simple things you can do to figure out if your home has a draft:
The Candle Test
Windows and doors are a major source of air leaks especially if their frame is old or rotten. Hold a candle by the most suspicious windows and doors. If the flame flickers, it is an indication of an air leak. Easy to do and most inexpensive, this test can be done in under five minutes at home. So what are you waiting for?
Continue the Candle Test
There are little holes and gaps in the walls (electrical appliances, wiring etc) that we pay little heed to. These can be a secret source of heat loss or seepage. Mark these areas with careful inspection of the walls and repeat the candle test. Check around pot lights, in the attic, around internet wiring holes etc. and you might be surprised at what you find. Just be careful, of course!
Carefully inspect your house from the outside and look for any cracks that might be along the walls, around windows, or around door frames. Cracks are the second most common cause of heat loss in residential homes.
Once you have successfully spotted the drafts around the house the next step is to seal them. For the windows, you can use bubble-wrap. If not it, then you could use a plastic film and double-sided tape. The stuff can be found at any hardware store and can be done over the weekend. If your windows and doors are really outdated and inefficient, it may be time to upgrade to energy-efficient windows and doors that keep the cold out and the heat in.
Finding and eliminating drafts can extend the life of your HVAC system and save you money. Do you have any other questions about your HVAC system or home comfort? Gas Man is here to help!