With the recent blast of Arctic air pushing its sub-zero temperatures here into the South, did you find unwanted drafts in your home? Have your heating or cooling bills been excessively high this year? Has your home felt drafty in the winter or can’t seem to stay cool in the summer? You could be losing air in unexpected locations of your home, and losing air means losing money.
The US Department of Energy estimates that Americans’ energy bill sare 5-30% higher than they need to be thanks to air leaks that could easily be remedied with proper insulation techniques. Here are some common problem areas:
- Windows are the most common places for drafts. Move your hand over the window frames of your house — can you feel a soft breeze? Heavy curtains will often contain the draft. Older houses may require caulking or weather stripping. In extreme cases, consider purchasing energy-efficient windows
- The front and back doors of your home may be drafty, too. Heat can escape from the opening at the bottom of your doors or through the door frames. Installing a door sweep to the bottom of the door can keep drafts out. You can also replace your screen door with a storm door, which will better prevent drafts from entering your home
- Chimneys are drafty by definition. Pay close attention to the air flow near your fireplace. Cover the opening securely when the fireplace is not in use
- Attics, basements and eaves are where the most heat is lost. Examine the insulation there and determine whether it was installed properly
- Electrical outlets and lighting fixtures can also be problematic. Visit your local hardware store to purchase draft-proofing gaskets
- You can also find drafts by walking around the inside of your home with a lit candle. If the flame flickers or goes out, you’ll know there’s a draft nearby