How to Locate Drafts In Your House

How to Locate Drafts In Your House

With the coming of fall and winter, you want your home to be the ideal retreat from that gusty air. Sometimes your home doesn’t cooperate, and you feel that slight wind or draft, yet you’re not sure where it’s coming from. Fortunately, you can root out the cause of your drafty home with a few simple steps.

Smoke Test

One way to find air leaks in your home is to literally smoke them out. Wait for a day that’s windy and cool. Turn off stoves, appliances, and any devices that disturb air flow. Close all your windows, doors and your fireplace flue. Now, get a candle or a stick of incense and light it. Hold the flame close to a suspected area of air leakage. Watch for the flame to flicker or bounce, or if the smoke moves back and forth or is pulled out of the room you’re standing in. All these indicate you have a drafty home.

Common Sources of Air Leaks

Be wise to common areas where air leaks occur. They don’t just occur in your windows or doors. Problem areas can include the following places in your home:

  • Furnace flues or ducts
  • Plumbing vents
  • Side walls that supports attic rafters
  • The attic opening
  • Wiring holes for your cable TV, phone lines, and electrical outlets
  • Recessed lights

Professional Help

You don’t have to tackle a drafty home alone. Hiring a professional to come to your house and audit your home for air leaks is also an option. Usually, they will mount a strong fan to your exterior door and perform a blower door test. The air is sucked out of the house, which results in lower pressure in the home and greater pressure outside, which in turn comes in through the compromised areas of the house.

With the right tests by you or a professional, you can nail down the signs of a drafty home and start working on plugging up the leaks to put an end to those pesky drafts for good.


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