How to find a draft in your house

Written by keith allen
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Air leaking into the house, commonly called a draft, brings both cold air and possibly outdoor pollutants into the home. Plugging these leaks eliminates the drafts and can result in energy and cost savings. Locating these drafts is the first step to plugging these drafts.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Caulking materials
  • Weatherstripping

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  1. 1

    Locate likely draft sources. The most common locations are the seams between building materials. Look for air infiltration where the walls join with windows or doors. Also check locations where pipes, ducts or wires penetrate walls.

  2. 2

    Feel for the draft. This works well in the living quarters of the home. Drafts occur due to wind and air pressure differentials between the indoors and outdoors. Feel around doors, windows and other items that penetrate the walls on the windward side of the home. Install caulking or weatherstripping where drafts are detected.

  3. 3

    Check the areas outside the living quarters of the home. These areas include the attic, garage and basement, where detecting drafts by feel is more difficult. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests caulking all seams between building materials in these areas.

Tips and warnings

  • Plugging air leaks or drafts can reduce heating costs by as much as 40 per cent, according to the EPA. Reduced drafts also limits moisture in the home, helping to limit condensation. These benefits are in addition to an increased comfort level when drafts are eliminated.

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