You want to both stay warm and keep your energy bill as low as possible during the winter, and at All Hours Plumbing, we’re here to help. Our furnace installation, maintenance and repair services include a number of areas designed to keep both your comfort and efficiency levels high.
One such area that’s very important for efficiency is ensuring there are no major leaks or openings in your home that allow your valuable warm air to escape. This will require your HVAC system to produce more heat, in turn raising your monthly costs. Luckily, this is an area both you and your HVAC pros can stay diligent on – here are some basic tips on noting and sealing drafts, plus how we can help if you’re struggling to locate air issues in your home.
Windows and Doors
The most common and obvious areas where drafts take place is near windows and doors, and these should get regular inspections throughout the year. All this takes is simply walking by these areas and running your hand along the edges of all sealed areas, particularly where sides meet and there might be openings for air to creep in. In most cases, you’ll simply be able to feel any major air leaks – especially if you do these tests during the dead of winter and at night, when outdoor air is coldest.
Walkthrough and Drafts
In addition, you should periodically walk through your entire home and check for drafts in any areas. You’ll usually be able to feel particular areas that feel a bit cold or drafty. If you have a mail slot or a pet door in your home, check these areas regularly – they’re common sources of drafts.
As you’re doing these walk-throughs, you may appreciate a couple simple tools at your disposal to help you identify specific air leak sources. One such tool that’s incredibly easy and convenient is a lit candle – just walk slowly through the home with this in your hand and the HVAC system fully turned off, looking for areas where the flame flickers or moves around.
Another tool here is known as a draft detector, something you can purchase at a hardware store. It sends out a thin stream of odorless smoke, with the same goal as the candle: Drafts will disrupt the stream, allowing you to find the location.
Energy Audit or Blowout
In some cases, homeowners look to our HVAC pros to help identify leaks they can’t pinpoint. There are a couple elements that may be included here:
- Energy audit: Our technicians will use handheld devices that display heat patterns for your entire home, locating heat patterns and showing you where cold spots are. We can use thermographic imaging to find drafts in areas like your vents, outlets or wall openings.
- Blowout test: In many cases, an energy audit will include a blower door test. This involves closing all windows and doors except the front door, then running a sealed fan in the home to depressurize the home and make it easier to find hidden air leaks.
For more on how to ensure your home is free of air leaks this winter, or to learn about any of our HVAC or plumbing services, speak to the staff at All Hours Plumbing today.