As the temperature starts to get cooler, you’ll want to make sure that you inspect your home for drafts. The last thing you want is to find out that you are turning up the heat only to have it escaping to the outside. Drafts caused by air leaks have the potential to increase your energy bill by as much as 30 percent.
Detect Drafts Caused by Window Air Leaks
To find drafts in your home, start by walking through each room and checking obvious sources of air leaks. You’ll want to take special note of the following:
- The area directly around all switch plates, electrical outlets and recessed lights
- Any gaps in the baseboards or where the flooring meets the wall or the wall meets the ceiling
- Exterior window and door frames, including the basement windows
- Check the weatherstripping and caulking to make sure that they are in good condition and have been applied properly. Put your hands on your windows or entry doors and jiggle them to see if you can make them rattle. If you can, it’s a sign that you have air leakage. If you can see daylight around a window or door frame, you also have an issue with air leakage.
- Plumbing vents and stacks on your roof
- Anywhere on the outside of your home where two different types of building materials meet
How to Conduct a Window and Door Pressurization Test
If you are having trouble finding the source of leaks, you can conduct a pressurization test.
- Shut the windows, entry doors, and fireplace flues. Turn off the furnace and the water heater.
- Turn on the exhaust fans in the kitchen, and bathroom. You can also set up a large window fan. You are trying to suck as much air out of your home as possible. One you have been able to accomplish this step, air will leak back into your home more quickly.
- To locate leaks, light a candle and walk around your home to inspect places where air leaks may be occurring. The flame will waver at the source of the leak. You can also dampen the back of your hand and hold it at these places to check for leaks.
Apply weather stripping or caulking to seal the leaks around windows or doors. If you find a leak near an electrical outlet or switch plate, buy the appropriate foam insulation from a building supply store.
If you have multiple air leaks from older windows, it may be time to replace them. Renaissance Doors and Windows has an extensive selection of quality products including wood clad, fiberglass, vinyl and aluminum windows. We also carry a line of fiberglass, and solid wood entry doors. Come see our showroom to view our selection and choose the style that is right for your home.