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Where’s The Draft?

In the winter it’s important to stay nice and toasty, especially when you live in Minnesota. This means that things like an air leak or draft in your home can be detrimental to your energy bill and your comfort. Sometimes it’s easy to know if there’s a leak in the home, but you can be surprised about where there could be smaller leaks hurting your energy bill. On average, people can improve their energy efficiency by 10% by eliminating drafts in the home. Who doesn’t love money in their wallet on top of being efficient with their energy use?!

The most common place for your home to have a draft is near the attic. Especially if you own an older home with potentially outdated insulation, the attic is often how most of the heat in your home escapes. After that, your eaves and knee walls are where heat escapes. Newer homes are built with a foam insulation that keeps them much warmer through the winter, the switch could be more cost effective in the long run!

Windows are another place to lose heat. You can usually feel a draft by waving your hands near the edges of your window, but another way to check for subtle leaks is by using a candle. If the flame of the candle flickers near the window, there is likely a draft. You can combat this with heavy drapes or saran wrapping your windows to keep the heat inside.

Doorways as expected allow air to escape your home. Installing a door sweep or replacing your door seals can prevent extensive loss. We often also see drafts near electrical outlets, this can be tested using the candle method or with a thermometer. If you do find a draft, you can purchase a backing plate at your local hardware store. Draft-proofing gaskets can save you money on your energy bill.

A great way to get to the bottom of drafts and be sure you’re finding any problem areas is to use an infrared thermometer to check areas of concern. Check the temperature of the wall near the door frame, window or chimney you are concerned with and then trace your thermometer around the edges of the opening. Any areas where the temperature drops is an air leak! If you face a leak you don’t know how to handle on your own, let us know! We’d be happy to help ensure your warmth this winter.


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