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During the cold season, homeowners everywhere are looking for the most affordable, effective ways to warm their homes. This primarily comes through the furnace and HVAC system, but did you know there are little tricks around the home that you can utilize to help these systems out?

At Whipple Plumbing, we’re here to help. In this blog, we’ll go overdraft prevention – an area that saves many homeowners huge sums on their monthly energy bills. Let’s take a look at how eliminating basic drafts in the house can help you, and how you can go about it.

Obvious Draft Locations

Replacing drafts has an obvious benefit on your heating during winter: Less cold air gets in the home, and more warm air from your furnace remains. For most, the tougher step is locating the drafts themselves.

In some cases, though, this is relatively simple. Drafts are most common in window and door locations – you can test for drafts here by moving your hand along the edges of basic door and window seals. Note areas that feel cold or drafty as you walk around. If you have pet doors or mail slots in your home, check these as well.

Basic Tests

In cases of slightly tougher drafts to identify, there are a few basic tests that require basically no technology. The simplest is a candle, which you take with you as you walk slowly around the home (with your HVAC system turned off). If you notice a flickering flame in certain areas, that’s a sign there’s air movement there.

You can also use a draft detector, which is available at your standard hardware store. It’s a device with a thin stream of odorless smoke that has a visible reaction when it contacts moving air.

Energy Audit

If you want a more serious test of drafts in your home, contact our experts about a home energy audit. This test uses handheld devices to provide thermographic imaging, which displays heat patterns all over the home and lets you identify cold spots easily. This solution is best for drafts that may be in vents, outlets, recessed lighting and other wall openings.

Blowout Test

The most thorough draft test, however, is a blower door pressurization test, or a blowout test. This is often part of a home energy audit and requires a technician to close all openings to the home and use a powerful fan that’s sealed to the doorframe to pull air out and depressurize the home. Drafts will become more noticeable through this method.

For more on reducing home draft, or for any of our furnace service areas, speak to the pros at Whipple Plumbing today.