Drafts - at home and at work 
For Electric & Natural Gas Customers

In order to save energy at home or at your business, you’ll need to find these energy wasting leaks that allow outside air in. Finding these leaks takes some effort; knowing where to look will help. 

  • Use a device called a smoke pen or a lit incense stick and watch the movement of the smoke. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing, or weatherstripping.
  • Walk around and check the most suspect areas, such as around windows, doors, openings to the outside such as piping, vents, cable and phone line as well as water faucets, light switches and electrical outlets. If you feel air freely moving about, count this as a problem area to be fixed immediately. 
  • Aging windows lose the ability to withstand all outside elements. Check the caulking inside and out to make sure it has not dried up, shrunk or fallen away. You may want to hire a professional to do this job because it will directly affect the appearance of your home or building. Also, it may be difficult to caulk windows on the second floor and higher.
  • Entry doors become less airtight as they settle over time. Weatherstripping should be replaced on the sides, top and bottom of the frame every few years as it dries out and gets bumped with boxes and other items being carried in. Also check the thresholds on your doors to see if they are still pliable and able to seal properly.
  • Openings from the inside to the outside such as around dryer vents, ventilation fans, water faucets, gas pipes, electric conduit, cables, phone lines and more often have a larger opening than needed for easy installation. Sometime these gaps are hidden with siding or other cosmetic covers hiding the gap around the opening. These gaps allow outside air in. Vents and fans sometime have louvers that close when the fan is off. Check the louvers to make sure they are in good working order.
  • You may not think of a light switch or a wall outlet as being an energy wasting culprit, but examine every switch located on an exterior wall and interior wall. You may be surprised by the draft you can feel on an outside wall. Interior wall switches and outlets may not cause as much of a draft but it’s worth the time to check. Insulation under a switch cover plate or outlet cover plate can save energy. After turning off the circuit breaker, unscrew the switch plates and install pre-formed insulation under the light and outlet covers.    


Related Topics


The link provided below goes to a web page with a video mainly produced by third parties to educate a public audience.
  • Introduction to home weatherization (Viewing time - 9:29)
  • drafts, sealing drafts, caulking
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