Simple Ways to Check for Energy Loss, Air Leakage and Drafts

Since the energy costs and environmental states are going up, it makes sense to make sure you are optimizing your energy use. Poor insulation is one of the major contributing factors of energy loss and finding where the issues are could save you money on your energy bills as well as help the environment.

There are many cheap, easy and simple ways to check for drafts, leakages and broken seals that can let in the unwanted cold. For example, you can inspect areas where two different materials meet, such as between brick and foundation or around windows, for any obvious cracks or gaps that can cause air leakage.

Since much energy can be lost through windows and doors, this is where it matters most. The simplest way is to run your hand along the edges of baseboards, doors and windows to fee if there is any cold air coming though.

Even if you cannot feel a breeze or even cold air, there could be an air leak. Timothy Dahl of the home improvement blog, Charles and Hudson, notes that you can use a candle to check for air leaks. A lighted candle flame will flicker if there is any air moment and by moving the candle around the edges of windows and doors can detect air moment. Just make sure that there is no moving air in the room such as fans. You can also find hidden leaks if you can slide a piece of paper out to the other side of a door or window when it is closed or by shining a flashlight through the crevices in the dark and seeing visible light on the other side.

For a more thorough and precise measurement of energy efficiency in the home or at work, the best way is to hire a qualified profession who can conduct an energy assessment or energy audit, such as a blower door test, which depressurizes a space to reveal the locations of air leakage. If you do find you have air leakage, most of the time it’s a small leak and fairly easy to fix with caulking, newer environmentally friendly windows, plastic wrap on windows or even placing a rag under a door to prevent air flow.

A home energy audit can also reveal areas that could use better or more insulation. If this is the case, then you should contact a professional for advice.

For industrial, retail or commercial steel buildings, Norsteel Buildings offers a wide range of insulation solutions.

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