How to Check for Drafts in Your Home with These 2 Easy Hacks

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how to check for drafts cat

You’ve already checked if the windowsills, fireplace dampers and attic hatches of your house are sealed shut. So why is your house still so frigid? Hmm. Sounds like you might have some sneaky drafts sabotaging your home’s heat. If the usual, aforementioned suspects aren’t to blame, remember that drafts can also seep through innocuous, small spaces—like wire holes for your cable TV, plumbing vents or light switch plates. Here are two simple hacks to show you how to check for drafts in your home without having to hire a professional.


1. Use a Thermal Heat Detector

You can easily pick up a thermal heat detector at your local hardware store or have one shipped right to your doorstep. Begin by reading the temperature on surface areas like doors, walls etc. to gauge the general room temperature. Afterward, you can take your thermal heat detector to places where you suspect there may be drafts. 

Why this works:

If you see the temperature drop as you pass the detector through certain nooks crannies, there’s a draft coming in.

2. Use a Long Match or Incense

On a cool, windy day, close all your windows, doors, fireplace flues or any major areas that let air in. Light a long match or stick of incense and pass it through common draft areas.

Why this works:

If your match flickers or incense is blown out when passed through certain areas, there’s most likely a draft there. Bonus: You can perform the same test with a damp hand. Any areas with drafts seeping in will feel cool to your hand.

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Steph is a native of Zimbabwe who is both enamored and genuinely baffled by the concept of silent letters. From 2020 to 2022, she served as Associate Editor at PureWow covering...