Over the weekend, I scoured the house for drafts. And one I found was coming from an unlikely source, the master bathroom my wife and I share. Now, I don't know about you, but I don't like drafts. Even if it's only affecting a small area, like our bathroom, over the long run, the extra energy our house needs to heat this area to the desired temperature on our manual thermostat really adds up.
But, what surprised me most about this draft wasn't that it kept me from the four o'clock football games – I guess, that just made me more angry – it was that I couldn't tell where the issue was coming from. For example, we recently redid our bathroom to increase its energy saving potential (we replaced our old lights with Energy Star-rated vanity lights).
I checked all of the areas around the windows and couldn't find anything. That's when I determined that the draft might have been coming from our bathroom fan. Now, I know there are those who say that since the fan ventilates to the outside, it's never going to be completely draft proof. But, we found that our bathroom was running about three to four degrees cooler than the rest of the house, which indicated we might have had a bigger problem.
Inside a passage above the fan, there's something called a damper flap. This keeps drafts from blowing in by being pushed shut by any wind that comes through. However, luckily I know my way around bigger projects and can tackle this with only a few days work. To find out if you have a similar issue in your home, hold up a piece of tissue paper to the grille. The air exhaust should hold the paper tightly to it, if not, you may need to take precautions to ensure your electric heaters don't work overtime.