by Alex A. Kecskes
Engineers are always looking for ways to improve the way we live and work. One way they do that is by making our homes and offices more energy efficient. That's becoming increasingly important as the demand for energy exceeds supply.
Recently, engineers designed a device that sniffs out drafts around windows and doors. The hand-held marvel uses an infrared laser thermometer to detect temperature differences by showing a loss of hot air in cold weather, or cool air in warm weather. The device is easily calibrated by using a reference temperature achieved by aiming it at an interior wall near the window or door to be tested. When the device encounters a hotter or colder area that this reference point, a green reference light turns blue or red. The device detects temperature differences as small as one degree Fahrenheit.
The device can also be used to check for drafts or leaks around fireplaces, recessed lighting, electrical outlets, or along floor molding. Once the energy leak is discovered, it's easy to seal the offending area with caulk or weather stripping. Sealing leaks can save as much as 20 percent on heating and cooling bills, keeping a home or office cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
Devices like these are one of many things engineers develop using the principles of heat transfer and electronic monitoring. I can tell you from personal experience that detectors like these are far better that blowing cigarette smoke at a leaky window to pinpoint an energy leak.
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Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.