In a very literal way, the Black and Decker Thermal Leak Detector is a heat-seeking raygun. It seeks heat, and tells you when it's not finding enough. And, when it senses a drop or increase in heat (because there is a compromised seal in a window, door, or wall joint) the "rays" (light) it fires change color. OK, maybe I'm stretching a little.
Pretty awesome though, especially for something that will only cost $39.99. There are a lot of services out there that will scan your whole house for heat leaks (and one city in the UK that is doing it for the whole city with spyplanes). But there's never been a way (aside from feeling with your hand) to do it yourself. Which is good news for homeowners, since sealing drafts can save you up to 20% on your home heating and cooling.
First you fire the gun at the wall, to give it a reference point, and then you just shoot the wall, windows and doors to find any temperature changes. You can set it to sense temperature changes of 1, 5 or 10 degrees F. So once you've gone over the house to fix any big leaks, you can start working on the smaller ones.
written by Chris, December 11, 2008
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