Reducing the amount of air leakage in your home is a cost-effective way to cut heating and cooling costs, improve the longevity of your home and make your home more comfortable and healthier for you and your family.
According to the Department of Energy, the average home has enough air leakage to add up to a two-foot-square hole. That’s like leaving a medium-sized window open 24 hours a day!
How air leaks from the home:
Air leakage occurs when outside air flows through your house through cracks and openings, like plumbing and electrical penetrations, gaps in roof lines, and more.
Leaving these gaps for air to leak in and out can make your home feel drafty and uncomfortable, it allows moisture-laden air to sneak inside, and it can have a huge impact on your energy bills.
While sealing up excessive air leaks is important, it’s also important not to seal up your house too tightly. A ‘tight’ house can lead to inadequate venting, resulting in condensation build-up, rot, and poor indoor air quality.
Many older homes are extremely leaky, and even newer homes often aren’t sealed as well as they should be. You may be aware of drafty spots around doors or windows, but air is likely escaping in other places too. Here’s where the Department of Energy says the air leaks out in most of our homes:
The recommended strategy is to reduce air leakage as much as possible and to provide controlled ventilation. One way to do this is by adding energy efficient bathroom and whole house fans to help control the air flow.
Before air sealing, you should first:
Detect Air Leaks
Many air leaks and drafts are found quickly because they’re easy to feel. However, holes hidden in attics, basements, or crawlspaces are usually a bigger problem and require some looking in addition to testing. Some of the most common areas for leaks are illustrated on the www.energy.gov website here and here.
Duct Blaster & Blower Door Testing
A blower door is a powerful fan that mounts into the frame of an exterior door. The fan pulls air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. We can then use the results of that test to determine the amount of air flowing through your home, and the opportunities available for increased comfort and energy savings.
Duct Blaster testing is a similar process to the blower door, but it helps us determine the amount of air leaking in your duct system.
Assess Your Ventilation Needs for Indoor Air Quality
It’s important to ensure that your home has the proper amount of ventilation so it can breathe properly and ensure that the air in your home is healthy.
Once your home has been assessed and we know where the leaks are, we can seal your home properly to ensure that your home is healthy and working efficiently.
Air Sealing Products
Once the cracks and leaks have been found, there are different types of products that can be used to address different types of air leaks:
- Caulk, spray foam, and weather stripping for sealing smaller leaks
- Rigid board insulation or similar products for covering larger holes
- Sheet metal and high temperature caulk to close gaps around chimneys and furnace flues
Benefits of Air Sealing
To You: You’ll feel more confortable because your home will no longer be drafty.
To Your Wallet: Sealing the air leaks in your home can cut your cooling and heating bills by 20% or more, which can save you hundreds of dollars per year.
To the Environment: Air sealing can extend the life of your home and reduce maintenance costs by keeping mold and rot in check. It conserves precious fossil fuel reserves and reduces emissions of greenhouse gases – reducing your carbon footprint.