Your money might be blowing right our of your home.
As the windy days of fall are rapidly approaching, it is time begin thinking about weatherizing our homes. Reducing the amount of air leakage in your home is a highly efficient and cost-effective way to cut down on heating costs, while also improving the longevity of your home. Not to mention, prescriptive air sealing also cuts down on chilly rooms and icy floors, making your home a much more comfortable place for your family.
What is Air Leakage?
Air leakage refers to the draining of warm (or cool) air out of your homes into the great outdoors, through any variety of holes or crannies. The Department of Energy says that the average home air leaks add up to the equivalent of a two-foot-square hole. Perhaps a better mental picture is leaving open a window 24/7/365. Imagine how this would cool down (or heat up) a room!
Where does air leakage occur?
Air leakage occurs from a variety of locations around your home. The most common areas are vent shafts and areas where there is already an opening to the exterior, such as bathroom fan vents, plumbing stack vents, chases, kitchen fan vents, the crawl space, the dryer, and even the outdoor faucet and the recessed lighting in your home.
Air leakage can refer to your conditioned air leaking out, or air from the outside leaking into your home. Either way, there are significant energy costs to be considered.
How does air leakage affect my home?
These gaps that let air leak in and out can make your home feel drafty and cold. Some rooms may be chillier than others. Other areas of the house may feel downright uncomfortable on windy nights. These are good indications that your house could use some prescriptive air sealing.
Air leakage also lets moisture-laden air into your home, which can pave the way for mold and mildew problems.
And, last but certainly not least, air leakage can have an enormous impact on your energy bills. Consider heating a room with a window open. What’s the point? Close the window, seal the drafts, and then you can feel confident about your heating bills.
How are air leaks fixed?
We use a variety of methods to assess and rectify air leakage issues for homeowners. The key is to provide controlled ventilation, while reducing the air leakage as much as possible.
Determining the source of air leaks
Firstly, we go through your home to detect air leaks. You will likely know where most of these are, because they are pretty easy to feel. Holes in attics, basements, or crawlspaces, on the other hand, are in areas less likely to be frequented by a homeowner and may be hiding big holes and cracks.
Our next step is to perform duct blasting or blower door testing. A large and powerful fan is used to pull the air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. As we monitor the return of the air pressure to a normal level, we can assess the amount of air flowing through your home, and the opportunities available for improving prescriptive air sealing.
Fixing the affected areas
Once we’ve located the problem areas, we can use a variety of products to seal your home. Caulk, spray foam, and weather stripping will be used for smaller air leaks. Larger holes will be repaired with rigid board insulation or similar materials. Areas such as gaps around chimneys or furnace flues will require sheet metal or caulk specialized to handle high temperatures.
When we are done prescriptive air sealing your home, not only will you be more comfortable, but your wallet and banking accounts will show you just how valuable prescriptive air sealing truly is.
Don’t go into this windy season unprotected! Call our office to schedule a free estimate right away.