Air Sealing for Energy Efficiency
Air sealing is the systematic finding and sealing of air leakage points in a home or building. Electricians, HVAC contractors, and plumbers will drill and saw their way through floors, walls, and ceilings, creating channels for the wires, heating ducts, water lines, and waste pipes that need to be run throughout the house. While these penetrations in the building envelope do not compromise the building’s strength, they result in air leakage that can make the building inefficient and uncomfortable.
Importance of Air Sealing
Air sealing is an integral part of new construction because it can help make your home more energy efficient by reducing heat loss through cracks around windows and doors, gaps between the foundation and walls, etc.
Air sealing is important for several reasons. First, air sealing can significantly reduce the amount of energy needed to heat or cool a home, thereby saving homeowners money on their energy bills. In fact, according to the Department of Energy, air sealing can reduce energy bills by up to 30%.
Second, air sealing can improve indoor air quality by reducing the amount of outdoor pollutants that enter the home through gaps and cracks in the building envelope. This is especially important for people with allergies or respiratory issues.
Third, air sealing can improve the durability and longevity of a building by reducing the amount of moisture that enters the home through air leaks. Moisture can cause mold and rot, which can damage the structure of the building and create health hazards for occupants.
Lastly, air sealing can improve the comfort of the home by reducing drafts and cold spots. This can create a more consistent temperature throughout the home, which can be especially important during extreme weather conditions.
How is Air Sealing Performed:
Air sealing is typically done during the construction process, before the home is completed. A professional air sealing contractor, such as Energy Diagnostics, will conduct a blower door test to identify the areas of the building envelope that are leaking air. Once these areas are identified, the contractor will seal them using various materials, such as caulk, foam, and weatherstripping.
Common areas where air leaks occur include:
- Around windows and doors
- In the attic and crawl space
- Around electrical outlets and light fixtures
- Along the rim joist (where the foundation meets the wood framing)
It is important to note that air sealing should be done in conjunction with proper insulation installation. Insulation helps to reduce heat transfer, while air sealing helps to reduce air leakage. Together, they create a more energy-efficient building envelope.
Why Partner with Energy Diagnostics:
For 30 years we have helped optimize building performance by providing energy code compliance, testing, and certification services. We draw on our experience of working on thousands of projects throughout the country to provide customized solutions for your project’s specific energy efficiency needs. Our comprehensive scope of services helps building professionals ensure their project meets or exceeds energy efficiency thresholds.
If it has to do with energy code and performance, we are here to help. Let’s build something great together.