It’s important to hire technicians that are properly trained and under the house-as-a-whole system when considering air sealing.
Air leakage is a subtle yet pervasive issue in homes, negatively affecting comfort, efficiency, and humidity. Air leakage is also the main culprit in frozen pipes, icicle & ice dams, and moisture in smoke detectors.
Homes generally have a multitude of drafts around doors, windows, and at the foundation walls – but air also leaks out of the home through gaps, holes, and penetrations in the ceiling to the attic. For every bit of cold air you feel leaking in as drafts, an equal amount of air is leaking out. In fact, unless you stop the air from escaping first, sealing incoming drafts will be frustrating as new areas become drafty. Stopping escaping air leaks is essential – like capping a straw with your thumb.
So where is air passing in & out of your home? What areas should be targeted for air sealing? While there are the common areas mentioned above, each home is unique, and determining the specific areas to air seal requires a bit of investigation. The best way to find all the leaks in your home is with a blower door test and infrared camera. The blower door moves air out, while outside air gets sucked in through the gaps & holes. The infrared camera can see the temperature difference created by these incoming drafts. Without the blower door, the infrared camera sees only half of the holes.
This is how we find the ‘targets’ for air sealing. This targeted list, provided to the air sealing & insulation contractor, ensures that the right areas, get sealed. Follow-up testing ensures the work is done well before the contractors leave – avoiding ‘call-backs’.
A Home Performance Audit should include Blower Door & Infrared guided air leakage testing, as well as critical Combustion Safety testing. The Report should provide Explanations, Advice, and Options for improving your home. And Follow-up testing should be performed to ensure work is done well, the home has no combustion risks, and that the home is getting a proper fresh-air exchange. Remember, Good decisions start with Insight.
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