WHAT IS AIR LEAKAGE?
Air leakage is the uncontrolled flow of conditioned air leaving the building envelope and unconditioned air entering it.
Both conditioned and unconditioned air flows through cracks, and openings throughout the building envelope. The diagram below shows where the major holes are in a buildings envelope and where conditioned air is escaping and unconditioned air infiltrating.
WHAT IS AIR SEALING?
Air Sealing is the closing of holes, cracks, and gaps, stopping air from passing into and out of your home. This is done with weather-stripping, foam sealants, and specialized caulks.
On hot and cold days you pay money to heat and cool your home to maintain a comfortable temperature. Reducing infiltration can significantly cut annual heating and cooling costs, improve building durability, create a healthier indoor environment, and increase comfort for those living and working within a buildings envelope.
WHERE TO AIR SEAL?
Attic: Dropped ceilings and kitchen sofits, plumbing chases, attic accesses, recessed light fixtures, wiring penetrations, top plates, chimney stacks, and knee walls represent some major connections between the attic and conditioned space.
Living areas: Doors, Windows, light switches and electrical outlets, Band joists (for 2-story homes) Basement: Rim-joist and sill-plate can be one of the leakiest parts of the home. Plumbing penetrations through sill plate and exterior sheathing, and Windows are some of the areas where air finds its way in and out of the home.
AIR LEAKAGE TRUMPS R-VALUE
Scientists whom have studied building envelopes have recognized that air leakage can have a greater impact on energy consumption than R-value. The US Department of Energy reports that Air leakage can attribute to as much as 40 percent of a buildings energy loss. What this means to a home owner is that air sealing (draft stopping) can offer a far greater potential energy savings than adding R-value alone. Studies have shown that even the best conventional insulation on the market won’t control air leakage - regardless of R-Value. To maximize the full potential of conventional insulation, air sealing is a must.
DO YOU HAVE ICE-DAMMING?
Ice damming is a much bigger issue than you may think. Ice damming can lead to delaminating of the roof sheathing, rotting of roof rafters, shortened life of shingles, and compromised structural integrity of the home.
Myth: Adding ventilation to the attic will always solve ice-damming.
Facts: Ventilation is necessary for the drying of attics in Spring, but in more and more cases it cannot cope with the moisture load coming from the inside of the house.
Myth: Ice-damming can be prevented by fixing the roof.
Fact: Ice-damming is not only a roof or gutter issue. installing better flashing or an ice-damming membrane does not solve the real problem of warm air infiltrating your attic.
Solution: The number one priority in coping with ice damming and condensation issues; is to stop heat from entering the attic! This is done by properly air sealing. Another key area is making sure exhaust fans are properly vented out of the attic through the roof and making sure attic proper vents are correctly installed.
Finally the addition of insulation is need to bring the attic up to the correct R-value.
DON'T YOU THINK IT'S TIME TO PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT?
A home energy assessment is one of the smartest investments you can make.
Some benefits include:
• Access to Cash-Back Rewards
• A customized report with fact sheets, infrared pictures, resource information and proposed solutions to existing problems.
• Guidance and education on optimizing your homes performance
• Knowing that you are properly taking care of your investment
For more information on how you may benefit from the program, ask about Home Performance with Energy Star®.
Building Envelope Assessments:
Air leakage testing
Blower door Testing
Air Sealing/Draft Stopping:
Crawl Space Encapsulation
Attic & Wall Insulation
Blow-in & Dense packing
Exhaust fan Installation
Proper Attic Ventilation
Create Attic Access
Installation of Pull down Stairs
Attic Tent Installation