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Air Draft Sealing
Many homeowners have drafty homes that are uncomfortable to live in but they are unaware what the problem is or how to come up with a solution. As a building settles over time and seasonal temperature fluctuations expand and contract construction materials, gaps and cracks can develop in a home. Hidden behind walls or inside attics, these infiltrations can be hard to find, but added up they can mean big energy losses.
On average, 75% of the air inside an old drafty home leaks to the outside every hour. That’s $0.75 of every dollar spent to heat or condition that air! Why waste money on heating and cooling when proper air sealing can save hundreds or thousands of dollars in the long term.
The solution: Air Draft Sealing
Benefits of Air Sealing
Increased Comfort- Reduced draftiness and better temperature retention.
Lower Utility Bills- Less wasted heated/cooled air means less money spent on bills.
Improved Air Quality- Ensures damp and dusty air does not enter the home.
Increased Insulation Performance- Insulation will last longer and perform better.
Cost Effective- One of the most inexpensive and effective home improvement measures.
Air Sealing Procedure
First the source of infiltration must be identified. This can be sometimes done visually, but is most accurately assessed with a blower door test and infrared camera or non-toxic smoke machine. The blower door measures the rate of air flowing through the home and the infrared camera/ smoke machine reveals where the greatest air flow is coming from.
The trick is not to seal the home too tightly, which can cause other health and efficiency problems. Our building analysts calculate and prescribe the proper amount of sealing needed to achieve maximum efficiency without sacrificing proper ventilation.
Once the sources of infiltration are identified, the penetrations are carefully sealed using insulated foam board and expanding foam. This method performs very effectively in reducing the draftiness of the home. Most homeowners are surprised to discover how much different a home that is properly air sealed feels. Proper air sealing also improves insulation performance over time because the less air traveling over your insulation, the longer the insulation will last.
A large number of homes in the Bay Area have no air sealing at all since they were built before 1979. Older homes benefit greatly from professional air sealing as they usually have a lot of leaky spots that are harder to identify visually.