Air sealing is one of the most critical features of an energy efficient home.
To prevent air leakage, it is best to seal the building envelope during construction prior to installation of
the drywall. A “blower door” test is a good way to
identify air leakage paths so that they can be sealed using an appropriate material.
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Why Do You Need To Air Seal?
Condensation can lead to mold and mildew problems. In hot, humid climates, moisture can enter into wall cavities through exterior cracks and result in costly damage to framing and insulation. In cold climates, gaps in the interior walls allow moisture from warm indoor air to enter wall cavities and attics. This moisture can condense on cold surfaces and lead to structural damage.
By significantly reducing air leakage, you can reduce or eliminate these problems
A tighter building envelope reduces the amount of unconditioned air, drafts, noise, and moisture that enter your home. Proper air sealing will also minimize temperature differences between rooms. As a result, tight envelopes can maintain a more consistent level of comfort throughout a house.
This is the main reason to air seal your home. A house works a lot like a smoke stack. Hot air rises through the house until it exits in the attic. If you seal off a smoke stack at the top, the bottom, or both, you don’t have a smoke stack. In air-sealing a house we are trying to stop the stack effect as much as we can.
An unzipped winter coat doesn’t work very well because it allows air around your body, which makes you cold. An insulated house can also perform poorly if air can get in. There is not a consensus, but nearly half of the energy leakage in a house can be caused by air leakage – that costs a lot of money!
Air leakage accounts for 25 percent to 40 percent of the energy used for heating and cooling and also reduces the effectiveness of other energy efficiency measures such as increased insulation and high-performance windows. Thus air sealing results in lower energy bills.
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