Air Sealing, More than Caulk and Weather-Strip

We provide thermal imaging for all energy audits that we perform. The thermal camera allows us to see how air moves throughout your home. Where does cold air come into the house? Where does heat escape? Although each home is different, each one is the same. The picture here from the Department of Energy depicts how air moves throughout your home. Notice the blue arrows; this represents cold air coming into your home. And the red ones, they represent heat escaping. It’s not by chance that all the blue arrows are at the bottom of the home and the red arrows are at the top, for this is what we in the building science field call the stack effect. Although there are areas of the home where simply caulking and weather-stripping can go a long way, it is only a small piece of the puzzle.

The large air leaks in the bottom of your home come from the sill plate (board above foundation) and rim/Band joist. Lines are run through your band joist including electrical, hvac and cable just to name a few. Furthermore, Crawlspaces whether closed or open, should be isolated from the home with a continuous air barrier. Your attic plane is the largest source of heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. If your standing at the top floor of your home, when there is only attic above you, is where we are referring to. There will be leakage through top plates, electrical penetrations (every electrical socket you see, has a hole through the top plate for the wiring. ) plumbing penetrations, chase ways and chimney bypasses, just to name a few.

”But I have insulation in my attic, so that it stops all the heat loss right?” NO! Insulation does not stop air flow. It is a product that stops conductive heat loss. Air sealing your attic plane will stop convective heat loss—strait air movement. And allow your insulation to do its job. If you have not already read the blog post, “Nothing But a Sweater On a Cold Windy Day” please do, it will add insight to the topic. What’s the big picture? These areas of leakage into the home bring dust, dirt, pollen, allergies, moisture and everything else that moves with air. These areas of leakage are primary issues in a home and lead to mold, excess dust, cold and warm rooms, allergies, poor indoor air quality and of course, HIGH ENERGY BILLS. Take the next step and have a home energy audit completed by York Home Performance. We have the tools and knowledge to not only find the air leaks that cause these issues, but solve them as well. Call Today!

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Posted on Tuesday, January 21 2014 09:01 PM
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