Why Is Air Sealing Important?

Supplemental to insulation is Air Sealing

black in attic is it mold
Air Sealing Attic Floor

What is attic air sealing?

Lights, fans, plumbing stacks, chimneys... Any unintentional gap /hole in your ceiling creates air movement, air exchanges, and unintentional thermal transfer. Seal the Gaps. Mind the Gaps. By Sealing the exterior building envelope properly ( which requires re-cualking every few years in the Chicago area due to extreme heat and extreme cold, along with air sealing the attic floor, you will see a considerable improvement in comfort and efficiency. Lower your Air Exchanges per Hour. Lower your unintentional leakage. We spray foam around most of these, including around light fixtures, bathroom fans, open wall cavities, and plumbing stacks. Other items like chimneys and recessed lights require special materials.

conduit electrical penetrations create air pathways for heat escape
Air sealing electrical penetrations which create air pathways for heat escape
conduit electrical penetrations create air pathways for heat escape
Solution . One part spray foam of all seams of the attic floor.

Do I need to air seal my basement?

There are potential dissimilar materials that may cause unintentional leakage in the basement, and since it is accessible in most homes, it is a priority for us secondary to attic air sealing. Any work you have done inside your home could be less efficient if your basement is not properly sealed. Air sealing is supplemental to insulation. A free energy assessment where we use our thermal cameras to track heat movement will clear up any questions.

What about the walls?

While wall insulation may be effective, it is installed between stud cavities, so that does not prevent air movement, air infiltration, and unintentional air leakage around the seams of the framing such as the top plates and bottom plates. Air Sealing is done on framing in new construction with energy efficient standards. in existing homes, there are methods to improve the building envelope to prevent drafty homes. Call us for a longer conversation specific to your home.

Green Attic

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    Attic Hatch Pulldown Ladder Leaking Heat / Cold Surface

    Air Sealing

    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 the 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.

    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. By investing a little more money into the improvement of your home, you will effectively be putting more money back into your pocket for years to come.