Air Sealing

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You depend on your home to protect you from the unpredictable elements of the outdoors — but did you know that tiny cracks and gaps in the construction of your home can also pose a threat to your overall comfort, and more importantly, your health? 

By air sealing your house, you can live in a home that keeps harmful pollutants and contaminants outside, keeps your indoor temperatures stable, and reduces your indoor drafts. We often recommend combining air sealing with an insulation upgrade, to boost the effectiveness of both home improvements. Here is what you should know about air sealing, and why trusting SmartHouse with your air sealing project is the smart call.

Where Can Air Leaks Come From?

You may not be able to see most of these cracks and gaps, but the most likely culprits include:

  • Plumbing
  • Flue chases
  • Attic hatches
  • Recessed lighting
  • Other structural components

These ‘big’ leaks are hard for most homeowners to diagnose and fix, and can be up to 20 times more wasteful than all of the minor and obvious leaks throughout a house. As Building Performance Institute certified building science professionals, the team at SmartHouse believes (and the US Department of Energy agrees) that the installation of insulation alone is a marginal improvement and that air sealing should be incorporated in nearly every house.

The Benefits of Air Sealing

A home free of air leaks will provide many benefits you may not have considered. Take your indoor air quality for example: the fewer areas where outside pollution can infiltrate your home, the less work your ventilation systems will have to do to prevent those contaminants from recirculating in your breathing air. 

Air sealing your home offers:Air Sealing in Attic

  • Reliable indoor temperatures
  • Fewer indoor drafts
  • Increased indoor air quality
  • An increase in energy efficiency 
  • Reduced heating & cooling costs

How SmartHouse Air Seals Your Home

Before we even begin closing up any holes, we’ll test your entire home to determine where the leaks are coming from. This is done using a blower door test to give us the total amount of leakage present, and then we identify the exact location of the leaks using infrared imaging (as well as our decades of building science experience). 

Once we’ve identified the sources of your woes, we seal up the leaks using an expanding spray foam insulation material. This fills the leak entirely, and prevents heat from escaping or infiltrating through the newly installed material. 

A few air sealing tips:

  • Air sealing cannot be performed without blower door testing or combustion safety testing. These steps are necessary to assure that the house always maintains enough air exchange for its occupants. If a contractor says they can seal your house without testing, you should run the other way.
  • Insulation needs to be installed properly to be effective. Even small gaps can result in dramatically reduced effectiveness. If you covered 98% of your attic correctly, but left 2% exposed, your insulation’s performance would be reduced to 58%.
  • More insulation is not always better. There is a point of diminishing return beyond which your investment may not be worthwhile.

Is your home increasingly drafty, dusty, or hard to keep comfy? Air sealing and insulation can help! Ask SmartHouse to diagnose your air sealing needs by calling 314-644-1570 or get in touch here.