14 Dec Air Sealing: The #1 Holiday Gift for Every Homeowner
Looking for a great holiday gift for the homeowner in your family? Think outside the box and consider insulation and air sealing.
Insulation and air sealing are the most important home improvement projects one can make!
Proper insulation and air sealing means enjoying your home the rest of the year. After all, improving your home comfort, creating an energy efficient residence and saving money sounds like a pretty good gift idea!
For example, a comprehensive energy audit can scientifically determine how much air leakage exists in your home. Plus, the audit measures the current insulation levels and quality of installation. And, the energy audit includes information about improving your insulation.
Lack of Insulation and Proper Air Sealing Remains a Primary Drive of Home Discomfort
The primary reason homeowners contact GreenHomes America remains solving home comfort problems. Do any of these apply to you?
• Rooms in your home that are always hot in the summer and cold in the winter?
• Do you have cold floors or feel drafts in certain parts of your home?
• Are you generally uncomfortable in your home?
GreenHomes helps homeowners because we provide unbiased information about the root causes of common home discomfort issues. For example, air leaks between your home and the attic, crawlspace, garage or outside , along with insufficient attic and wall insulation remain the likely root cause of uncomfortable homes. Plus, these issues drive higher heating and cooling costs.
Air Sealing Stops Leaks
Air leakage (or infiltration) occurs when outside air enters a house uncontrollably through cracks, gaps and openings. In fact, most homes contain the equivalent of a large open window in combined air leaks between their house and attic alone!
Fortunately, air leaks and drafts are easy to find because they are easy to feel. For example, homeowners typically feel around windows and doors and know air leaks surround their home. However, holes hidden in attics, basements and crawl spaces are more difficult to locate and are a bigger problem.To find air penetrations, a quality energy auditor relies on technology, such as blower door testing and infrared cameras. These tools detect hidden air movement and thermal deficiencies. To permanently fix issues, GreenHomes America recommends air sealing all penetrations that exist between the conditioned space of your home and unconditioned space. For example, in the attic we suggest using foam boards, spray foams, Tyvek or Typar, and other sealants to ensure warm and cold air from your HVAC system remains out of the attic.
Air Sealing: A Gift That Keeps Giving
A home energy audit that focuses on insulation and air sealing might not top anyone’s holiday list. However, these home improvements provide a never-ending gift. As a result of improved insulation and air sealing, homeowners receive better comfort and lower energy costs for years to come.
Plus, proper air sealing stops home discomfort today!
Fix Drafty Rooms
During the colder winter months, many homes remain uncomfortable. And, homeowners suffer through excessive heating costs. Yes, fixing drafty rooms makes a great gift idea. Take a closer look at the contributing factors causing uncomfortable homes.
1. Excessive air leakage – During winter, the air in homes is much warmer than outside air. Warm air in our homes rises. It moves up through numerous unsealed holes between the house and the attic. Unfortunately, this warm air is lost to the outside. At the same time, cold air from outside then enters your home to replace the warm air that was lost! This process of warm air from your house rising up into the attic and then outside only to be replaced by cold, wintertime outside air day after day is a major reason for cold, drafty homes.
2. Insufficient insulation levels – Most homes do not have enough insulation to keep the heat in your home from escaping. This obviously causes very uncomfortable conditions.
3. Poor heating system distribution – Heat from furnaces is often wasted because it is lost from leaks in ductwork before it can heat your home.
4. Inefficient windows – Old single pane, leaky windows can contribute to uncomfortable homes.
5. Low humidity levels – Homes in colder climates with high air leakage rates will typically have very dry air in the wintertime causing uncomfortable conditions.
Fix Cold Upstairs
Additionally, during the colder winter months, many homes have colder temperatures upstairs than downstairs. Although this seems strange because warm air rises, homes with colder rooms upstairs in winter are relatively common. Let’s take a closer look at why some homes have colder temperatures upstairs in the wintertime.
First, homes that contain colder upstairs rooms are losing heat faster on the second floor than the heating system can replace it. To improve comfort on the second floor, homeowners need to minimize as much heat loss from the upper floor of your home as possible. To prevent the heat loss:
• Identify and seal air leakage through holes, cracks and gaps.
• Following air sealing, then install insulation.
• Increase heating supply to the second floor (only if necessary).
Although the steps remain simple and straightforward, comprehensive air sealing presents challenges. In particular, if a home contains kneewalls or multiple attic spaces, the work requires professional expertise.
Additionally, test windows on the second floor for air leakage. Many widows have excessive air leakage around the window unit (between the window itself and the rough opening of the house framing). Typically, the gap around windows is very leaky. Plus, this gap remains a source for air to enter or exit the home in the wintertime.
Many times, properly air sealing and insulating homes corrects the uncomfortable conditions on the second floor without a need to do anything else. If, however, after minimizing the heat loss as much as possible, an auditor may determine additional heat supply is necessary. If so, the professional auditor will provide heating recommendations in the audit report for your consideration.
Air Sealing & Energy Audits: The Gifts That Keep Giving
Improving the comfort of your home often presents unique challenges. GreenHomes helps homeowners determine the best solution for their home. And home energy audits pinpoint the true sources of comfort problems and wasted energy in any home. Audits uncover waste such as excessive air leaks or insufficient insulation levels. The energy audit identifies root causes and provides a roadmap for creating a more comfortable, energy efficient home.
We hope everyone enjoys a safe and fun holiday season with friends and family.
Happy Holidays from GreenHomes America!