The U.S. Department of Energy strongly recommends that homeowners focus on air sealing their homes, along with adding appropriate levels of insulation, to boost whole-house efficiency. An efficient home envelope limits conditioned air losses as well as the infiltration of hot, dirty outside air into your home. With an effective thermal barrier achieved with air sealing and proper insulation, you can expect superior whole-house energy efficiency, lower energy bills and improved home comfort.
The first step in the process? Discover just how leaky your home may be. The Department of Energy reports the following areas as typical sources of air leaks:
- The air barrier and/or thermal barrier along the exterior of the home
- The attic
- Behind kneewalls
- Penetrations for ductwork or plumbing pipes
- Behind dropped ceilings
- Staircases that run along an exterior wall
- The roof of a porch
- Attic hatch or door
- Recessed lighting
- Penetrations along any exterior walls
- Walls that connect the garage to the home
- Basement rims, sill plate, floor or foundation
If you’re a homeowner embarking on a do-it-yourself air sealing project, this list may seem daunting. However, enlisting the help of a professional energy auditor can pinpoint problematic areas so that you can target your air sealing efforts, instead of blindly sealing every possible area, without even knowing whether it’s actually leaking.
An auditor will conduct a blower door test, designed to de-pressurize the home so that the air will come rushing back in, and can be identified as it’s doing so with specialized tools and scans. Meanwhile, an infrared scan of your home, both from inside and outside, will show areas where insulation is lacking and air is leaking. With the results in hand, you can undertake air sealing and insulation projects around your home that result in an effectively airtight home. In conjunction with this, you can make sure your home is properly ventilated, so that you’re the one controlling how air gets in and out.
How does your home’s energy efficiency rate? Do you need expert help with air sealing to stop air infiltration? Please contact us at NisAir Air Conditioning & Heating today for all of your home cooling and heating needs. We provide superior HVAC services to homeowners in Martin, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Indian River counties.