Air-sealing is a general term for the tightening of a building's envelope; locating major leaks and plugging them up. These leaks present themselves in somewhat predictable locations for the seasoned energy auditor, but there's often something we would never find without the help of our blower door and perhaps the thermal imager. For this reason, an energy audit is always recommended.
NJHES uses a variety of techniques to air-seal. We use polyurethane foam, dense-packed cellulose, caulks, and weather stripping to reduce your home's leakage. The results can be up to a 20% decrease in utility costs, and greatly improved comfort.
The drafts in some homes often leave you feeling uncomfortable even with your thermostat at unaffordable settings. This is because every time the wind blows there is a dramatic air exchange in your home. We stop these large leaks and help make your home a consistent and cozy place.
Air Sealing sounds self explanatory and it is except for three common misconceptions.
Q: Air sealing means fixing or replacing my old windows and doors, right?
A: Well, yes and no. These two things could be a major contributor, they certainly are one of the things you feel and notice. Usually they are a minor contribution to total house leakage. There's a couple counterintuitive sources in the framing of your home that are usually guilty of the bulk of the leakage.
Q: Shouldn't a house breathe, my contractor said my house should breathe?
A: Yes it should, usually it is breathing two to three times what it should to maintain a healthy number of air exchanges per hour. In home retrofit and air-sealing work we almost never get a house to tight. Our blower door test quantifies the tightness and insures that your home stays healthy.
Q: Can I do the air-sealing in my basement to save some money?
A: No... big No. An adequate level of draft or make-up air must be preserved for your combustion appliances. When we do initial pressure diagnostics in an energy audit we can predict whether air-sealing your basement is a good idea. Although the basement is a primary source of infiltration careful attention should be paid to combustion appliances and any moisture issues in the space.