A leaky house is like walking outside with your winter coat unzipped. Without the front of your coat closed, air is able to enter and circulate around your body. This air close to your body is what makes you cold. Controlling the air, by keeping it out with a zipper, has the same effect as air sealing does for your home.
Air sealing involves finding which parts of your home are leaking air and sealing them to control airflow. Here are some other things you may not have known about air sealing:
- Those drafts that make you uncomfortable in your own home are also known as air leaks.
- The best way to see if you have air leaks in your home is by using a special fan called a blower door. It fits in a doorway and pulls air from your home, measures how much leaks, and also can figure out where those air leaks are coming from.
- Did you know that a typical home leaks up to 3x the amount of air that it should? Which results in a lot of wasted money, and plenty of room for improvement.
- Ice dams are actually caused by air leakage into your home’s attic. The warm leaking air melts the snow on your roof which then refreezes on the edge of your cold eaves creating the ice dams.
- It is possible to have a house that is “too tight”. Houses need proper ventilation to ensure a supply of fresh air to keep people healthy.
- This problem typically arises in newer homes. If your house does have this problem, there are ways to fix this too.
- The technical measurement for air leakage is in a unit of measure called cubic feet per minute at 50 Pascals (CFM50), which is about the same pressure as a 20 mph wind blowing on all sides of your home. We call Pascals ‘mouse farts’ in the home repair industry because it is such a small unit of pressure.
- The optimum rate of air change for a house is every three hours. A very leaky house will have a rate closer to 30 minutes or an hour which is why your furnace has to work so much harder to keep up.
- Some of the most common places that need air sealing in homes are basements and crawlspaces, attics (around lights, fans, plumbing, chimneys), walls (around outlet covers), and flooring.
If you’d like to know more about air sealing, call A+ Insulation at (913) 281-2250 or (816) 268-7511 and we’ll be glad to help. We can even perform a free home energy evaluation to help you know where your home is losing the most energy!