The Feds on Air-Sealing


This Spring, DOE released a guide “Retrofit Techniques & Technologies: Air Sealing” that explains the practices used along with some related considerations.  It dives into the weeds, but it’s a good resource for anyone who wants to understand more about one of the common things we at GreenHomes do to improve homes–and why. 

As they point out, the air leaks in many homes can add up and have the same effect as leaving a window wide open all year long.  And thus, it’s no surprise that

By sealing uncontrolled air leaks, you can expect to see savings of 10% to 20% on your heating and cooling bills, and even more if you have an older or especially leaky house.

For those considering taking a stab at climbing up into the attic and taking care of air leaks on their own, definitely reread Kathryn’s post on “DIY Insulation” from last month.  In it you’ll also see mentioned the ENERGY STAR “Do-It-Yourself Guide to Sealing and Insulating“.  It gets into a lot of the important details critical to safe and effective air-sealing with some additional illustrations and photos.

Neither publication covers everything, but they do hit on some of the important basics.  And both point to some important health and safety considerations.  The DOE guide does a better job explaining the importance of combustion safety and ventilation–and how a good “test-in/test-out” approach helps address these issues.

If you’re thinking about insulating your home, remember, you should air-seal first.  The guides help explain how and why.  Both are worth a read.


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