Controlling the air leakage of the home is critical to insulating effectively. You can do a great job insulating the home, but if air can leak out through gaps, cracks and holes in the building envelope, you lose your valuable heated or conditioned air. Air sealing helps resolve this issue and can take place during the new construction process and in retrofit insulation applications.
New energy codes in many states require blower-door testing on all new construction. Insulation and air sealing play an important role in helping reduce air infiltration, but even together, they are not enough to get a house to pass the test. Blower-door tests involve putting a fan on the door to the home and lowering the air pressure of the house. By calculating the cubic footage of the home and measuring the fan speed required to get the house to a certain air pressure, testing professionals can determine the air leakage or “air changes” of the home. How the house is framed, the house wrap installation, the quality of the drywall installation, the type of fixtures and even whether or not there’s water in the plumbing traps can all help determine the air leakage of the home.
There are many products available to help air seal a home, and many new ones are being introduced. Acrylic latex caulk, single component can foam, two-component foam and even the insulation type itself can help. Let USI help you determine which solution best fits your needs.