Air Leakage


Energy Efficiency
Air Leakage
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An average home leaks more than half its air every hour. If this home were a boat, it would sink in about an hour.

If you live in an an average home that lets 60 percent of its air escape every hour, you are paying to heat or cool the air in your home, only to see a large percentage of the air escape outside. Meanwhile, an equal amount of outside air is coming inside. You are paying for all of this extra heating and cooling on your energy bill.

  1. You pay to heat or cool the air in your home.
  2. A large percentage of that conditioned air escapes to the outside.
  3. An equal amount of outside, unconditioned air enters your home.
  4. Your bill is significantly more to heat or cool the air in a leaky home.
Benefits

Energy Savings
Sealing air leaks is the quickest and cheapest energy improvement you can make. Actual savings vary for each home, but it is possible to reduce energy costs by one-third. Sealing air leaks can save money in other ways, because a tighter home envelope allows for smaller-capacity heating and cooling equipment.
HVAC installation
Comfortable Living
Sealing air leaks is one key way to even out the temperature in a room. Wouldn’t it be nice not to have your feet freezing in the winter because the floor is always cold, even when the thermostat says your home is heated to the proper setting?

Safety & Indoor Air Quality
When tightening up your home, it’s important to be sure that you maintain adequate levels of ventilation. A leaky home

Photo Courtesy of DOE/NREL, HVAC installation

has plenty of ventilation, but this uncontrolled ventilation brings with it unnecessarily high energy costs and poor comfort. In older homes, it’s unlikely that you will make the home too tight. The best way to reduce air leaks and implement the right ventilation strategy is to hire an energy analyst to run a blower door test.

HVAC installation

Photos Courtesy of DOE/NREL, ENERGY STAR

Making sure air flow is properly controlled and your home has adequate ventilation can improve indoor air quality. To lean more about what you can do to improve your home’s indoor air quality, visit the American Lung Association’s Health House (http://www.healthhouse.org/consumer) website.

Increased Home Value
Energy efficient home A study by The Appraisal Journal

                   Photo Courtesy of DOE/NREL, HVAC installation

found that the selling price of homes increased by $20.73 for every $1 decrease in energy bills. If your energy bills average $1,500/year and you saved $400/year, your home value would increase by $8,300.

Conservation
According to ENERGY STAR, energy use for an average home is responsible for twice as much pollution as the average car. Taking measures to seal leaks reduces the greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere.

Photo Courtesy of DOE/NREL, Energy efficient home

Equipment & Services

  • An energy analyst will use a blower door and other diagnostic tools to evaluate air leakage. Consider sealing air leaks while the blower door is running.
  • Cellulose insulation is often recommended for sealing air leaks. If you are insulating a wall, make sure the cellulose is applied as a dense pack.
  • Materials used to seal air leaks include caulk, expanding foam sealant, backer rod or crack filler, weather stripping and door sweeps.

Hiring Contractors

HVAC installationIf you choose to hire a contractor to find and seal air leaks, add insulation or replace old windows, click on one of these links for more information.

Do it Yourself

To learn about sealing air leaks yourself, download this comprehensive home sealing guide from ENERGY STAR (http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/publications/pubdocs/DIY_Guide_May_2008.pdf).

                                                                        Photo Courtesy of DOE/NREL, HVAC installation

Download the Home Energy Checklist for Action from our education partner, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (http://www.aceee.org).

 

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