The Benefits of Air Sealing Your Home: An Expert's Perspective

Air sealing is an essential part of creating an efficient, durable, and healthy home. Air leakage or infiltration occurs when outdoor air enters a home uncontrolled through cracks, gaps, and openings. Homes with higher air leaks are significantly less energy efficient than well-sealed homes. Air leaks occur when outside air enters and the air conditioner leaves the house uncontrolled through cracks and openings.

It is not recommended to rely on air leaks for natural ventilation as this can lead to poor indoor air quality and moisture problems. Sealing cracks and openings reduces drafts and cold spots, improving comfort. Airtight sealing solves the problem of excess air flow to ensure that your home has all the fresh air it needs, but without making you feel uncomfortable. It also helps to keep excess moisture away, protecting the structural integrity of your investment and the overall health of your home.

The cost of hermetic sealing varies depending on the size and location of the home, as well as the scope of the project. A house that is well insulated but that is not (or is poorly) sealed from the air will still have air infiltration into the house where it shouldn't. The air seal can be installed together with the insulation, but first you have to do an energy audit and test the door fan. Between hermetic sealing and insulation, the former will make your home more energy efficient, since you will eliminate leaks, gaps and openings. The best way to find out where to place the hermetic seal in your home is to request an energy audit from a certified contractor. A contractor specializing in home construction that performs hermetic sealing work will generally concentrate on the basement and attic to minimize the chimney effect and thus minimize unwanted air movement throughout the house.

Hermetic attic sealing (and duct sealing) solves these problems by plugging these holes with expandable spray foam so that excess air can no longer pass through.

Air Sealing Benefits

Air sealing can also improve the overall air quality in your home, reduce humidity in the house, improve the health and comfort of your home, and reduce the amount of energy used by heating and cooling equipment. Sealing the air in your home is a worthwhile investment, as it translates into energy efficiency, comfort and home value. At best, for a space such as an attic, the preferred method is to first seal with air and then add blow insulation; when that is not possible, the house can still be effectively sealed against air after it has been insulated. Many homeowners worry that hermetic sealing will cause their home to be too stuffy or prevent healthy air flow throughout the house. As the house ages, small gaps and cracks begin to form in and around the foundation, which sealing with air helps to resolve.

Like Simon & Garfunkel, air sealing and insulation work better together, since they are the yin of each other's yang. According to Energy Star, EPA estimates savings of 15% in heating and cooling costs if air is properly sealed and insulation is added.

Maartje van den Visser
Maartje van den Visser

Lifelong tv aficionado. Hipster-friendly web advocate. Lifelong zombie fan. Amateur beer evangelist. Typical coffee lover.