AIR SEALING – Commercial & Residential
REDUCE DRAFTS & ENERGY BILLS, INCREASING COMFORT!
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. .
EHI's Air Sealing helps resolve this issue and can take place during the new construction process and in retrofit insulation applications.
To learn more, Give us a call at 972-552-0200 or fill out the form on our CONTACT US page for a prompt response.
WHAT IS AIR SEALING?
Air sealing is the systematic finding and sealing of air leakage points throughout your home, from the attic to the walls to the basement and/or crawlspace. Here is a brief breakdown of the process for the various parts of your home.
Attic Air Sealing
Lights, Fans, Plumbing Stacks, Chimneys, etc. - Any hole in your ceiling is called a thermal bypass, or air leak. We spray foam around most of these, including around light fixtures, bathroom fans, open wall cavities, and plumbing stacks. Other items like chimneys and recessed lights require special methods. There are a large number of items that require a professional to find and correct properly.
Wall Air Sealing
Insulation and/or Outlet Sealing – The simplest item on walls is to put foam backers behind the outlet covers and child proof plugs to stop air coming out the outlet holes. The harder part is insulating walls.. If you have a new home, about 1970 or later, your walls are probably insulated. If you have an older home, especially before 1965, your walls are probably empty. Empty walls generally account for 20-40% of air leakage, and are the best area to reduce leakage. EHI can insulate most walls and drastically reduce both the air leakage and energy bills of your older home.
Basement | Crawlspace Air Sealing
There is a lot of leakage in the basement, and since it is accessible in most homes, it is a priority for any home contractor.. Here are the big areas we focus on:
1. Band/Rim Joist
This is the vertical board on top of the masonry foundation that runs like a band around your house. The top of it sits just below the floor of your first floor and is a major leakage point. The bottom of the band joist sits on top of the sill plate, and is another major leakage point. Also, any holes through the band joist like the electrical service, dryer vent, hose spigot, air conditioner line, etc. also need to be sealed. Caulk and foam is what we usually use in these areas.
2. Sill Plate/Sill Sealer
The sill plate is the horizontal board that sits directly on top of your foundation. Between the sill plate and foundation is the sill sealer, which ironically rarely seals the sill. It can be either a layer of mortar in older homes, a 1/2” thick black felt-like band in 1960s-1980s homes, or a thin layer of foam. This is best sealed up with foam.
3. Holes in the Floor
Any holes through the basement ceiling, such as electrical and plumbing lines, chimneys, or duct work. Any of these items, particularly plumbing lines and the chimney, can be connected through walls from the basement to the attic, creating a mini smokestack. Since there is no way to know for sure which ones connect and which don't, it's best to seal them all.
4. Leaky Ducts
Duct work typically leaks 10-30% meaning that a lot of the air you are paying to heat or cool is leaking somewhere it shouldn't. If the ducts are in the walls, there isn't much you can do short of ripping walls apart (don't bother, drywall costs a lot more than the energy you'll save). Any ductwork in the basement can be sealed though. Ironically, don't use duct tape, it will fail within a few years. On any seams or cracks, either cover them with foil tape or mastic. Mastic is a tile glue that can be found in either the duct work or tile sections at your local building supply store.