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Fast Facts about Attic Air Sealing

24 January 2019

Most homeowners with a basic working knowledge about insulation believe that the more insulation added to their home, the more energy efficient the house is.  While this is in part true, embracing the utilization of attic air sealing in tandem with insulation will produce the best results.  Here’s what you need to know!

What is Attic Air Sealing?

A critical step to improving your home’s energy efficiency, attic air sealing is the meticulous process of locating and addressing areas of your attic that have allowed exterior air to filter in.  Spots that often require attention include can lights, false soffits, and bath fan penetrations.  Spray foam, patches, and weather-stripping are used to fill in holes and cracks to create a tighter home.  Simply adding insulation does not fully address the root of the issue which is outside air making its way into the home.

Identifying Problematic Areas

A reputable contractor, through the utilization of diagnostic testing, can work with you to determine areas where a home is leaking air.  Winter is an optimum to time for a home energy evaluation because the interior of the home varies so much from the exterior home air temperature.  A heat map analysis utilizes thermal imaging which can rapidly allow a contractor to identify pockets of cold air within your home.

Home Performance Testing is a Step to a More Energy Efficient Home: 

DIYers Beware

While the process itself seems straightforward, there are numerous reasons the services of an attic insulation professional should be rendered.  Attic air sealing changes the nature of your home’s building envelope which can be thought of as the components of the protective shell that separates the outdoors from the indoors.  In the event an amateur attempts attic air sealing and the home is made to be too tight, indoor air pollutants are left without an escape route.  At a minimum, this can lead to health concerns such as nausea and frequent headaches.  In extreme cases, notable damage from prolonged exposure can impact the liver, central nervous system, and kidneys.   A professional also understands the steps that must be taken to address wet insulation and determine if the underlying cause is roofing, ventilation, or insulation related.  Precautionary measures must be taken to protect yourself when entering an attic with vermiculite insulation, which contains asbestos.  Care must also be taken to not disturb electrical work in an attic in order to prevent a house fire.

The Pay-Off

From a comfort, energy efficiency, and utility savings standpoint, attic air sealing is a win.  Once all necessary areas have been properly sealed, your home’s interior temperature is better regulated, allowing your furnace to run less.  Upon proper completion, there should be less of a variance between the temperatures in rooms throughout your home.  Attic air sealing and enhanced insulation are the best way to ward off the manifestation of ice dams on your roof.  In addition, homeowners that have had attic air sealing done will notice a quieter home, lower home air humidity, and a drop in the amount of dust circulating in the air.

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