Air sealing is the process of systematically closing up any air holes that lead from your indoor living space to the unconditioned air outside—but if outside air is considered less contaminated than the air inside (like we mentioned in our recent blog on 4 Fall IAQ Problems), won’t you want that cleaner, outside air? Not quite.
Here is what you need to know about how indoor air quality solutions like air sealing can make your home healthier by giving you control over the air you breathe in your home.
Residential Air Quality Is About Control
As we mentioned, the air inside your home is estimated to be more contaminated than the air outside. So how is it that stopping outdoor air from entering your home will make your breathing air healthier? It is all about control. Though outdoor air may contain less contaminants than indoor air, it still does contain some contaminants, like:
Once these outside contaminants enter your home, it’s difficult to get them back out. These particles will recirculate the air in your home as they are sucked into the intake of your heating and cooling system, distributed throughout your home, then sucked into the intake again.
The job falls on your filtration system (the air filter of your furnace and air conditioner) to remove those contaminants, however, those air filters aren't always enough. Plus, if there is a large amount of air holes throughout your home, those air filters can become clogged and dirty, causing your heating and cooling system to work harder than it needs to without making your indoor air any healthier.
How To Properly Air Seal
If you have been concerned that the air quality in your home is affecting the health of you or your family members, one might assume that the first step to making your home healthier is scheduling air quality testing. However, regardless of what you may end up finding from a home air quality test, starting your home improvement project with air sealing will provide a benefit to your indoor air quality. We begin our tested and verified air sealing process during our energy audit, which we call a Healthy Home Evaluation.
Testing Your Home For Air Leaks
We use a spray foam insulation material to permanently seal up the leaks throughout a home, but we need to know where those holes are first! We accomplish this through blower door testing, which gives us a reading of the total air leakage present in a home. From there, we use infrared thermal imaging to pinpoint the exact locations of these air leaks that can be anywhere in your home, but primarily occur in these areas:
Basement or crawlspace
Around windows and doors
In the attic
Once these problem areas are located and sealed, we will then run another blower door test to verify that we have adequately sealed up the home.
The Many Benefits of Air Sealing
Stopping outside contaminants from ruining the health of your indoor air is the initial reason you would want to air seal your home, but there are many additional benefits that come from sealing up your home from the outside. This becomes especially true when you combine air sealing with insulation upgrades, like attic insulation or basement insulation removal and replacement. These benefits include:
Fewer indoor drafts
Stable and healthy indoor humidity levels
Less dust accumulation on the surfaces of your home
Increased stability of indoor temperatures
A more comfortable home, overall
After your air sealing is complete, we may recommend added filtration or air purification as well, to keep your indoor air ahead of the game when it comes to reducing indoor air contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and other harmful particles.
Increase Indoor Health This Year with Healthy Home Energy & Consulting
The health of your home and the health of your family are intertwined, so why risk trying to increase the health of your home by yourself? When you partner with Healthy Home Energy & Consulting, you get a trusted ally in your quest to keep your indoor living space as healthy as possible. We utilize the latest in building science knowledge, diagnostic tools, and durable-yet-effective materials, including spray foam, cellulose insulation, and more.
Keep the outside air where it belongs—outside! Start the air sealing process by scheduling a Healthy Home Evaluation from Healthy Home Energy & Consulting at 914-242-9733 or get in touch here.