You can greatly enhance a building’s indoor environment with correct air sealing. Air barriers control the airflow between indoor air (conditioned) and outdoor air (unconditioned), helping to improve thermal efficiency.
The greatest sources of air leakage are floors, walls, and ceilings. The outdoor air works its way into a building by moving from high to low pressure, allowing it to slip through any penetration. It’s critical that correct air sealing is installed to ensure all joints and penetrations have a continuous seal.
Benefits of Air Sealing
Thermal Efficiency: Proper air sealing can help support insulation. According to the EPA, adding air sealing to attics, floors over crawl spaces, and accessible basement rim joists can help save an average of 15 percent on heating and cooling costs.
Moisture Control: Air holds water vapor that can be transferred through currents, leading to unwanted humidity and moisture in cavities. The Insulation Institute states that air currents can account for more than 98 percent of moisture in a building. Air barriers with the correct properties can also act as vapor retarders and control moisture movement in a building.
How to Limit Air Infiltration
When working on an air sealing project, you’ll need a combination of materials to achieve a continuous air barrier. By focusing on air barriers, caulk, and insulation, you’ll be sure to create a living space that provides optimal comfort.
Air Barriers work to regulate an indoor climate by managing the flow of unconditioned and conditioned air. MemBrain™ Continuous Air Barrier & Smart Vapor Retarder is a polyamide (nylon)-based material with pores that adapt in size based on ambient humidity levels – a smart solution for air sealing and moisture prevention. When installing, be sure to fit the membrane around all building envelope penetrations, including windows, doors, dryer vents, bathroom exhaust fans, electrical outlets, gas lines, and plumbing for a thorough air sealing.
Caulking is an essential step to air sealing all cracks in a building. CertaSeal INT™ is a water-based premixed acrylic latex sealant that acts as a fast-drying spray. When sprayed, the sealant appears as a bright blue color to help achieve consistency and precision. CertaSeal is designed for interior air sealing of penetrations and joints in residential buildings.
Insulation should not be overlooked when creating a tight building envelope. Even though it is not the star of the show in this installation process, correct R-values are vital for thermal efficiency. InsulPure™ has a wide range of R-values to accommodate the mitigation of conditioned air from leaving. If a building has insulation, consider retrofitting existing sidewalls with OPTIMA® premium blown-in insulation. OPTIMA provides dense-packed insulation which can help prevent unwanted air movement.
Don’t Skip Air Sealing!
Using suitable materials and application methods, you can create a comfortable living environment for occupants by minimizing air infiltration, moisture intrusion, and improving thermal efficiency.
If you have any questions, we’re always available to assist you. Don’t hesitate to reach out!