With cooler temperatures appearing, Vermont homeowners are spending more time indoors. As cold and flu season start up amidst the worldwide coronavirus outbreak, concerns about indoor air quality (IAQ) may have you wondering, “is my home healthy?” Home air sealing can make a big difference in your indoor air quality, as well as improve your home energy efficiency and comfort.
Wait, My Home is Leaky?
Often when we talk about air sealing, many of our customers don’t realize just how many gaps, cracks and holes are allowing air to pass through their homes. For many of the older homes in our area the amount of air sneaking in adds up to the equivalent of leaving a window wide open all year long! The most obvious symptoms of a leaky home are drafts and rooms that are too hot in the summer and too cool in the winter. You may also notice some of these other, more subtle, symptoms:
Musty or mildewy smells
Increased dust in the air and on furnishings
Persistent allergy or cold-like symptoms when indoors
Headaches, nausea, insomnia, and fatigue
If you notice one or more of these, your home may need air sealing by the home performance pros at Energy Smart of Vermont. The best way to identify where these leaks are is to have a home energy audit performed.
Air Sealing Improves Home Insulation Performance
When outside air and inside air can move freely through your home, your insulation is like a sweater on a cold windy day—it works but it’s not enough. Air sealing those tiny and not so tiny air leaks is like adding a sturdy raincoat over the sweater. Air sealing helps your insulation perform at its best, saving energy and money.
Controlling Air Flow Improves Air Health
In addition to allowing your valuable conditioned air to escape, the air leaks allow contaminants to enter your home, where they’re circulated around the house. These contaminants can include:
Allergens, like dust, animal dander, and pollen
Bacteria & viruses
VOCs or volatile organic compounds for household cleaning products
Smoke, odors, mold & mildew
Combustion gases from cooking and heating
Air sealing shuts down this free flow of contaminants and allows your home HVAC filters to clean and improve indoor air quality
How Does Air Sealing Work?
The air sealing pros at EnergySmart start by locating as many of those tiny holes as possible using infrared thermal imaging, and filling small gaps and cracks with a flexible but airtight caulking material. We’ll also be sure to apply air sealing to attic areas to keep warm air from escaping and enhance your attic insulation performance. We’ll also apply professional grade weather stripping around your doors and windows to provide an excellent seal that won’t hinder easy opening and closing.