One of the most negative dynamics in a residential home is air leakage – it has more negative effect on home energy efficiency than anything else. From a professional perspective, a home must be sealed air tight in order to achieve optimum energy efficiencies. And for the home energy experts at Great Northern Insulation, addressing air leakage by air sealing is the first step before anything else.
Effective air sealing is essential for proper air ventilation and air circulation throughout a home. Since every home operates as a “system”, air sealing and ventilation ensures that everything is working in better balance. One thing for sure, the HVAC system (heating and cooling) will work more efficiently, and will consequently improve energy efficiency in winter and summer.
Assessing and testing for air leakage throughout the building envelope
In assessing air leakage, Great Northern Insulation uses a Blower Door Test to accurately calculate air leakage in a home. The idea with this test is to depressurize the “building envelope”, and allow for an assessment of airtightness. GNI measures the amount of air leakage throughout various parts of a home in “air changes per hour” – usually at a pressure 50 Pascals (ACH50).
By using special equipment, a Blower Door Test clearly identifies air infiltration from windows, doors, and any other cracks or openings. Once the air leakage has been assessed, a home’s energy efficiency can be rated accurately. What’s more important is that GNI can propose retrofit and upgrade measures to effectively eliminate the air leakage (and improve energy efficiency).
The Blower Door Test and subsequent assessment can lead to action
In professional circles, the Blower Door Test is one of the more valuable tools when undertaking a residential energy audit. Airflow coming in and going out of the home is measured in CFMs (cubic feet per minute). Depending on the amount of air leakage, there are a host of upgrades and improvements that can be engineered in order to enhance energy efficiency and performance.
The goal of any upgrades or improvements is to seal the “building envelope”, thus preventing any undesirable air infiltration. This is where GNI can provide remedies – from air sealing to weatherization, to insulation. When completed, some or all of the remedies will serve to improve the home’s energy efficiency, and reduce seasonal utility bills for heating and cooling the home.
Home energy efficiency is about BOTH insulating AND air sealing
In the majority of residential homes, property owners focus on home insulation when addressing energy efficiency. While this approach will yield results, it’s only one part of the picture. In fact, air leakage in a home has proven to be much more impactful in compromising energy efficiency.
For the professionals at Great Northern Insulation, a home needs to be sealed tight in order to effectively manage airflow that is moving in and out of the “building envelope”. As a complete system, air sealing, thermal insulation, and air ventilation all contribute to energy efficiency.
Spray Foam Insulation (SFI) is the ultimate sealer and insulator
As experts with Spray Foam Insulation, GNI highly recommends these products for application in the attic, basement, and even exterior walls. SFI outlasts and outperforms other comparable products – it’s an application that seals and insulates at one time, and never needs replacement.
Spray Foam Insulation seals a space airtight, and can fill even the most awkward corners and edges in the roof and basement. Professionally applied, SFI creates an air barrier and vapour barrier at the same time, and therefore prevents unwanted air moisture from accumulating.
In summer, it’s easy to stay cool when the home is properly insulated and air sealed with Spray Foam Insulation. When compared with other products, SFI will deliver better energy efficiency in the short term, and far better performance in the long term. And that means utility savings.
Great Northern Insulation assesses a home’s energy efficiency
While windows and doors do contribute to air leakage, there are numerous other sources throughout the “building envelope” of a home. In total, air leaks throughout a home can create as much leakage as a wide-open window. This is a recipe for wasting energy in winter and summer.
GNI isolates and identifies air leakage from the top of the “building envelope” to the bottom. This allows for the most accurate assessment of areas that require improvement. By sealing walls, floors, and attic cavities, air movement is curtailed and energy efficiency is measurable enhanced.
A home that is well sealed, well insulated, and well ventilated is a home that will perform well. The entire indoor environment is benefited – there are fewer drafts, much less noise, and better indoor air quality. Best of all, with improved energy efficiency, seasonal utility bills are lessened.
Cool in summer, warm in winter, makes a comfortable home
For energy efficiency and home comfort, spray foam insulation delivers more benefits than anything comparable. Professionally installed, spray foam will provide air tightness and high R-Values at one time. It will prevent air from leaking out of the home, and prevent air from entering the home. Finally, it will improve energy efficiencies while reducing energy consumption.
With improved home energy efficiency, homeowners can dramatically reduce energy usage in winter and summer, and can therefore reduce utility bills for heating and cooling. As well, the home will remain cool in summer and warm in winter, without having to adjust and re-adjust the thermostat. Gone are the days of uncomfortable drafts, cold rooms, and undesirable humidity.
Great Northern Insulation has experienced installers who specialize with spray foam. Everything is installed to code. Every application follows manufacturer specifications. And every installation is guaranteed by GNI. In short, Great Northern Insulation provides the retrofit options that best suit the job – and the best return-on-investment, based on the homeowner’s project budget.
For an on-site home energy assessment, call 1-888-778-9591 or check the company website at www.gni.ca .