Air Sealing, Draft Proofing & Ventilation
Seal it tight, ventilate it right!
It sounds rather counter-intuitive – you seal the place tight, and it still ventilates properly. But it works – a balanced combination of air sealing and ventilation contributes to an indoor environment in a very positive way: comfort for the occupants; seasonal energy savings; and significant reduction of indoor moisture and pollution. For the occupants, whether in a residence or a commercial setting, personal comfort from season to season is important, but energy savings tend to resonate more clearly when its time to take action.
Industry professionals agree that proper air sealing is one of the most cost-effective ways of saving energy. And statistics show that day-to-day air leakage can add some 30% in additional costs during heating and cooling periods. Although good insulation makes an important and positive contribution, air sealing can add even more energy savings throughout the calendar year. Beyond the energy savings, air leakage also allows for unwanted moisture to penetrate into a building structure, with deteriorating effects on wood.
Indoor air leakage, through ceilings, walls, cracks and crevices, also has the potential for promoting condensation, which in itself creates an environment ideal for insects, and just perfect for mould growth. Once again, a proper balance of air sealing, draft proofing, and ventilation will contribute to an indoor environment that confronts these failings and ameliorates the living conditions. Sealing it tight, and ventilating it right makes for a proactive approach to controlling the indoor environment.
In recent years, indoor air pollution has become a concern for many people. The problem, of course, has to do with the harmful nature of building materials that are commonly used today [some of which are even considered hazardous]. This is an opportunity for efficient ventilation to make a serious contribution, allowing for fresh air to be introduced and circulated, while harmful fumes, vapors and other off-gases can be dissipated. In these kinds of situations, occupant health and wellbeing are at the forefront.
Once sealed, and sealed right, some form of mechanical ventilation is necessary and required. A “leaking” house or office can actually counteract the benefits of a good ventilation system, interrupting airflow that’s necessary for proper air circulation. And clearly, a post-war building presents different challenges than a modern day structure with so-called “super-tight” construction. Bottom line, its that delicate combination of air tightness and balanced ventilation that makes a measurable difference.
For the reputable builder, contractor, or renovator, the focus should always be on doing it right the first time. The fact is, today’s building materials are already doing making a valuable contribution: windows and doors are super-sealed; caulking and foam are commonplace; and advanced air barrier systems can diminish air leakage to a minimum. But building it tight, and sealing it right are still only part of the process – its the effectiveness and efficiency of the ventilation system that completes the job.
As a service provider, delivering energy efficiency, occupant comfort, and a health indoor environment is the task at hand. Air sealing products and weatherization techniques are your tools – while your expertise and experience contribute to achieving the ultimate goal of first-rate air sealing and ventilation.