Air Leaks – how to really save money

We did an energy audit on a house recently and the leakage rate was about 3 times the recommended standard.  This is a bit on the high side – 2 times is sort of expected, but 3 times is high!  You can’t tell this by just looking (inside or out), but the blower door sure shows it.

blower door

In this case one of the culprits was an under the roof storage area connected to the living space by an uninsulated, leaky set of flimsy doors.   Air sealing contractors sometimes charge by the actual leak reduction – a dollar per cubic foot (at 50pa depressurization) reduced.

Just by putting decent weather stripping around this door to the storage area, and gluing some insulation board to the back of the doors for good measure, the home owner could have saved a thousand dollars in air sealing charges.  There were 1000cuft/minute coming through that one gap (out of close to 4000 total).  It must have felt awfully cold on a winter night with the wind blowing from the north…

With state subsidies this one should be a no-brainer.  The opportunity is huge!  In older suburbs probably every 2nd or 3rd house is that bad.

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