What is Air Tightness?
Air tightness measures the flow of air within a building. Air leakage is the uncontrolled flow of air through gaps and cracks in the fabric of a building. Improving air tightness in a dwelling can reduce air leakage.
The aim of air tightness is to “build tight, ventilate right”. This means that there are no breaks or gaps in the envelope of the building fabric and there is complete control over the ventilation system within the building. Having an airtight property does not mean there is insufficient air flow, it means there is controlled air flow.
Why do we need Air Tightness in our buildings?
Research has shown that up to 50% of all heat loss from buildings is caused by air leakage, draughts and uncontrolled ventilation. Although Ireland’s climate is fairly temperate overall, we are often exposed to very high wind pressure which causes draughts from chimneys and doorways to suck air (and heat) out of your house.
A few hours of draught proofing with relatively inexpensive sealants can often reduce air leakage by anywhere up to 50%, resulting in a saving of around 20% on your heating bill.
How is it Tested?
The only satisfactory way to measure air tightness is by using blower door test equipment. Air tightness testing highlights areas of heat loss. These areas are increasing your energy consumption and, with it, the amount of money your property is wasting. Air tightness and thermal imaging can locate these areas and therefore allow you to make the necessary changes to increase the energy efficiency of your home.
How can I improve the air tightness of my building?
Here are some basic methods to help draught proof your home:
- Seal any gaps around windows and doors;
- Seal the hatch to the attic space using draught stripping;
- Seal any holes in the outside walls around pipes or similar;
- Sealing any holes on the internal cavity leaf where pipes or cables pass through;
If you require an air tightness test for a new or existing domestic or commercial property, Proensol can accommodate you nationwide. Contact us now for a free consultation.