In our industry, we meet a lot of people who aren't necessarily in the HVAC world, but who understand what we do and can collaborate with us to improve our customer's experience. Today, I'm happy to introduce Natalie Akins, editor of Innovative Building Supplies, who shares her expertise on how to ensure your home is properly sealed and protected.
There are many aspects to running an efficient and safe home, with proper airflow being one of the most important. Ensuring that your home is sealed up in all the right places and has an unimpeded flow of air in the areas it’s supposed to be is critical to avoiding water infiltration and mold growth, as well as maximizing your overall level of energy efficiency.
Having air leaks and/or a compromised airflow in your home is almost guaranteed to cost you money on your energy bills each month, so in order to help you get things squared away, let’s take a look at a few things you can do to ensure your home is sealed up and has good airflow.
The first step to getting your home sealed up is applying sealants where necessary. Caulk and other types of sealants can be used to seal up gaps and cracks around windows, doors, baseboards, and anywhere else they might act as an air leak in your home.
A soffit can help facilitate the flow of air through your attic and roof. The soffit is located underneath the overhang of your roof and is used to cover the gap between the edge of your roof and the wall.
This space is called an eave and is covered by the soffit. Certain types of soffit help to facilitate airflow better than others. Fiber cement soffit, for example, can be made to look like natural cedar and come with vents for better airflow.
There are also vented soffit panels made from other materials that can match any type of siding or aesthetic you want to adhere to while still helping to provide optimal airflow through your attic and roof area.
3. Additional Insulation
There are additional types of insulation you can use to boost your energy efficiency and seal up air leaks. An air barrier is one of those types. An air barrier is a building wrap that forms a continuous plane around the structure. Air barriers are for use in conjunction with sealants because they help to cover what you can't see or reach with sealants.
4. Crawl Space Vapor Barrier
Aside from a standard air barrier, you can also include a crawl space vapor barrier for even more protection from moisture, insects, and pests. A crawl space vapor barrier covers the bottom of your crawl space and helps keep out moisture.
It generally covers the whole floor and the floor joists as well. This barrier isn’t just effective at mitigating moisture intrusion, though, it keeps pests out as well. This includes rats, mice, termites, fleas, snakes, and other creepy crawlers.
5. HVAC Repairs
When it comes to maximizing airflow around your home, the HVAC unit and connected ductwork are a big part of that. Most homes do operate with an HVAC forced-air system for maintaining temperatures. The ductwork that runs throughout your home is responsible for delivering the air to each room.
This ductwork is fragile, though, and may develop little holes and gaps throughout it. These let out conditioned air into places where it’s not supposed to be and make your HVAC system work that much harder to get your home to the desired temperature.
The best way to repair your HVAC is to hire a professional company like ServiceOne. A professional HVAC team can perform a much more thorough job on your entire setup and get your home to a higher level of energy efficiency as a result.
Some HVAC repair companies can even run a test on your ductwork to see exactly where the holes are and then run a mastic through the ductwork to seal up each hole completely. This is the most effective way to fix your HVAC ductwork, by far.
Seal Your Home Up Airtight with These Tips
Keeping a home as airtight and protected from outside elements as possible is crucial to maintaining the long-term health of a house and keeping your energy bills low as well. If you want to keep your home sealed up as best as possible, you’d do well to use sealants, an air barrier, a vapor barrier, a vented soffit, and HVAC maintenance and repair services to maximize your energy efficiency from top to bottom.
By using these 5 tips, you can slash your energy bills, boost your home value, and waste as little energy as possible.
Natalie Akins is an editor for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. She is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.