The Important Role Of Air Seal
Air sealing your home or business is as important to energy efficiency as is insulation, and in fact, you always want to air seal an area before you place insulation over it or you could lose significant R-value.
But air sealing also involves eliminating cracks, crevices, and leakage points around windows, doors, vents, and all other openings in your buildings - or anywhere else for that matter.
The principle is simple: if you're heating or cooling a leaky house, you're wasting money and needlessly increasing your carbon footprint. Creating an air seal solves those two problems plus makes your home more comfortable to live in.
At Pure Eco, we have been air sealing homes and businesses in the Los Angeles Area and beyond for many years, and we have the experience it takes to optimize the efficiency level of your building through air sealing and/or insulation and other related service. Contact us today by calling 877-778-2551for a free consultation and a free air seal quote.
How Air Leakage Is Costing You Money Every Day
Lack of sufficient insulation and an inefficient heater or AC unit are more obvious causes of energy inefficiency, but in fact, excessive air leakage can have just as big of an impact.
When your nicely conditioned air seeps out through the walls, around the windows, under the doors, or up and out the attic ceiling, AND when outside air infiltrates to take it's place, that's an air leak, or if you will, a "draft."
All buildings have to "breathe" to an extent. It's possible for a building to be built too "tight." But, with most homes and especially with most older homes in the L.A. Area, it's the opposite problem that occurs.
Optimally, a house should change out all its old air for new air from the outside about once every three hours, but many homes leak air 2 or 3 times as fast as they should - so that all air is exchanged every hour or even every half hour. That makes a huge difference to your ability to affordably control the temperature in your home - or even to control it much at all!
Since hot air rises, the worst air leakage tends to occur in the attic and out of upper story walls, but some air at least will leak out anywhere and everywhere if it finds a pathway since air expands and moves horizontally as well as rises.
During windy weather, air leakage will accelerate considerably, making it even more difficult and costly to cool/heat your home.
Air leaks can also create moisture problems and indoor air quality problems that will affect your health. And finally, many of the same tiny holes through which air enters/leaves your building are also entry points for undesirable insects and pests.
Air Seal, Insulate, and Ventilate
Air sealing is an important part of the solution to energy inefficiency, but it needs to be done in conjunction with other actions to make it as effective as possible.
Neither air sealing and insulating do that well alone: they need each other to be at their best. And once a building is sealed, controlled ventilation through vents and fans is necessary to keep up the quality level of the indoor air you and your family breathe every day.
At Pure Eco, we offer the full gamut of energy efficiency services, from air sealing to installing new insulation, to ventilating, to attic cleaning and rodent proofing. We can take care of any one of these tasks for you or tackle multiple tasks at once, according to your needs and preferences.
The Benefits of Air Sealing
The most obvious benefit of air sealing your building will be seen in the lower monthly energy bills you'll soon enjoy.
But you'll also benefit because your indoor living spaces will heat/cool faster and stay comfortable easier and for longer. And you'll reduce contaminants and allergens in your indoor air. You'll breathe better and feel more comfortable around the house.
An air seal also helps to reduce moisture build up, which can prevent mold and mildew and damage to drywall, base boards, roof joists, attic insulation, and more.
And last but not least, air sealing helps you to take some pressure off the environment and lower out collective carbon footprint in Southern California.
The Air Sealing Process
How do we air seal a building? The answer is much more complex than the question, for there are many steps involved.
First of all, we use a blower door and/or other means to identify air leak points in your house. We also may use a flashlight and look for tell tale signs like dusty batts insulation, dirty spots on wall/ceiling paint or on carpeting, or any visible nooks and crannies.
But many air leaks are hidden out of view. Don't worry, our staff has the tools and experience it takes to locate them as well!
Next, we install weatherstripping under exterior doors and operable windows. We caulk around window frames, use foam sealant on larger gaps around windows or baseboards, and use fire resistant sealants and sheet metal around fireplace chimneys and gas furnaces as needed.
Single pane windows may need storm windows added to them, or it might be wise to install new double paned windows to increase efficiency.
It's also possible you lack foam gaskets behind your outlets or a cover over your kitchen exhaust fan to prevent air leakage when it's not being used. We can take care of that too.
The attic is usually the most important area to give attention to during air sealing, but windows, doors, and vents are also critical and cannot be overlooked.
Fireplace flues are another common problem. The flue may become warped or ineffective after longtime use. In that case, you can either have it replaced or you can invest in an inflatable "chimney balloon" that safely plugs up the flue when not in use and is easy to remove. If you ever forget to unplug the chimney before using it, don't worry, because the chimney balloon will automatically deflate.
Air sealing is a very comprehensive service, so we'll be examining your whole house in search of every possible air leak - and we know how to safely, effectively seal them without making a major mess or costing you unnecessary demo and re-construction costs.
There are often many "hidden" air leaks that are hard to access if you don't have professional experience and the right set of tools. And there are tricks like caulking along the foundation where cement meets wood, in the basement, for example. We know how to find and stop air infiltration paths and make even a "drafty" house into a well sealed one!
Attic Air Sealing & Insulating
If you haven't already insulated your attic, don't do it until you air seal it first. Your insulation can lose as much as 50% of its effectiveness due to air leaks that exist underneath it.
But if you do have attic insulation but never air sealed, and suspect you may have significant air leaks in the attic, we can help. We can test for attic air leaks and remove insulation as needed - then seal the air leaks and reposition the insulation.
If you want new insulation anyway, because your old insulation is too worn out or ineffective, we can simply remove the old insulation, air seal, and then install the new insulation.
Mold and Mildew Concerns
Due to the relatively high danger of air leaks creating excess humidity and moisture in your home, we mention it separately here. This excessive moisture can become a perfect environment for mold and mildew to thrive
The spores from mold and mildew can enter your household air and cause serious health risks, like respiratory infections, or can simply cause coughing, sneezing, and an irritated throat.
A little scrubbing with bleach water, or in extreme cases professional mold and remediation services, can eliminate the immediate threat. But it may just return again and again unless you air seal and otherwise eliminate the moist conditions in which mold/mildew does well.
How Much Can I Save By Air Sealing?
The impact air sealing will have on your energy bill will vary according numerous factors, but it's not uncommon to see as much as a 30% drop. And according to the US Department of Energy, the average American home is 100% inefficient due to air leakage.
Where are the greatest leakage points? About 30% of energy is lost through the ceilings, floors, and walls. About 20% exits through or around windows and doors. Duct work accounts for 15% of such energy loss, fireplaces for around another 15%, and over 10% is lost around plumbing penetrations. Only a small amount is lost through outlets, fans, and vents.
Seal off all the major draft sources, and you keep your conditioned air inside for longer. And that helps you keep your money from leaking out of your checking account over to the power company so fast as well!
Help the Earth and Yourself at the Same Time!
Aside from the valuable monetary savings that result from air sealing and insulating your home, there is something even more valuable you can help save - the environment.
And these two can go hand in hand. Air sealing may help you get your building LEED certified, and with businesses, LEED certification can impress eco-concerned customers and send more business your way.
Plus, you can often get federal, state, and local rebates and tax credits for making your building more energy efficient - and air sealing is an essential part of doing that.
Air sealing is the most sensible step you can take if you want to reduce your carbon footprint. Without it, it's like filling a leaky bucket with water and wondering why you're using so much water. It's the same way with air, only comfortably heated or cooled air is more expensive and more detrimental to the environment than even water waste is.
Why Choose Pure Eco?
Our vision at Pure Eco is to make the Greater Los Angeles Area and all Southern California a more affordable place to live when it comes to your energy bill, and to reduce the negative impacts of burning of fossil fuels on the Earth.
We have had a major impact already over the years, and we look forward to continuing to optimize the energy efficiency of buildings for new clients in the future.
We put together a unique degree of experience, customer service, and concern for the environment. We realize there are many other energy efficiency and insulation companies out there in the L.A. Area - and we never take our customers for granted.
But our overwhelmingly positive reviews on Yelp and elsewhere online, out high customer satisfaction rate, and the large percentage of new clients we get on referral from previous clients is evidence we are achieving our goals and serving out customers well.
We have no hidden surprise fees, and we can give you a close upfront estimate and an energy consultation free of charge.
We are fully licensed, bonded, and insured, and we always put safety first (both yours and ours) in everything we do.
We know how to help you qualify for every possible energy efficiency program to save you the most possible money. And we know how to air seal and insulate to help your building reach your optimal energy efficiency level.
Pure Eco has a track record of success and a hard earned reputation for being the best in L.A. and Southern California communities. We look forward to proving to you our worth and showing you why so many other L.A. Area home and business owners have chosen us!
Contact Us Today to Get Started on Air Sealing Your Building!
At Pure Eco, we have the tools and expertise to optimally air seal your building and thus reduce your energy bill and your carbon footprint.
We know how to make your living spaces as comfortable and as affordable as possible to live in. We have helped numerous other clients in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California achieve optimal energy efficiency, and we can do the same for you!
Contact Pure Eco today by calling 877-778-2551, and we can give you a free no obligation air sealing consultation and a free, accurate quote!