No matter where you plan to install new insulation or what kind of insulation product you plan to use, a proper air seal must be maintained in the area to be insulated in order to ensure an optimal R-value. Air sealing is a necessary prep step that can have a huge impact on how much your insulation project ends up saving you month on month and on how much environmental benefit accrues in connection with the cost savings.
At Pure Eco, we have long experience at creating an effective air seal for insulation before we install it. We understand how important it is and know how to meticulously seal off all air leaks, both small and large, so as to prevent costly drafts and keep out troublesome pests/rodents at the same time.
To learn more, or for a free air sealing service (and/or insulation installation) quote, contact Pure Eco today by calling us at 877-778-2551.
Why Air Seal Before Installing New Insulation?
Making the choice to add insulation to an uninsulated attic or basement or to reinsulate your walls or ceilings is often easy: after all, no one wants to live day to day in a home with uncomfortably high or low temperatures. And everyone wants to pay less for electricity or gas each month.
But the truth is that many buildings, especially older ones, in the Los Angeles Area not only lack adequate insulation but also are poorly ventilated.
In part, you want a house to "breathe" a little rather than trap in too much moisture; and installing a fan in the attic and other ventilation system component is important. But when air leaks are creating a draft, making it more expensive to heat/cool your home, or even letting in unwelcome insects/rodents, those kinds of air holes have to be sealed.
By sealing all unwanted openings and then installing vents, you create "controlled ventilation" that both prevents energy waste and keeps air circulating. You also improve the quality of your indoor air and prevent dust and/or mildew from forming on your insulation.
Additionally, air sealing in combination with quality insulation will make it easier and faster to adjust the temperature of you home. That means less time waiting in discomfort for the heater or AC to have its effect. And the state of the conditioned air will also last longer. You will not have to use your AC or heater as much or make it work as hard when you do use it, which means it will last longer and need less maintenance.
Improved Air Quality
One point we want to emphasize about air sealing for insulation is that it has many benefits that go beyond just boosting the ROI you get out of your insulation. One of the key "extra" benefits is improved indoor air quality.
When air from outside can seep into your home through the walls, particularly on windy days, that air can bring with it allergens, mold spores, unwanted moisture that can cause mildew or wood rot, and all kinds of other pollutants.
Remember, this is the air you and your family breathe in all day long, day after day. You can't control the air outside, but keeping it as healthy as possible inside can have a huge impact. And air sealing (with or without insulation) is a big part of maximizing indoor air quality.
Mold, Mildew, and Humidity
Branching off from what we said about indoor air quality, let us focus in a minute on humidity and its two twin children: mold and mildew.
You can't control humidity levels in your home if air from outside keeps sneaking in and expensive conditioned air from the inside keeps escaping. High humidity is the key ingredient to mold/mildew growth, and these in turn, are a major health hazard.
The CDC credits in-home mold and mildew with a host of respiratory disease, aggravated asthma, irritation to the eyes, skin, and throat, and out of control allergies. Lung infections and serious health conditions can even result in extreme cases, and children and the elderly are particularly at risk.
Finally, note that high humidity can lead to lead to parts of the structure of your home deteriorating over time much more rapidly than normal. It can necessitate repairs and cost you extra money.
What Parts of Your Home Might Need Air Sealing?
An air leak could be lurking in almost any corner of your home or business property. But the most common areas of concern are: attics (especially the attic floor and entry port), chimneys and fireplaces, floors and baseboards, around recessed light fixtures in the ceiling, around doors and windows,
In order to determine if your home has significant air leakage and, if so, where the leaks are located, we at Pure Eco can do an air leak inspection. We often do these tests just before laying down new insulation, but we can test for air drafts independently of installing insulation if you like. Air sealing is, after all, a valuable service in its own right: and you have to find the leaks before you can "plug them up."
But, on the other hand, NOT doing an air leak test before laying down insulation (especially in an attic or crawlspace) is risking the success of the whole project. It makes little sense to leave holes in your house for conditioned air to escape out through if you are going to insulate because air leaks can pull air right past or through insulation products.
Plus, realize that air sealing alone, while it may help some, is not replacement for insulating. It really takes both to achieve the maximum positive effect.
The Air Sealing Process
There are a number of different steps to the air sealing process. In preparing for insulation, we first clean the area to be insulated of excess dust, debris, and clutter. Then, we use our experience and well honed observation skills to identify the most obvious air leak points.
Next, we find the remainder by careful examination of each square foot of the ceiling, floor, or wall to be air sealed. We also use flashlights, air blowers, and other tools to help us find all the leaks. In the case of replacing existing insulation, we also find leaks by noting where old batts are depressed and dusty.
Once the leak points are located and marked, the next step is sealing them all off. The smaller holes and cracks can be sealed with caulk in most cases. For drafts under doors or in operable windows, weatherstripping is the usual answer. And weatherstripping will also be helpful around attic entry hatches.
For larger gaps and holes, we may need to use plywood, drywall, or other sturdy materials. And for around chimneys and flus, metal sheeting with heat-resistant caulk may be needed to air-seal.
We at Pure Eco will also caulk and air seal as needed around plumbing pipes, ducts, where wires enter the walls/floors/ceiling, above cabinets, near furnaces and water heaters, and in other common air leak prone spots. And we can also install foam gaskets behind outlets and switch plates.
The bottom line is that our highly experienced and well trained staff knows how to tackle the task of finding and eliminating all manner of air leaks in the area to be insulated, so that once the new insulation is installed, it will operate at its highest possible efficiency level.
How Much Can I Save By Air Sealing?
When you both air seal and insulate your home or business, it is often possible to see your energy bill drop 20%, 30%, or more. There are many factors that will impact the the exact savings, including the size, type, and location of your building, the R-value of the insulation product you choose, and way your energy company calculates its bills.
But suffice it to say, air sealing has a huge impact on your energy bill. The single biggest impact will come from air sealing your exterior facing walls, ceilings, and floors. But sealing around windows and doors, vents, air ducts, chimneys, fireplaces, pipes, and a host of other smaller fixtures and structures will have a huge cumulative effect as well.
And also realize that air sealing and insulating individual rooms will help you save a lot too. If you heat or cool only part or your home, or a single bedroom, sometimes; it's important that that particular room be insulated and sealed. Otherwise, conditioned air is escaping into the rest of the house, which means (partly, at least) you are paying to heat the whole house.
Take It Easy on the Environment and On Yourself
But besides the cost savings that accrue due to air sealing and insulating, there is the environmental benefit to consider as well.
For businesses, air sealing and insulating will be part of the path to LEED Certification, which is highly regarded as a stamp of eco-friendliness by many of today's environmentally concerned customers.
But for home owners, there are also benefits. You may be able to get valuable state or federal rebates or tax credits for making your home more energy efficient. And you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you did your part to reduce the "collective carbon footprint" of Los Angeles and Southern California.
By being more efficient via air sealing, you will use less energy to accomplish the same indoor comfort level. And that means helping the earth and helping yourself at the same time.
Why Choose Pure Eco?
At Pure Eco, we never just take a customer for granted: we work to be the best and earn his or her confidence. We treat you with respect, professionalism, and always make 100% customer satisfaction our number one goal.
Check out our reviews on Yelp and elsewhere online, and you will find them to be overwhelmingly positive. And we also get a large percentage of our new customers via referrals from past customers. These are clear signs we are achieving our customer satisfaction goals.
We bring you a unique combination of deep experience and training, conscientious concern for the customer's best interests, and second to none customer service.
We also give you a free, no-obligation, and accurate quote. We can give you a quote over the phone based on information you give us, but an on-site assessment may be necessary for a closer quote.
Finally, we also help you finance your air sealing and insulation project via GreenSky Credit, an "eco financing company" we work closely with. And we help you qualify for as many government rebates, incentive programs, and tax credits as possible. We understand that not everyone can pay in full upfront for their air sealing, insulation installation, and other energy upgrade expenses. We always work with you to find a way to make it happen.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation and a Free Quote!
At Pure Eco, we have many years of experience in air sealing attics and whole buildings in the L.A. Area to prepare them for new insulation. We know how to locate air leaks and eliminate them so as to save you money on your energy bill, help the environment, and extend the life of your new insulation.
We serve Los Angeles and all of Southern California with top-tier air sealing and other insulation and energy efficiency related services. We have helped many others get their energy bill under control, upgrade the value and usability of their homes, and reduce their carbon footprints; and we can do the same for you!
For a free, no-obligation consultation and for a free quote on air sealing all or a part of your home or business property, do not hesitate to contact Pure Eco by calling us today at 877-778-2551.