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HeatandEnergy.Org - HSE Help

15 Jan 2010 11:01:33

Air Tightness Testing In Exisitng Homes





Air tightness testing is the procedure to trace any unwanted drafts and uncontrolled airflow through the house.

Too much air leakage leads to heat loss resulting in higher heating costs and C02 emissions. A home isn't a balloon, so when cold air comes in, warm air gets pushed out. A building with air infiltration points will be slower to heat and faster to cool. The warmer air becomes, the greater its ability to carry moisture. If warm air is allowed to escape from the building envelope through unintended channels it will cool in cavities and form condensation and can give rise to dampness, mould growth and degrade insulation.

How can air tightness be achieved?

A survey of dwellings has revealed that remedial works following air tightness testing have yielded energy savings of between 15% and 30%, this can sometimes be achieved for as little as a couple of pounds and a little attention to detail.

Good levels of air tightness are best achieved by good design at building stage and are governed by the Code For Sustainable Homes (Housebuilders and Developers please visit our Commercial Services) rather than by retrospective works. However, you may have unwittingly committed breaches yourself to your homes permeability or been the victim of lazy, or tradesman unaware of the impact of breaches, for example, installed cheap down lighters or unsealed holes behind kitchen cupboards.

Air Tightness Tests are sometimes referred to as an Air Pressure Test, Envelope Test or an Air Permeability Test.

There are two types of air tightness tests: calibrated and uncalibrated. It is important that auditors use a calibrated door. This type of blower door has several gauges that measure the amount of air pulled out of the house by the fan. Uncalibrated blower doors can only locate leaks in homes. They provide no method for determining the overall tightness of a building. The calibrated blower door's data allow the auditor to quantify the amount of air leakage and the effectiveness of any air-sealing job.

Good news! We can perform the test on your existing home and help you to reap the rewards of an air tight house.

Every single house in the country that is 5 years or older will benefit from an air tightness review. Having great insulation in your cavity helps keep the thermal heat loss down, but combining that with an air tight house, you'll see immediate benefits.

If you feel comfortable doing the small improvements that will reap huge rewards, great, we will highlight the areas on the day that need addressing. If you don't, we have a team of local builders available that can apply their skills to finish the job for you.

Testing costs from as little as £50 can you afford not to invest considering the potential return? Contact info@heatandenergy.org today and start saving tomorrow!


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