Air sealing your house reduces your air conditioning and heating costs because it limits the rate of air flow in and out of the house. When air is contained in the house, it becomes easy to keep it a comfortable temperature. Spray foam is one of the most common ways to air seal a house. It is sprayed in between any cracks or openings along frames, windows, and doors. The foam hardens and seals the openings airtight.
Many people tend to think that a house should freely let air in and out. However, air leakage is not like ventilation. In fact, it affects the quality of the air in the house, on top of increasing your air conditioning bills.
The first step is to identify the cracks and openings through which the air is leaking. Most openings are around window frames, doors, and anywhere an opening has been cut in the walls or ceiling. You need to examine the areas around stationary structures such as pipes and electric cables. They normally have openings at the spots where they penetrate walls, ceilings, or floors.
Dirt, mold, and damp are other indicators of leaks. Any spot on your walls or ceiling that seems dirty or has mold on it is most likely as a result of a leak somewhere nearby. If you are not the DIY type, or you do not know around your house very well, you should seek the services of a certified builder. They will be able to identify all the spots that would need to be sealed.
Once you have a clear outline of all the spots that need sealing, you can begin sealing them with the spray foam. Spray foam is quite ideal for both small and large openings. You just have to make sure it solidifies into place. The foam is quite effective in blocking air flow and heat flow.
While spray foam is generally very effective at air-sealing a home, it does have its limitations. For example, your kitchen exhaust fan may be leaking air but spray foam is not the ideal solution for this.
Likewise, the fireplace damper is yet another common leak spot. The flue damper gets damaged with time because of constant expansion and contraction. While the fireplace is not in use, the damaged flue will leak air. The leak spot can be sealed with an inflatable chimney balloon. The balloon goes under the fireplace and completely seals the leak. It made of thick and durable plastic and can be used multiple times.
Air sealing your house ensures the proper ventilation systems are in use, regardless of the conditions inside. For instance, when it is cold and windy, a house with leaks will allow in cold air while you need the house to be warm. Leaks also tend to allow humid air in, which stains your walls, ceilings, and floors. It could also cause some health issues for the people in the house. An airtight house allows all the air conditioning systems to function harmoniously.