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Overcoming Obstacles to Advanced Air Sealing

Summer 2019
A version of this article appears in the Summer 2019 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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May 31, 2019
We all know the basics of energy efficiency. Air seal high in the building, then low, then insulate. Seems simple, right? Stop the air from leaking into or out of the building. Save money. Increase comfort. Promote healthy indoor air quality (with the appropriate ventilation system, of course). However, when you go to execute these simple principles on a complex house, you find that this black-and-white directive dissolves into seemingly endless shades of gray. Different planes, penetrations, and construction problems are all working against the simple fix for air sealing the home. So let's take this to the next level. Let's break down the types of difficult air-sealing locations you might encounter in the field, learn how to properly diagnose and correct the issues you might encounter at each location, and most importantly, learn how to prove that your solution was effective. More simply stated: Understand it, fix it, then prove it.

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