It’s an understatement to say that effective and efficient cooling and heating are essential to people living in the Sunshine State. Cooling especially. The envelope that is your house is a zone that should provide protection from the elements and comfort for you and your family. Home sealing and insulation for that home, which works hand in hand with the comfort systems to do their job, is simply a way of stabilizing and re-enforcing that envelope.
The sealing that’s necessary in any structure, including your house, prevents cold air during the hot months and warm air during the colder months from getting out. Preventing hot and cold air from getting in is also part of its skill set. The cool air, generated by the air conditioning system, must be circulated within your home, not allowed to leak out. Home sealing and insulation is a major part of this.
Identifying Home Sealing And Insulation Needs
If there’s the slightest doubt that your home envelope isn’t as secure as it should be, have an energy audit performed. Many utility companies will offer this service to you, however, they won’t be in the position to take into consideration the many variables involved. Instead, contact a trusted HVAC company.
Heating and cooling professionals use state-of-the-art technologies to find, trace and seal leaks in the home envelope. Cameras with infrared capabilities, sniffer boxes and many years’ experience will guide their efforts in making your home more secure. Leaks can occur in a variety of areas, including around:
- Windows and exterior doors
- Baseboard moldings
- Plumbing and electrical service penetrations through walls, ceilings and floors
- Lighting connection boxes and or fans in ceilings
- Chimney penetrations through several floors and attic area
- Vents in bathrooms and kitchens
In short, any void around any device running through an insulated space can be an area for leaking to occur.
The HVAC expert should also check to ensure your home has the proper amount of insulation. When trouble spots have been sealed, they will also verify insulation and make the appropriate adjustments. Installing insulation in a new home is much easier and is, by its nature, less intrusive. However, removal of damaged material and replacement with newer insulation is sometimes necessary.
Many of the areas in an existing house will need to have cellulose insulating material blown into the walls and between floors. More stable insulating materials can be used in the crawl spaces under the home and paper-backed batts can be used where the stringers and struts of the construction is accessible. Part of the insulating procedure will be the use of vapor barriers in many spaces, such as the crawl space, basement and attic.
Why Sealing and Insulating Matters
The major problem with all of the leaking that can occur is the inability, at some point, of the heating and cooling system to keep your home the comfort zone you want it to be. Many people have larger HVAC systems than they need simply because they have a lot of leaks in their house envelope. Performing that house energy audit and taking the steps that home sealing and insulation professionals can provide will enable you to save on the energy bills and the cost of larger equipment.
DIY Home Sealing And Insulation?
Many people attempt this and have met with success. Here are a few sealing tips:
- Cracks or leaks up to 1/4-inch can be sealed with commercially available caulking compounds. Wider ones need an expanding foam sealant to mend this.
- A fabrication of rigid foam should be used for the larger voids around plumbing intrusions through exterior walls, especially in crawl spaces.
- Don’t confuse sealant with insulation. Sealant helps keep air from entering or leaving; insulation helps keep temperatures stabilized.
For a lot more on home sealing and insulation guidelines, techniques and that energy audit, contact us at SSI. We’ve been serving the greater Tampa Bay, Orlando and Daytona Beach areas for many years.
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