Air Leaks Waste Energy!
The Texas State Energy Conservation Office states that “air leaks waste energy and can account for nearly half of all heating and cooling costs in a home.” The most significant result of air leakage may be increased energy costs. Since heating and cooling accounts for the majority of utility costs in a typical home, stopping energy loss from air leakage offers the best opportunity for saving money.
Air leakage in homes causes multiple problems. Accidental air inflow results in too much or too little fresh air. During cold or windy weather, excess air may enter the house, resulting in dust, allergens, drafts, uncomfortable rooms and ridiculous utility bills. When it’s warmer or less windy, not enough ventilation may occur and stagnant air may result. Air infiltration also can contribute to problems with moisture. High humidity creates an opportunity for mold to grow, further reducing indoor air quality.
According to the U. S. Department of Energy, the recommended strategy in both new and old homes is to reduce air leakage as much as possible and to provide controlled ventilation as needed. Air sealing, however, is easier said than done, especially in older homes. Typical insulation cannot be easily or effectively retrofitted into the walls of most existing homes. A specialty foam now offers a solution to this dilemma and a way to lower utility bills. Homesulate, using a foam developed in 1966 and tested in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, now is able to apply a quality wall insulation in existing homes for a reasonable price. This foam offers a higher R-value per inch than typical wall insulation materials and is installed without having to remove the exterior surface or inside drywall of the home.
Insulation works by providing a continuous boundary of the “building envelope,” between conditioned indoor spaces and unconditioned outdoor spaces. Low levels of insulation, plus gaps and voids in the insulation materials can provide pathways for heat and air to easily flow into or out of a home. Approximately 40 percent of feeling physically comfortable is due to radiant heat exchange between our bodies and the surrounding interior surfaces. Increasing insulation reduces this radiant heat exchange, maintaining a more consistent level of comfort throughout a house.