The energy efficiency movement is starting to impact the awareness of how the indoor conditions of an existing building can be greatly improved. Homeowners who once dread the winter months and thought that they had to live with the pain of a drafty uncomfortable home are now increasingly seeking to improve these homes.
This search often brought homeowners out into the marketplace looking for solutions and the best professional help. As a result, we are seeing the most solid growth rate in weatherization services in recent years, local companies that position themselves as the brand to trust are experiencing the most explosive growth. Indeed, some spare no media opportunity to publicize their service and are bold in the assurance that the benefits of weatherization services are the improved comfort, health and efficiency of your home. Homeowners, it appears, are getting the message and are acting on it.
We have also been listening and acting, here is what we recommend and you should expect from your contractor. We know that regardless of the term that is used to describe the process, weatherizing your home is the surest way to improve its interior comfort and efficiency thereby alleviating the stress of the approaching winter. We believe that, the execution of the following basic three-step process of sealing (air sealing and duct sealing), insulation and venting when well coordinated produces optimum results in improved indoor environment.
In the first step your house is sealed off from the outside air. A blower door test will find out exactly how much conditioned air is being lost to unconditioned space. Once this is determined, work crew will seal off the house and the duct work from the outside air. This is done through the application of a variety of techniques and an array of products including foam board, expandable foam, duct mastic, caulking, and other specialized products.
In the second step insulation is applied in your home is to stop heat from escaping. This is done with the use of various insulation products, but blown cellulose is a primary choice and is deposited in attic and exterior wall cavities. Cellulose is made with recycled newspaper treated with a fire retardant. again, cellulose is used as it has superior insulating and air blocking properties than other option such as fiberglass.
In the third step, at a minimum, the venting system must be checked to ensure proper venting of high moisture areas such as kitchen and bathrooms. Proper venting means that these areas are vented to the outside to control the moisture out put from cooking and showers. In addition, to conclude the weatherization project a final blower door test is recommended to provide quantitative evidence of the before and after conditions. However the real evidence to many contractors is often the many satisfied homeowners who are now proud members of their referral team.
In brief, weatherization, the three-step process of sealing, insulation and ventilation is designed to improve the comfort, health and efficiency of your home with the added benefit of saving you money on your utility bills throughout the year.