Your Contractor’s Rep needs to be Air-Tight Too
Hot air – this winter, you want your house full of it. But where you don’t want it, is in a pitch from an insulation company.
Sealing your attic is an ideal way to optimize your Return On Insulation Investment. But buyer beware – it is also the service most exploited by some insulation companies to take advantage of unsuspecting customers. It’s important to know how the process works in order to be sure that your not getting burned.
Knowing the Basics will Help you Seal the Deal
Before we get into how to ensure you get reliable, appropriately priced air-sealing service, let’s talk about why air sealing is important:
- Air sealing is a reference to the process of tightening the envelope, which is another way of saying minimizing the leaking of air out of your home (always-important air exchange is left to controlled, mechanical ventilation)
- Insulation doesn’t seal holes in your envelope – it COVERS them. So, sealing should happen BEFORE insulating
- A sealed envelope protects against moisture problems and the four-letter word – mold
- Sealing prevents uncomfortable drafts
- It protects against pollutants and allergens to control and improves air quality, and,
- It empowers your insulation to most effectively do its job saving you money!
So, there are lots of reasons to do it. Now, how do you get it done properly? First, let’s look at how it works. Then we’ll look at how to avoid getting worked over!
The air sealing process starts with a door blower test – also called pressure testing. This involves a unit called a blower door. Consisting of a fabric sheet and a built in fan, a blower door pulls air out of your house lowering the pressure inside.
Square-footage, time and the pressure differential – the variation in pressure inside the house and outside – are then used to give a general indication of the quality of building envelope. Remember this part of the process! This is where the sharks prey on the uninformed.
A device called a manometer is also used to record airflow.
As higher air pressure outside the house pushes air into the created lower pressure region inside, a smoke pencil can be used to expose air leaks through any cracks or holes.
Upon discovering where breaches in the envelope are – the next logical step is to fill, them, block them and do everything possible to make the envelope as tight and right as is possible.
Pressure testing and air sealing are all about determining the best approach to sealing your envelope before insulating it, which is another way of saying determining the best way to make more of your money end up with you rather than the utility companies.
Now, let’s talk about what to watch for.
Avoiding the Blower Door Scam
The blower door test is where some shadier characters have been known to strike. There have been reported cases where, during the course of an “initial assessment”, a member of the assessment team slips up to the attic to “take a look”. While up there, the team member opens a window or in some way or other breaches the building envelope. The result of this is a badly skewed general pressure differential reading from the door blower test. Of course the answer then will be to get to work rectifying your “massively leaky” house.
The simplest defense against these kind of breaches of trust is to just go with a qualified, certified, reputable contractor.
Insta: The Name Trusted by Trusted Names
When it comes to insulation assessment and installation, Insta-Insulation is the name trusted by trusted names. For over 10 years, Mike Holmes of Holmes On Homes and Holmes Inspection has turned to Insta for all his insulation upgrades in the GTA. And Insta is also the exclusive insulation upgrade contractor for Bryan Baeumler of HGTV’s House of Bryan, Leave it to Bryan, and Disaster DIY.
Protect against fraudulent operators, protect the environment, start keeping more of your money right away, and secure against future financial losses due to rising energy costs.
Times are tight. Your budget for operating your home needs to be tighter – We can help.