Guest Blogger #917, Entry #2149, March 28, 2013
After an especially long, cold winter, we welcome spring with open arms – the ability to throw open the windows and experience the sunshine and fresh air. However, if you are one of the 40 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies, outdoor air (and uninvited pollen) can make it difficult to breathe, sleep, and generally enjoy a comfortable existence in your own home.
We often associate making a home energy-efficient with financial savings – and while that is definitely true, things like air sealing and insulation have an added benefit – curbing springtime allergies.
Image via: Feldman Architecture, Inc.
In the majority of homes, there are more air changes per hour (ACH) than we’d like. In other words, air you’ve paid to cool or to heat is escaping and being replaced with unfiltered air (aka, air full of pollen!) from outside. According to EnergyStar.gov, the below are common household air leaks:
- Attic hatches
- Behind kneewalls
- Wiring holes
- Plumbing vents
- Recessed Lights
- Crawl spaces
- Windows and Doors
Image via: Utopis Lifestyle
Air sealing is one way to stop this from happening. Even if your house is properly insulated, you could be losing air (and money) through these leaks. Caulk, weather stripping , expandable foam, and/or rigid foam board is used to seal gaps and cracks.
If you’re a “do-it-yourselfer,” some of this can be done yourself. For instance, you can purchase self-adhesive weather-stripping (available in either rubber or plastic) at a local hardware store for relatively cheap. You can also caulk around where plumbing and electrical wiring comes through walls if you notice gaps.
To really assess air leakage, however, professional assistance is recommended. Each home has an ideal ACH number, and there are diagnostic tools that professionals have that can determine where these leaks occur, and also to ensure that the home isn’t sealed to an unsafe level which would compromise air quality.
Learn more about air sealing by calling Mark Group USA at 877-865-1997.
For more green living ideas on Stagetecture, click here.