Since 1984, I have been building energy-efficient homes with special attention to air sealing. Most conventional new homes, when tested with a blower door, show a natural infiltration rate of 4 to 8 air changes per hour; my homes are rated at 0.48 to 1.0 air changes per hour (ACH50). My package of energy-saving details costs my customers only about $1.25 per square foot, and they often make back the extra cost with just three to five years of energy savings. Since satisfied customers tell their friends about their low energy bills, my homes have been in steady demand.

Building a tight home does require training your subcontractors. But subs who do quality work may be eager to learn about air sealing, since those skills make them more attractive to other energy-efficient builders.

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