Several years ago, when I first became interested in the benefits of air-sealing, I enrolled in a Building Performance Institute (BPI) training program that taught me the basics. I later learned a lot more while working on a Passive House project, which called for air-sealing to a very high standard (see "Building a Simple Passive House," 8/11). I now consider air-sealing to be a routine part of every remodeling and new-construction project, and I have a good-sized bag of tricks at my disposal that allows me to deal with a wide range of situations. Some builders may worry that aggressive air-sealing can lead to a building that's "too tight," but that's looking at the problem the wrong way. Rather than deliberately building a structure that leaks uncontrolled amounts of air, I think it makes more sense to build as tight as you can and provide fresh air with a correctly sized, balanced ventilation system.
And while air-sealing isn't a glamorous or sexy job - no one is going to drive by the house you just completed and say, "Wow, they did a beautiful job air-sealing that envelope" - it has an enormous bearing on both a home's energy efficiency and the comfort of its occupants. If you are trying to sell green building, energy reduction is about as...
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