Homes burn through a mortifying 21% of the energy used in the United States. A lot of that energy is spent heating and cooling your house. And even worse, a whole lot of that energy is spent heating and cooling your backyard and front porch, through leaks and holes in your building envelope.

Although some of the air leaks in your home are visible to the untrained eye — around old and untreated doors and windows, for example — much of the average home's air leakage takes place in areas you don't see. A lot of it takes place because of something called the stack effect, or chimney effect, which works like this: cold air infiltrates your cellar through leaks and cracks in the foundation and walls, and begins rising. It works its way up through the floors and/or walls, then up into your attic through structural defects, holes in your ceiling, recessed lighting, leaky duct work, the furnace flue, the plumbing stack, or a poorly sealed attic floor. A home performance contractor doing air sealing work in your home will generally focus on the basement and the attic floor in order to minimize the stack effect, and thus minimize unwanted air movement throughout your home.

Perhaps equally important, air sealing is crucial for maximizing the performance of insulation, the other major component of your home's building envelope. The R-Value of insulation is determined under the assumption that there will be no air infiltration throughout the insulation — it assumes that there will be adequate air sealing around the insulation. Once insulation is left exposed to air movement (air moving up through your attic floor, for example), R-Value decreases.

If you do some serious air sealing work, you can expect to net about $600.00 in annual energy savings. To boot, because the materials are relatively inexpensive, and because much of the most important work takes place in the attic and basement (where you don't have to worry about fancy trim or replacing drywall), the upfront cost is usually pretty low.

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  • Ron Capel

    Our home on Bald Head Island never cooled properly. We tried bigger AC units without success. So we brought in Building Performance Specialists to help. BPS tested our home and came up with a great solution. Our house gets to the temperature we want now!

  • Barry Bankard
    Many thanks to Skye, Danny and crew! You guys are the best! Other attempts to correct my heating/cooling problems failed. It was not until BPS took control that I got much needed results.
  • Matt Collogan

    53% RH in crawl space, outdoor is 94%!!! Thanks Skye and Danny and Team! The house is actually starting to smell and feel better. I hope to send you along some referrals. Happy Monday,
    Matt

  • Pat & Ken Rittenmeyer

    I would like to commend Building Performance Specialists for a job well done. We recommend them strongly to anyone with a moisture intrusion problem or those just wanting to improve the livability of their home environment. BPS tested our house and identified the problems.

  • J. Russel

    Building Performance Specialists recently completed a crawlspace job at my house and I would highly recommend them to anyone who needs their services. They were professional, efficient and timely in completing their work to solve my moisture problem.

  • Jim & Ellie Bierman

    Skye and his team used their extensive knowledge of products in the design phase of our project, and his state of the art technologies during the construction phase, to create an energy efficient and comfortable beach house.

  • Steve Swain, Coastal Cypress Building Company

    Building Performance Specialists is a key partner in the construction of our energy efficient well designed homes. Skye Dunning's guidance enables us to deliver Homes to our clients that perform well, saves them money, and provides a comfortable living environment.

  • Mary Jo Cameron

    Skye and Danny from Building Performance Specialists came in and solved an ongoing moisture issue which no one else could figure out. They are the best!!!

  • Beverly Foscolo

    Once again I would like to thank you for the excellent job you and your staff did for me.  As you know, I previously had a problem with a neighbor’s smoking habits interfering with my air quality in my townhouse.

  • Beverly Foscolo

    Once again I would like to thank you for the excellent job you and your staff did for me.  As you know, I previously had a problem with a neighbor’s smoking habits interfering with my air quality in my townhouse.