The energy-efficiency of a home can be affected by many factors. One of the most important is the air-tightness. This affects the amount of energy used in cooling and heating the interior of a home. The essential characteristic of a well-insulated, air-tight home is that there should be a continuous barrier against air. There are several building methods that exist to achieve this, here are some examples of how to achieve optimum air-tightness for an energy-efficient home.
Outer wall sealing
In most modern homes, the outer wall is often covered with sheets of plywood or composite material such as OSB. Other popular building materials used today include SIPs. With SIPS UK builders can choose from a variety of dimensions suitable for building energy-efficient homes. Additionally, using large sheets of material to cover the outer wall is not only convenient, but it also cuts the construction time. In order to create a barrier against air, the perimeter of each sheet should have adhesive applied in one solid, continuous manner. Similarly, an adhesive bead should also be applied below the wall plates before the wall is erected.
To ensure continuity, the barrier should carry over from the exterior wall sheath all the way to the ceiling. The main advantage of exterior sealing is that it covers not only the outside of the house but also the frame connections inside. In addition to the frame, the same attention to air-tightness should also be given to all the joints including windows, doors, and sills.
Inner wall sealing
For the interior walls, it is recommended to install drywall and finish with a coat of plaster. You need to pay close attention to the gap that is created when the drywall is installed and ensure it touches the very top of the wall frame. It is best to seal the gap in between the ceiling drywall and the top plates of the wall framing before the interior drywall is installed.
Windows and doors
The installation of windows and doors can create gaps. These gaps should be sealed with insulating foam or caulk. For the best air seal, use compression gaskets or weather stripping. For a more effective air sealing, use casement windows because these have the most effective closure and form a natural air barrier.
The electrical wiring and electrical boxes installed inside the home should also be air-tight. All areas where wire penetrates should be properly covered. You can use spray foam. All electrical boxes housing sockets and switches should be completely sealed to the drywall using caulk.
Doors and entryways
In areas where the main entry point is exposed to gushes of cold air, you can install double-doors to reinforce air-tightness. The second door will act as an airlock. With double doors, the comfort inside the home is increased leading to increased energy-efficiency. To make double-doors more cost-effective, they should be well-designed. For example, double-doors can be designed to make the space a lot more useful. For example, the space can be converted into a foyer or a mudroom.