Property developers and regular homeowners all want to save money and do a bit for the environment, making sure that your property is airtight is one of the ways you can do that. Here is everything you need to know about air tightness and why it’s so important.
What is air tightness?
Air tightness is how much or little uncontrolled air flow occurs in your property. This could be air leaks or unwanted drafts, but it’s bad news for your heating bill and for the environment.
Leaks will allow cold air in from the outside and allow the heated air in the property to rise up to the cold and often unused roof space, where it is lost. Air leaks and drafts can cause up to 30% of buildings’ heat to be lost, making them expensive to heat and very environmentally wasteful.
Why is air tightness important?
Having an airtight property means you will be doing your part for the environment, by reducing your carbon footprint and preventing the need for more CO2 emissions. The more airtight your property is the less energy you will need to keep it warm or cool. When undertaking home improvements and renovations, improving air tightness is something often
You will also be able to save yourself some money on your heating bill every month. And finally, you will be in adherence with building regulations.
Where are common leaks found?
Leaks can occur just about anywhere in a property, but there are a few very common places to find a leak. Here are some of the most common spots you might want to check first.
- Window and door surrounds
- Loft hatch
- Ceiling roses and downlighters, especially in ceilings adjacent to the roof void
- Edges of suspended floors
- Gaps in the air barrier with the roof area
- Joins in partitions, particularly with external walls and ceilings
- Electric and plumbing entry and exit points especially in kitchens
The aim of spotting air leaks in your home is to have an airtight but well-ventilated space. It is not healthy or feasible to make your home completely air tight, as air needs a way to escape. At the same time, you do not want great gaping holes in walls making your home impossible to heat. Air needs to be able to escape in an efficient manner.
How do I know if I have a leak?
You can opt to have a ‘air tightness test’ done, which will involve a team of experts visiting your home with testing equipment. These tests are typically undertaken when a property is being built or converted, rather than when someone is looking to sell a property fast. Testing for air tightness is one of the most effective ways to test the air leakage of your property. The experts will be able to assess how efficient your home is at keeping cold air out and recommend adjustments to make.
Hiring a professional to draft proof your home should cost around £200, although this will depend on the size of your home and how much needs doing.
There is also the option to attempt to draft proof yourself. It is definitely possible to draft proof your home by yourself, but you will find it takes a little more time and research than having a professional team coming.