Air infiltration and thermography
In Canada, heating accounts for more than 60% of residential energy consumption and therefore represents a high proportion of your overall energy bill. Luckily for you, there are several options you can consider as a homeowner to reduce heat loss from your home, including adding insulation. A properly insulated and sealed home requires less energy for heating in winter (and less energy for air conditioning in summer), protects you from rising energy costs, uses resources more efficiently, has less impact on the environment and provides more comfort to its occupants.
Before planning energy efficiency upgrades for your home, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) recommends having an EnerGuide assessment done by a certified energy advisor. During the evaluation, we will measure the airtightness of your home, we will identify the air leaks to be plugged, we will provide you with leads to follow as to improve the level of insulation, we will make recommendations regarding the replacement of doors and windows, we will suggest improvements to be made to the heating installation and we will highlight the places where you need to add insulation.
The Fenestra Group has this equipment and qualified personnel to carry out the corrective work following the visit of an energy evaluation professional. Thanks to this equipment, we will be able to confirm and carry out the corrections observed by the inspector.
Reducing random air leakage (i.e. air sealing) through the walls, ceilings and foundations of a home is one of the most cost-effective strategies for improving energy performance and comfort levels. It is the preferred measure in any energy-efficient envelope catch-up because air leaks can reduce the efficiency of some insulation, and they allow hot air conditioning to escape to the outside or cold air from the outside to infiltrate inside, which puts even more strain on the heating system. If left too long without intervention, air leaks can cause problems with humidity and indoor air quality. Above all, we must find the leaks. Although some leaks are easy to locate, most of them are discovered using a "blower door test". This test, which is part of the EnerGuide evaluation, can be conducted independently by a contractor. The test depressurizes the house, causing outside air to seep through cracks and holes. This is when the operator locates the leaks using tools such as a smoke pencil or a thermographic device. Here are the places where air leaks most often occur:
- recessed luminaires in roof voids;
- electrical boxes recessed in the ceiling under the roof voids;
- wiring and plumbing elements, and ducts leading to the roof void;
- exhaust fans located above the ceilings in the roof void;
- wall-window seals (behind window gasket covers);
- opening windows;
- weatherstripping doors;
- electrical boxes on the exterior walls;
- wall-floor joints;
- area of the bank joist of the ground floor and floor;
- bank joist at the meeting point with the foundations;
- foundation walls and penetration points of electrical, plumbing and air duct elements.
There are many different formulas for sealing different parts of a house. For example, you can air-seal leaking doors and windows with new trim and weatherstripping. You can plug the holes around the wiring with putty and larger holes with spray foam insulation. You can also provide airtight seals under the plates of light switches and power outlets, and airtight polystyrene foam housings over exhaust fans in roof voids. To find out the most effective measures, it is enough to consult a specialist in air leak management.