Top 4 Air Sealing Hotspots for Building Envelopes

July 4, 2017 | by Doug McNeill

Homeowners have created a demand for energy-efficient homes that contractors must work hard to fulfill. Gaining an energy rating is a great way to show the homes you build will cost their owners less to run. When working on getting an energy rating, air sealing is critical to creating an effective energy envelope. Your time is money, so knowing where to focus your air-sealing efforts will help you to achieve the desired results in a blower door test.

A recent study, 1000 leakage measurements were taken over a 12-month period. Here are the findings for most common areas of air leakage in residential homes:

  • Recessed Lights: 9.1 CFM50 per light is the average leak rate which adds up when you calculate the total leak rate for each light.
  • Top Plate to Attic: This is a common leak point depending on how well the dry wall is sealed. This joint was found to leak, on average 0.29 to 1.6 ACH[50].
  • Band/Rim Joist: 0.86 CFM50 per foot was the average leak rate here.
  • Garage to House Shared Wall: 0.6 CFM50 per foot pf joint which results in 0.1 to 0.3 ACH[50] for the average home.

Knowing where leaks occur can help you to focus on these areas during the build. Experiment with products and techniques until you know what works best for your crew.

This blog was developed by Norbord. All posts, sponsored and un-sponsored have been reviewed and approved by the Sustainable Community Media Editorial Team to ensure quality, relevance/usefulness and objectivity.


Topics: Lumber and Structured Panels, Thermal Envelope

Companies: Norbord, Inc.



Doug McNeill
Doug’s 39 years in the forest products industry has provide a broad understanding of multiple aspects of the industry. He spent 7 years in national builder sales and industrial sales before joining Norbord Building Materials in 1980. His 7 years in Pro Dealers sales led to 8 years as branch manager in several distribution centers across the country, 1 year as National Account manager, and 2 years as operations manager before moving to Norbord Inc as Export OSB Sales Manager.

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