Why Air Sealing is so Important
No doubt you have seen posts from me about the importance of proper air sealing. I have posted a few photos in the past of examples of this very issue. When we are evaluating a home for energy improvements we use what is called the A. B. C method of improvements. The A. being the attic, B. basement and C. The center of the home.
During a recent project I was doing for a client part of the project was removal of pests and their nesting. I came across this ideal set of photos showing exactly what happens to insulation when air flows through it. Notice the black edges that mimic the exact pattern of where all the wood framing joins themselves along the basement sill area.
The black is caused by the insulation acting as a filter for the air as it freely flows in and out of the house during periods of windy weather. This basement is only about four years old. Now combine all the areas of the basement and you can see an example of energy waste first hand.
One of the first things a homeowner can do to determine if their home has this issue is how often do you need to dust your home? Dusty homes tend to have higher energy bills as air that is allowed to enter freely as the case here, is not filtered and results in more dust floating around the house. Pull the insulation out in various areas in your basement and check. Do you have the black like this? If so your wasting energy. Spray foam in a can or even caulk placed all around the corners will go a long way in keeping your house better conditioned and dust free.