Are all air leaks the same?

In an effort to create an airtight building envelope, you may want to know which gaps to focus your energy on. When considering air leaks, there are some that will give you more bang for your energy efficient buck.

As a rule of thumb, air leaks which are higher up (think attic) are more important to plug. But they aren’t the only ones to consider, especially if you live in a high-wind area. In these areas, the pressure applied to the home during high wind events tends to short-circuit the stack effect so it would be just as important to focus on sealing walls as it would the attic.

One way to reduce the amount of sealing one has to do in the walls is to eliminate horizontal seams by using taller wall panels like WindStorm and TallWall. Use Windstorm and TallWall in conjunction with Energy Trusses (also called Raised Heel Trusses) and reduce the air leakage at joints where the walls and roof connect.

According to the Homeowners & Trades Resource Center, your sealing priorities should be as follows:

  • The attic is still number 1
  • Cantilevers come in second and they can act as both an escape route & entry point
  • Basements, Crawl Spaces
  • The dominant wind wall
  • Windows, doors, and other large penetrations in all the other walls

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