Is Air Sealing the Attic Worth It?
Discover if it’s worth it to air-seal the attic in a home. Effective air sealing keeps the cold air in on hot days. It also conserves the warm air produced by an HVAC system during a brisk winter night. Let’s examine what air sealing is, its benefits, and the signs that an attic space needs it.
What Is Air Sealing?
Air sealing eliminates drafts and reduces heat loss by preventing air leaks in attics, chimneys, wall penetrations, recessed lighting, and other places in the building. To produce a tight air seal, a Residential Registered Vendor may employ spray foam, caulk, metal flashing, weather stripping, or other materials.
What Is Air Sealing An Attic?
Air sealing an attic stops air leaks between the attic space and the rest of a home, improving energy efficiency and reducing the need for air conditioning and other climate control measures. Most of the sealing takes place on the attic floor, but it may also occur in wall or roof penetrations, including windows, swamp coolers, or skylights.
5 Benefits Of Air Sealing The Attic
Home air sealing offers several benefits, especially when applied to an attic. It will make your home more energy efficient, prevent costly repairs, improve air quality, and more. Let’s take a closer look at the perks of air sealing the attic.
1. Increased Energy Efficiency
Reduce your carbon footprint by sealing up the attic. By filling the small gaps in the attic, the HVAC can run less often, consuming less energy. Over several decades, the beneficial impact of air sealing on the environment is considerable.
2. Improved Indoor Air Quality
One of the best advantages of home air sealing is improved indoor air quality. Failing to seal the small gaps in your attic may allow allergens into your home. By sealing your attic, you ensure you only breathe the conditioned air that filters through your HVAC system.
3. Decreased Repairs
Air sealing your attic will reduce the risk of ice dams causing structural damage to your home. Sealing prevents warm air from rising into the attic, where it can melt the snow and create ice. The cost of air sealing remains far less than structural repairs.
4. Reduced Utility Bills
Save money on your monthly energy bill by air sealing your attic. As perhaps the best part of sealing attic air leaks, reduced energy bills will start hitting your inbox almost immediately. Over time, your energy-efficient attic will defray most of the initial cost of sealing it.
5. Less Dusting
The cleaner indoor air that results from sealing an attic will save a little time because dusting is required a little less often. Likewise, homeowners with sealed attics do not need to vacuum as often as they once did.
5 Signs That An Attic Needs Air Sealing
Many homes need attic sealing, but some do not. So, how can homeowners tell if they need to seal their attics? An air sealing professional may diagnose a problem and suggest sealing the attic. Otherwise, look for the following five signs that an attic needs air sealing.
1. Drafty Rooms
Cold air shooting across the room indicates that the attic needs air sealing. Every time a homeowner feels a draft, it serves as a reminder about the money flying right out the attic window. Seal that air leakage and never experience a draft in your home again.
2. Dry Air During Winter
The air always feels drier during winter than in summer. However, allowing an air leakage to continue unabated can dry out your interior air even more. Failure to seal an attic can lead to dry skin, irritated sinuses, and increased static electricity.
3. Excessive Dust
Leaving air leaks unchecked will lead to decreased air quality and more dust. If a homeowner notices they need to dust their shelves more often than they used to, they should look into sealing the attic. That way, most of the interior air gets filtered through the HVAC system.
4. Ice Dam Formation
One of the most alarming signs that an attic needs air sealing is an ice dam. The weight of an ice dam and the water it collects threaten the structural integrity of a roof. If left unresolved, an ice dam can cause sagging of the roof deck.
5. High Utility Bills
The clearest sign to homeowners that they need to plug an air leak is increased utility bills. If the attic can’t keep warm air in during the winter, the cost of running the furnace will increase. Air sealing represents a quick, easy way to save money on energy bills.
The Most Common Attic Air Leaks
If an attic lacks sufficient insulation, an attic air leak can occur almost anywhere, including:
- Attic access hatch
- Exterior wall top plate
- Supply grill
- Recessed can lighting
- Return grill
- Interior wall top plate
- Insufficient insulation
Top 3 Myths Of Attic Air Sealing
Some homeowners express apprehension about sealing up their attics. A few myths about air sealing persist even today. Below, we debunk the top three myths of attic sealing.
1. Air Sealing Causes Moisture Buildup
Air sealing does not cause moisture buildup. In fact, it can resolve existing moisture issues because most of the dampness occurs when outside air enters a home. Only if a contractor improperly seals an attic’s air leakages would moisture build up.
2. Air Sealing Causes Stuffiness
Air sealing does not cause stuffiness. With proper insulation, air sealing will prevent a home from becoming stuffy. Failing to seal an attic may cause stuffiness because it allows hot, humid air to enter the home during the summer.
3. Air Sealing Causes Illness
Air sealing does not cause illness. Even if a contractor over-tightens a home, any temporary staleness is unlikely to make anyone sick. In reality, air sealing can relieve allergies and other maladies.
Where Should An Attic Be Air Sealed?
Find out where the professionals tend to find attic air leaks. Most attic leaks repeatedly occur in the same places. Expert air sealers will use light, paper, and smoke to detect the slightest gaps and drafts. Some of the most common spots to find leaks in the attic include:
- Electrical wiring
- HVAC system ductwork
- Recessed lighting
- Bathroom vents
How Much Does Air Sealing The Attic Cost?
The cost of air sealing attics varies based on several factors. Some of the most crucial variables include:
- Attic size
- Home location
- Manufacturer rebates
- Government incentives
Is air-sealing the attic worth it? On average, it takes 1-3 years for homeowners to recoup the total cost of air sealing their attics.
Is It Good To Air Seal An Attic?
It is good to air seal an attic because it helps maintain your home. Air sealing your attic will also reduce your energy consumption and promote a comfortable environment inside your house. An unsealed attic will allow hot air to escape your home on cold days and enter your home on warm days.
How Much Does Air Sealing An Attic Help?
Air sealing an attic helps a lot by blocking air leaks and maintaining your desired room temperature. When combined with attic insulation, air sealing can prevent dangerous ice dam formations in the winter months.
Should I Seal My Vented Attic?
You should seal your vented attic to increase your home’s energy efficiency. Air sealing your attic will reduce heat loss in the winter and limit the amount of hot outside air that enters your home in the summer. Sealing your attic floor will also minimize noise pollution and shut out dust, pollen, air pollution, and other allergens.
What Are The Cons Of Attic Air Sealing?
The potential cons of attic air sealing include cost and limited air circulation and moisture problems due to improper installation. When installed correctly and used in tandem with proper insulation, the only con is the price, which remains modest for an air sealing project. Otherwise, blocking an air leakage in an attic offers only benefits to a homeowner.
Is Air Sealing The Attic Worth It? | iFOAM
Keep the cold air inside your home all summer long with an air sealing and insulation project. Air sealing the attic is a complex process that requires an energy audit, a blower door test, and more. Call iFOAM today at (855) 935-4723 to schedule a free consultation.