Complete Home Solutions Case Studies: Attic Air Seal in La Plata, Maryland
This homeowner was dreading the upcoming summer months. He remembered how last summer, he and his wife had a terrible time trying to stay cool. The house was HOT, and their bedroom was upstairs, which was even HOTTER. Before the heat waves started rolling in again, they decided to have a professional come out and assess their home for ways to make it more comfortable. That professional was Complete Home Solutions.
We gave the homeowner a full, comprehensive home energy audit. What our auditor found was that the attic was the source of much of this client's discomfort. Fortunately, we were able to do quite a few things to fix this. The first thing we needed to do was air seal. This means we had to seal up all of those attic penetrations that were leaking air and caulk, weatherstrip, and insulate the attic hatch. The next step was to prepare for the insulation. We needed to construct an insulation dam around the attic hatch (this allows for the even application of insulation). We then installed blown-in cellulose insulation, bringing levels up to R-49 (as recommended by BPI standards for our climate zone).
We also applied weather-stripping around exterior and sealed the duct work with duct mastic. These upgrades made drastic differences for the homeowner. The first really hot week of summer he called in because of how pleasantly surprised he was with our work. The AC didn't kick on once, and yet he and his wife were completely cool and comfortable! Now those are some pretty amazing results. We were more than happy to help this client overcome his summer anxiety and we can help you too!
Here is the air leaking culprit. You can see low insulation levels and a lack of air sealing. An environment like this is exactly what causes a house to get uncomfortable hot in the summer (and cold in the winter too). But, we can fix this.
Blower door testing is an important tool that we use to identify air leakage in a house. We get to compare how efficient the house is before we do our to afterwards. In this case, we found some pretty great results.
The cellulose insulation that we use really does a great job of dense packing and working together with the air sealing to create an effective thermal barrier for the house.
Sealing the attic hatch is a very important step. In this case, we used SilverGlo polysio foam board, caulk, and weather-stripping on the door. Now, air won't have the opportunity to slip through and heat up the house.
We used duct mastic on exposed duct work. Duct leakage can cause a substantial energy loss and reduce efficiency of the system. Sealing them in this way ensures that the air is going to be pumped where the homeowner wants it to.