Air Tightness Testing

Build Tight - Ventilate Right!

Why Build Airtight?

Most houses are leaky and waste energy and money. Building airtight buildings will save energy and money, improving comfort and reducing the risk of damage to building fabric. Airtight buildings will not mean stuffy buildings. Good controlled ventilation is vital for health and comfort. It is unplanned leakage of air that we are aiming to stem. Having your build airtight will reduce air leakage in the following areas:

  • Gaps between floors and external walls
  • Gaps around windows and door frames
  • Gaps around loft hatches
  • Gaps around roof lights
  • Gaps around service pipes that enter the building
  • Cracks around skirting boards linked to gaps around the edges of suspended floors
  • Leakage from dormers and eves into attics often via cavities and behind plasterboard, indirectly into rooms
room image

Cutting Heating Bills: Thermal Insulation Alone is Not Enough

If you're outdoors in the cold wind, it's not enough to put on a thick woolly sweater; you also need a closed wind-tight jacket on top of it. If you're building or remodelling a house, it's not enough to cover the walls and roof with a thick layer of costly thermal insulation. Thermal insulation is a very good sweater but a poor windtight jacket. As soon as the wind gets up outside, it becomes draughty indoors. On top of that, when you turn the heating on, a large proportion of the valuable heat escapes through the roof! So, thermal insulation is only effective if it is durably protected by a windtight layer on the outside and an airtight layer on the inside. SIGA high-performance adhesives protect your thermal insulation and with it your whole house from outside and in - durably, reliably and without toxins.

Energy and Cost Savings

blower-door image

Typically, the largest heat losses in most buildings are related to levels of thermal insulation, followed by those related to air infiltration. Quite rightly therefore, most efforts to save energy and costs have until recently been directed at increasing thermal insulation levels. But as these levels have risen, so the relative contribution of air infiltration has increased to the point where it can represent around half of all heat loss in a building. In highly insulated buildings, the percentage may be higher.

This is reflected in the fact that total space heating costs in an airtight building may be as much as 40% less than in a leaky one. We are at the stage where it is likely that further increases in thermal insulation levels would be ineffective until levels of airtightness in construction have improved considerably.

Thermal Imaging

Using Infrared technology

thermal image

Where thermal insulation becomes faulty, building construction technicians can see thermal signatures that indicate heat leaks and identify ways to improve the efficiencies of cooling or heating air-conditioning. The appearance and operation of a modern thermographic camera is often similar to a camcorder.

Infrared technology can be used to remotely determine the temperature of buildings and identify potential problems that would normally be undetectable to the human eye.

Since infrared emissions are emitted by all objects based on their temperatures, thermography makes it possible to "see" one's environment with or without visible illumination. The amount emitted by an object increases with temperature, therefore thermal imaging allows us to see variations in temperature.

Our professional building energy assessors use the latest equipment to detect problems in your property, including roof leaks, convection and conduction losses due to unrestricted air motion and poor insulation respectively, problems with heating systems below ground level and identification of mould growth that may be out of sight or out of reach.

Heat Recovery Ventilation

heat recovery image

What is Heat Recovery Ventilation?

Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) provides a continuous supply of filtered air throughout a building, extracted heat from wet areas and passing it through a heat exchanger. This exchange will transfer up to 95% of the heat from the extracted wet air to the incoming fresh air. The HRV system is designed to operate continuously at a low rate to minimise the electrical consumption. It will cost 100 - 150 per annum under normal operating conditions.

Benefits of Installing HRV

  • No cold air is delivered to the house via background ventilation during the heating process
  • Up to 95% heat recovery from stale air at each air change ( at low speed there will be at least 10 air changes per day)
  • Lowered energy input to the house
  • Balanced distribution of heat throughout the house reducing the occurance of hot and cold zones
  • Breathe fresh air at all times
  • Alleviating the symptoms of asthma, hay fever and other allergies by providing a clean supply of air free from dust, mites, pollutants and other irritants such as pet hair.

How It Works

heat recovery image

The system consists of a main unit which removes moist and stale air from parts of the building such as utility rooms, bathrooms, kitchens etc. At the same time, the system takes in fresh air from outside and using a heat exchanger, tranfers up to 95% of the heat from stale air to the incoming fresh air. By keeping the two bodies of air separate, any removed moisture, dust or particles cannot return into the house. The stale air is then released outside and fresh, clean, filtered warm air is distributed into bedrooms and living rooms to provide a nice warm living household.

If you improve the air tightness of your building you can reduce the air leakage rate.

If you wish to get a free quotation please contact us.