New Air Sealing Technology vs. Other Methods
How AeroBarrier Air Sealing Beats Caulking, Foam & Tape….By Quite a Bit.
The Benefits of General Air Sealing
At the end of the day, air sealing in general is a commonly overlooked method to reduce energy use in
buildings and help homeowners save on utility bills.
Traditional methods of air sealing definitely hold their place, don’t get us wrong. They really did make
the difference between a home retaining a good chunk of air…and well, not retaining much at all.
However, we are going to say that new air sealing technology has really stolen the limelight, and for
good reason too. The decline of air leakage in new homes over the past decade indicate that newer air
sealing technology- specifically AeroBarrier – has done it’s part in increasing energy efficiency within
Bear with our technical terms here, but the average air leakage rate just one decade ago ranged
between 8 and 10 air changes per hour, at 50 pascals. Using AeroBarrier air sealing, new homes have an
average air leakage rate of just 4 to 5 air changes per hour, at 50pscls as well. That’s half the air leakage
reduced in less than decade and we might be slightly biased, but that kind of excites us.
AeroBarrier air sealing technology addresses the tiny gaps and cracks are almost impossible for the
naked eye to find, and as a result, are typically the areas of the home that allows the most air leakage.
How the Traditional Methods Work
A long standing method for air sealing, caulking is pretty straight forward- applicable gaps and cracks are
sealed with caulk to decrease air leakage. Considered likely the most initially cost effective air sealing
methods, caulking for air leakage has been around for decades and absolutely has some advantages as
an air sealing method.
Depending on the builder, either caulking guns or pressurized cartridges are used to simply fill known
areas in homes for air leakages- particularly around windows and doors.
In comparison to AeroBarrier air sealing, caulking is quite a manual process of air sealing and often fails
to secure the small gaps and cracks that let out a surprising amount of air. The depreciation on caulk is
notable too; it typically has to be redone quite often depending on the wear and tear of the home.
Air Sealing with Tape
Builders use a variety of products to tape and seal areas of concern, including polyethylene, plywood
Using tape as an air sealing method can be useful, as it’s multipurpose design allows builders to seal
specific areas- duct seams and leaks around plumbing vents, as an example. Tape can also be used to
seal a variety of materials, making tape sealing a popular method with builders and developers when
considering energy efficiency.
Again, however, the limit of tape sealing lies in the manual labor of the process and it’s inability to
source and seal miniscule cracks and gaps. Although a multipurpose method, tape sealing does not
actually work in all situations, causing the need for multiple methods to come into play at some point
anyway. AeroBarrier air sealing is applicable in all stages and areas of new home development, making it
a more cost effective and easier option than tape sealing.
For decades now, home builders have used polyurethane foam to seal entire envelopes of air pockets.
An easy method, the foam does limit the hours of labor needed and is considered somewhat cost
effective. This method even works specifically to limit heat flow, but builders have found over the years
that polyurethane foam can’t suffice all areas of air sealing an entire home.
At as of late, foam sealing has been deemed acceptable- but it doesn’t perform well enough to
consistently meet new levels of energy efficiency required of new homes.
So, a decent method- but it hasn’t transitioned into the higher levels of air tightness we are seeing
nowadays. Which AeroBarrier simply does.
How New Air Sealing Technology Takes the Cake
The thing about AeroBarrier air sealing is that it really does address the deficiencies of traditional
methods and act as an extensively efficient, cost effective method of total air sealing within new homes.
The driving advantage for AeroBarrier is it’s ability to seal the already mentioned ( a lot- we know) tiny
cracks, gaps and holes that add up to major air leakage in a home each year. The efficiency of this air
sealing technology means that every gap in the home up to less than ½ inch.
That pretty much sums up your entire home all in one go, which more traditional methods simply aren’t
able to offer.
And the initial cost of AeroBarrier might surpass the cost of foaming for instance, but you won’t need to
for out to redo large chunks of your sealing system every decade. Your long term savings from the
longevity of AeroBarrier are notable, not to mention, you’ll really like the look of your utility bills with an
effectively sealed home.
(You’ll like them so much, we wrote a blog on it- we get pretty excited about that kind of stuff, too.) (link
to savings blog.)
The labour hours on AeroBarrier air sealing are much shorter as well. A lot less manual labor and
sourcing leaks speaks to an easier process all around and less costly on the hourly basis.
Ultimately though, the levels of air tightness achieved with newer air sealing technology is the driving
force between more and more of Kelowna’s new home builders using Okanagan AeroBarrier for new
developments. Rebates and money savings aside (link to same blog), building homes on the pathway to
NET ZERO (link to blog) is really the driver behind adopting air sealing technology that just does the job a
little better- and faster!