[Greenbuilding] insulation vs. air sealing

Corwyn corwyn at midcoast.com
Fri Sep 24 14:48:00 CDT 2010

On 9/23/2010 3:33 PM, Gennaro Brooks-Church wrote:
> Does anyone have a good blog post or article discussing how air
> sealing is a low hanging fruit and has fast payback? I have a client
> who wants to pay me thousands of dollars to insulate his attic but
> doesn't want to spend a couple hundred more to patch up a bunch of
> holes in his attic.I personally think patching the holes gives a MUCH
> faster payback than the insulation but don't have anything to back up
> my opinion.

Well payback is going to depend on exact circumstances.  However, 
patching the holes is advised for other reasons.  The increased 
insulation is creating a larger temperature difference between the 
living space and the attic.  This increases the stack effect, and 
increases the pressure at that boundary.  This causes MORE air to go up 
through those holes (and the money to heat it as well).  Additionally 
the temperature in the attic will now be lower, which increases the 
condensation of the warm moist air from the house onto the surfaces of 
the attic.  This can cause moisture and mold issues.

My recommendation is ALWAYS to seal before adding insulation.  If he 
still doesn't want it, be sure to get it writing, with a signature.

Thank You Kindly,


Topher Belknap
Green Fret Consulting
Kermit didn't know the half of it...
topher at greenfret.com
(207) 882-7652

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