Airtight House & Home

Why an Airtight House is Better than a Leaky House

Blower Door airtight house testing
An instrument called a blower door can measure a home’s air leakage.

Do you have an airtight house? Although air leakage dilutes pollutants and provides fresh air, air leakage is not reliable at providing good indoor air quality. Air leakage tends to over-ventilate a home during cold windy weather and under-ventilate it during mild calm weather. Occupants of an airtight house must use various methods to ensure fresh breathable air; open windows, use kitchen and bathroom vent fans, and install whole-house ventilation systems as needed.

Experts agree that it is far more economical and comfortable to build an airtight house and install a whole-house ventilation system than to rely on air leakage for ventilation.

If your home is drafty and excessively dry during cold weather, leading to static-electricity shocks, then excessive air leakage is probably the cause. If your home is moist with condensation collecting on windows and cooking odors lingering, then your home may be relatively airtight already.

With the help of an expert, you can evaluate your home’s airtightness. The evaluation will help you decide whether or not air leakage is a serious energy problem. If you seal most of the air leaks in your home, you may need a whole-house ventilation system. This is because air leakage won’t be adequate to dilute pollutants. Whole-house ventilation is a good thing! A blower door test will tell you how much ventilation your home needs.

Want to learn more? Check out our lessons on Blower Door Testing and Whole Building Ventilation Systems.