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Whether you are in Utica, Albany or Troy, upstate New York is cold in the winter and hot and humid in the summer. Your heating and cooling system works hard to keep you comfortable, but, especially in older homes, it often can’t keep up. This is due, in part, to air leakage. The air that you’ve paid to heat or cool leaves the house by infiltration and exfiltration.
Why Air Leakage is A Problem
In the winter, pressure differences within and around the house cause cold air to be pulled into the house and warm air to be sucked out. The rate at which this happens increases with the difference in temperature between the inside and the outside, and also by how fast the wind is blowing. You feel the cold air being pulled into the house as a draft. You feel the warm air being sucked out in the pocketbook.
In the summer in upstate New York, it’s the opposite: the air you have paid to cool gets sucked out and the hot air being pulled in from the outside makes your cooling system work too hard. You’ll feel hot and uncomfortable even before you’ve read your utility bill.
Air sealing reduces the amount and rate of air exchange between the home’s interior and the exterior, preventing home heat loss and creating energy savings. It’s the first step in your home performance upgrades, followed by improved insulation levels.
The First Step to Comfort: A Comprehensive Energy Evaluation
While most homes typically have air leakage problems, they are not always easy to pinpoint or track down. There are often ‘thermal bypasses’ in houses -- paths that allow air to move between the heated or cooled living space and the attic, garage or other unconditioned space. These can’t be seen or felt without proper diagnostic tools.
No contractor can determine what the level of air leakage is your house (or how to decrease the air leakage in your house) without doing a blower door test and infrared diagnostics. That’s why, at Stonehenge, we focus on diagnostics during our comprehensive energy evaluation to give you a full account of air leakage problems and how we plan to tackle them.
After we’ve completed our evaluation, we will go over our tiered packages of recommendations for your air sealing and other home performance measures. We’ll point out where you can take advantage of rebate and financing programs offered by the state of New York. Our team of contractors and technicians will carry out the work competently and professionally, meeting the targets that we recommend.