Just a quick note about the air sealing that you did in our home. It has worked as you indicated that it would. We noticed an immediate improvement in our basement. We obviously had some problems in that area that one would not normally associate with a nine year old home. The temperature in the basement is now much more comfortable and the kids seem to play down there more often.
“They stayed within the limits of their initial $29,300 proposal, were timely and efficient, worked well around our operations and kept our facilities clean, and demonstrated considerable expertise and hustle… We wish we had more contractors that can provide the value and expertise that we received so readily from A-A Exteriors.” – Mt. Pleasant Home
About Mt. Pleasant Home
Built in the 1850’s, this mansion is set on a landscaped five-acre bluff-top in a quiet, centrally located residential neighborhood. This Mt. Pleasant Home provides affordable independent living for forty residents in a 30,000 square foot facility. The three main buildings were constructed in 1857, 1894, and 1939.
Having been built in multiple stages, it proved to be unique in the many strategies that were applied to complete the air barrier and insulation project.
The building showed substantial evidence of a lack of a sufficient air barrier and thermal barrier throughout. Many locations, where the air barrier was of concern, were, in addition, reducing the thermal functionality of the current insulation.
The Mt. Pleasant Home project received a grant for $14,150 from the Grants to Green Program run by the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. Additionally, the Black Hills Energy rebate program was able to contribute $6,270.
Understanding the Mt. Pleasant Home Project
Air barrier repair
Pre-test blower door test of building
Vent bathrooms to outside
Insulate attics to R50
Post-test blower door test of building
Total project cost: $28,300
Completion date: Spring 2015
Conservative savings estimate: 4100 therms per year, 11,026 CFM reduced
Setting the Baseline With Pressure Testing
To understand the impact air leakage was having on the building, Accurate-Airtight Exteriors conducted a pressure test using a blower door. During this test, a machine called a blower door was used to pull air through the gaps in the building, creating a pressure difference. We then measured the quantity of air to indicate the volume of air being lost from the building. A pre and post blower door test of the entire building was performed to verify improvement.
Fans used for blower door testing.
Pressure Test Results
The Guaranteed Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) reduction was 3,330 CFM at 50 Pascal (roughly 20 mph wind pressure). The actual achieved CFM reduction was 11,026 CFM, which is nearly a reduction of half the initial CFM. This equates to a conservative savings estimate of 4100 therms per year.
How We Did It: Air Infiltration Reduction
Most buildings are riddled with small gaps and cracks, as well as larger visible openings, that contribute to the overall conditioned air leakage. Sealing up these penetrations will make the building tighter and reduce energy loss.
Historic Mt. Pleasant Home had many large openings that we corrected, leading to substantial air leakage reduction, a more effective air barrier, improved comfort, and significant reduction of energy loss.
Technician identifying large penetrations to be sealed. Items like a dumb waiter with walls open to the attic.
How We Did It: Insulation
There were multiple under-insulated attic spaces in this building, most of which were accessible during the repair process. The building proved to be substantially warranted for additional insulation in many areas.
Technicians installing insulation.
Attics were insulated to R50. A small inaccessible flat roof attic was dense-packed with insulation. The 3rd-floor attic proved to have substantial unwanted air leakage. This attic had many large holes and bypasses that were sealed. The slant walls were dense-packed with insulation.
While air sealing, an access to the kitchen attic—previously believed to be inaccessible—was noticed. This attic space was completely uninsulated. We spent an additional day dense packing cellulose insulation into this cavity for an effective R50+. This will provide significant comfort improvements in the kitchen and surrounding dining area where three family-style meals are served daily.
The Lull Wing of the historic property had substantial unwanted air infiltration, as well as bath fans that were venting directly into the attic. Mt. Pleasant Home agreed to a project trade-off to complete venting all baths properly to the outside and sealing all ducting with UL181 approved mastic. Stair walls and stairs were insulated to define the thermal boundary of the building.
Get Results Like These with Help from Accurate-Airtight Exteriors
A-A Exteriors is an energy efficiency construction company, in business since 1998. At A-A Exteriors, we test air barriers and reduce air infiltration to deliver energy savings throughout the United States and Canada. We approach each project with the determination to earn your business and do the job right the first time.
We guarantee your return on your investment with our air sealing projects, or you only pay for what you achieved. This way you receive the peace of mind of a sound investment.
We hire qualified professionals and compensate them appropriately. As a goals-driven company, we are driven to results and we love a challenge. In the fast-growing industry of building science, all of our staff are encouraged to pursue a path of continuing education to provide you with the most up-to-date solutions.
Strategically choosing from the insulation materials and technologies available ensures we can provide you with the highest quality solutions. We continually research new products and construction methods so we can provide the highest quality of service to fit your needs. With A-A Exteriors, you receive the product and the service that fits your goals.
The quality of our work and the guaranteed savings make A-A Exteriors the energy savings contractor for you. When you partner with us to reduce your energy consumption, we deliver a quality product, installed by trained technicians. We are the commercial air sealing and insulation contractor to guarantee energy savings and quantify the saving through diagnostic pressure testing.