How Air Testing Can Benefit Your New Home

by Editor on June 10, 2013

Contractors set up fan test

When you’ve just purchased a new home, your priorities are with the two R’s of home improvement- renovation and redecorating. You will want to have the best quality work for your budget, whilst taking eco-friendly options into account and, at the same time, avoid any unnecessary work. In a bid to save money, before making any drastic changes to your home consider carrying out a non-destructive air test to determine what renovation work to do on your home.

What is Air Testing?

Passing an air test is a legal requirement for all new homes and extensions but is also great to show when selling a property, as it demonstrates that the building has a suitable level of energy efficiency. Even if your property has previously passed an air test, it may be worth carrying out another one, as over time buildings can become less energy efficient due to material deterioration.

The process of testing air in a building often involves connecting fans (one or more, depending on the need) to an appropriate aperture in the property’s envelope, such as a window or door, and differing fan speed and pressure, measuring its air permeability. The test itself, normally takes around 30 minutes, and calculations and results are usually determined at the property on the day.

When looking to carry on air testing on your property, you will want to opt for a company that meets ATTMA (Air Tightness Testing and Measuring Association) standards. This means that their engineers are BINDT (British Institute of Non Destructive Testing) members and are trained in both the practical and theoretical side of air testing. Using certified engineering promises that the works will be done correctly and legally.

What can cause Air Leakage?

Carrying out air testing will not only show the amount of air leakage a building has, but will also localise the leaks, allowing owners and contractors to know exactly where to target when making homes more energy efficient, helping lower overall renovation costs.

Every building needs to have a small amount of air flow, which is met by the ventilation systems that are closed off during testing, but there are lots of factors that cause conditioned air to leave properties.  Leakage can be caused by a variety of problems, such as lack of or poorly insulated walls and roofing, single glazed or badly fitted double glazed windows, or cracks in the building’s envelope.

How can Air Testing Benefit my Home?

Apart from air pressure testing being a requirement for any new building, it is also beneficial to have testing carried out on older properties as it make it easier to locate areas for improvement.

Having an ‘air tight’ room (when windows, doors and vents are closed) can prevent loss of energy in your home, such as heating, lowering your home’s CO2 emissions, and can even help towards keeping your home cool in warmer weather by prevented outside air from entering. Doing an air test, and finding the exact areas needing renovation in the structure of the home means that you will save money not only from future energy bills, but also from paying for renovation where it is unneeded.

About the Author

Beth Stubbings works for Atspace Ltd. She thinks that carrying out an air test before renovation can help you safe money when making changes to you property.

photo by: fairfaxcounty

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