Air Sealing

Professional Air Sealing in Rochester, Ithaca, & Nearby

Seal air leaks & boost energy efficiency

Watch this video to see how air sealing and insulating your home can increase energy efficiency.

In typical homes, air leaks are often found at cracks, small holes, and penetrations in plumbing, wiring, lighting, and ductwork. Together, these leaks can add up to as much air loss as having an open window! It's easy to imagine how this can increase a homeowner's utility bills and reduce comfort.

Sealing a home's envelope in the attic, basement, and exterior walls is an important step in controlling the indoor environment and lowering energy bills. A tighter home envelope reduces the amount of humidity, dust, pollen, and pests that can enter. Air sealing also improves circulation in the home and creates healthier indoor air. The goal is to stop air leakage as much as possible while providing adequate ventilation.

Benefits of our air sealing services:

  • Based on estimates by the EPA, air sealing can reduce HVAC costs by an average of 15%
  • We provide thorough inspections & accurately measure air leaks using a blower door test
  • Air sealing is a "one-and-done" repair
  • Air sealing improves indoor air quality and home comfort
  • We use special equipment to identify even the small, less obvious leaks

Schedule an estimate to learn more. Halco proudly serves New York homeowners throughout Syracuse, Ithaca, Rochester, and areas nearby.

The Stack Effect in Greater Rochester, NY

The stack effect is the process in which air enters, circulates, and exits the home when not properly sealed.

The stack effect & air leakage

The stack effect refers to the process in which hot air rises and leaves the home through the attic and upper levels. As it does, a vacuum is created below, and new air is pulled in from outside. This air travels upwards through the basement, crawl space, and lower levels.

Blower door testing & home energy audits

Sealing air leaks in your home is a simple, cost-effective way to lower heating and cooling costs, increase comfort, and create a healthier indoor environment. Heat can find its way out of the home through a wide variety of gaps, cracks, and holes in all parts of the house. With our blower door test and home energy audit, we can quantify how much air is leaking out of your house and pinpoint the leaks.

Common sources of air leakage:

  • Plumbing & wiring penetrations
  • Around chimney passes
  • Attic access doors
  • Around recessed lights & fans
  • Around windows and exterior doors
  • Basement & crawl space rim joists
  • Cracks, gaps, & holes in walls
  • Around electrical outlets & switches
  • Sump pump holes
  • Bath fans
  • Leaky basement windows

ABC's of air sealing & insulation

We always start off with a blower door test to determine the total leakage and to find the biggest problem areas throughout the home, including the:

  • Attic

    We typically attack the attic first, as this is almost always the top priority because warm air rises. That means during colder weather heated air from your living space will leak into the attic through any and all holes. Holes, gaps, and joints include the drywall and framing at the top of walls, around pipes, wires, electric boxes, fixtures, ducts, penetrations, ceiling grilles, and joints in framing.

    When the warm air comes into contact with a cold surface, like the roof sheathing, condensation occurs. When this continually happens during the heating season, sections of roof sheathing stay wet for a long period of time, creating ideal conditions for mold. Attic mold problems worsen considerably if a clothes dryer or bathroom vent fan dumps moist air into the attic space.

    The solution to both these mold problems is to thoroughly air-seal the attic and to duct dryer and vent fans to the exterior instead of to the attic.

  • Basement

    It's also smart to seal your basement to stop the air movement as a result of the stack effect. Warm air rises and exits through upper windows and the roof, creating a vacuum in your home. In below-grade spaces, this void is filled with humid air drawn from the outside. Once inside, this air condenses and leaves moisture before it works its way up and out of the home. This process will worsen over time, causing mold, wood rot, and lowered energy efficiency. These mold spores will not be confined to your basement or crawl space. As air moves up from these spaces into your home, it will bring mold spores, dust, and humidity along with it.

    Halco uses spray foam insulation on basement walls to reduce air infiltration and condensation. We almost always recommend installing a basement dehumidifier to dry out the air, because mold has difficulty living below 60% humidity.

  • Conditioned spaces

    Conditioned spaces are the areas of a building where temperature and humidity are controlled. Generally speaking, this space includes the living areas of your home.

    One common problem that home performance retrofits correct is uncontrolled air leakage through the building envelope. Warm, moist, conditioned air passes from the living space through the walls on its way outside. When that warm air reaches the cooler temperatures within the wall cavity or inside a window frame, it drops the moisture on condensing surfaces, which can contribute to mold.

    Many older homes have no insulation in the exterior walls, which causes:

    • Cold, drafty rooms
    • Uncomfortable temperatures
    • Higher fuel & electricity bills
    • Lowered efficiency on heating & cooling systems
    • Dry air in colder months
    • More dust & pollen
    • Increased humidity in warmer months

Our comprehensive insulation services will ensure that your home is as comfortable and energy-efficient as possible.

Air sealing & insulation go hand-in-hand

It's important to note that neither insulation or air sealing alone is enough to reduce heat flow. Air sealing should always be done before insulation is installed.

As part of our air sealing strategy, we typically air seal the attic first since this is where the most significant leakage occurs. The basement and crawl space areas are our second priority. Air sealing these spaces eliminates a major source of cold air infiltration.

Fiberglass insulation is too light to stop air leakage, however, spray foam insulation can effectively reduce air leakage. Air sealing and insulation upgrades from Halco may even cut your heating and cooling costs in half!

Start saving energy & money with an air-sealing upgrade

If you're having issues with a runny nose, watery eyes, a scratchy throat, fatigue, or headaches that seem to disappear once you leave home then mold, dust, humidity, and other indoor air pollutants may be the culprit.

The American Lung Association Healthy House guidelines require that homes are more airtight to improve unplanned moisture movement. That is why proper mechanical ventilation is necessary to ensure clean air is coming into the home where it is supposed to.

Halco is more than happy to provide these services to you. Schedule an air sealing estimate to learn more. We proudly serve New York areas throughout Rochester, Syracuse, Webster, Lansing, Fairport, Auburn, Cortland, Canandaigua, Pittsford, and nearby.

our service area

We serve the following areas

Our Locations:

865 County Road 6
Phelps, NY 14532

1730 Mecklenburg Rd Suite B
Ithaca, NY 14850

204 Bass St
Liverpool, NY 13088

365 N. Washington St
Rochester, NY 14625
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