Aside from ridding yourself of draughts and saving on the winter heating bill, heat loss identification in your existing home, new build or commercial property has a multitude of benefits for yourself and our environment. A building regulatory requirement for new builds, an airtightness test must be conducted to quantify the air leakage loss. If you would like to learn how airtightness testing can benefit you, your home and the planet read on. Airtightness testing also goes by the names air permeability test and air pressure test.
Who needs an Airtightness test and why is it important?
Air tightness testing is used to measure the extent of ‘air leakage’ in a building – the uncontrolled flow of air that is lost through holes, gaps or cracks in the building structure – particularly in the ‘building envelope’. New properties, in particular, need to undergo air tightness testing to ensure there is sufficient airflow in the building structure to meet the regulations. Ensure your property is prepared for the air permeability test by reading our blog post further explaining air tightness in buildings.
Air Tightness Regulations
According to the Building Regulations approved document Part L1A 2010, it is a mandatory regulation that all new build domestic in the UK are built airtight. They also need to undergo air tightness testing to prove so. This is also required on non-domestic buildings that have a 500m2 gross floor area.
Property developers and homebuilders are prohibited from selling a new property over to a buyer without certification of appropriate Airtightness. These strict rules on airtight construction and mandatory Air tightness testing are due to the effects that non-airtight building design can have. It can have an effect on the building’s integrity and on the environment and sustainability. Outside of these factors, the differences between a non-airtight home can also affect the owner’s comfort and their finances and the home and owner’s health.
Here we discuss the advantage of Air tightness testing on your home, the planet and the homeowner.
Want to know more about airtightness testing? Take a look at our blog: What is Air Tightness Testing?
The Benefits of Air Tightness Testing
How does Airtightness Testing benefit my home?
A lack of airtightness or an overly airtight home can cause significant damage to the buildings internal structure and living environment. Daily activities within a building (such as cooking) produce heat and humidity. When these leak through cracks, holes or gaps can escape into the building envelope, damaging it.
The air leakage and heat that escapes from a non-airtight structure carries heat and moisture along with it. This ultimately leads to condensation. The moisture carried and condensation it causes can lead to significant structural damage to the building’s materials. For instance, it can cause a number of issues including rot, mould and damp. Air tightness in buildings is incredibly important and cannot be forgotten about.
How does Air tightness testing benefit the planet?
Environmental issues have been at the forefront of the news for many years, with the debate on global warming and environmental change becoming an increasingly worldwide conversation.
The UK government has pledged to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 50% before 2025 and to be carbon emission-free by 2050. This means increased measures to reduce emissions across all sectors, including property and construction. Within the building sector, airtightness forms an integral part of ensuring that buildings are as efficient as possible.
An airtight structure will help to limit environmentally harmful carbon emissions by reducing the amount of energy used in heating the building. The more airtight a building the greater the opportunity for more efficient ventilation to be used. Heating a building requires the burning of fossil fuels. This, in turn, creates more CO2 emissions and a larger carbon footprint. These emissions contribute to greenhouse gases and global warming so the fewer emissions produced the better for the planet and sustainability.
How does Airtightness benefit me?
Ensuring an airtight home will be beneficial for its owners too! The occupants of a home that is not sufficiently airtight will experience less comfort and increased energy bills. This is because the house loses heat rapidly, allowing draughts and the possibility of mould to grow if not appropriately ventilated. Houses that are not airtight are harder to keep warm and require more hot water to be used, which then continues to make the problem worse.
As discussed previously, an airtight home, with limited air leakage, will mean a reduction in the amount of energy required to heat it. By using less energy, homeowners will not only be contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions but will see financial savings due to reduced energy bills.
Get in touch with us to request a quote and book your Airtightness Test today