Air Sealing Research

Air Sealing Research

This project report details activities and reports results of the CEER: Evaluation and Testing of Individual Air Sealing Retrofit Measures, which are targeted toward the DOE goal of achieving 30%-50% reduction in existing building energy use. The Cost Effective Energy Retrofit Team (CEER) team consists of members from The Dow Chemical Company, Michigan State University, Ferris State University and Habitat for Humanity of Kent County.

The focus of the research was to study the impact of incremental retrofit air sealing measures in ranch homes constructed from 1950-1970. This is a common archetype in the Great Lakes region. It is estimated that over 1.3 million ranch homes reflecting 7.2% of all housing in the Midwest were built between 1950 and 1970 (“American Housing Survey.” U.S. Census Bureau (2009). The research examined air sealing measures at various locations in two test homes reflective of this archetype. The effectiveness of individual air sealing measures was quantified by changes in blower door test results and cost impacts were determined using BEopt and REM/Rate™.

Results

The results of this research indicated that this method of air sealing is cost effective as a do-it-yourself project (roughly 25% cost savings). Air sealing both sides of partition wall top plates gave the best result of any air sealing measure.

View the full project results here.