Sealing Walls Before Insulation: A Comprehensive Guide to Achieving Home Efficiency

Are you looking to make your home more energy efficient? Sealing walls before insulation is a great way to start. Our comprehensive guide reveals five of the main areas to air seal before installing cost-effective insulation products, such as fiberglass and mineral wool. Sealing these areas will help homebuilders meet the code requirements to build an airtight, more energy efficient home. Will air sealing lower your heating and cooling bills? Absolutely! In Racine and Kenosha, or anywhere in our cold Midwest climate, it's known that hermetic sealing can save the first 20% on annual energy bills.

To save a lot of time, you should always seal the air before adding additional insulation. Without hermetic sealing, the benefits of additional insulation are often reduced by half or less because air easily passes through insulation, especially fiberglass. When air passes through the insulation, it loses its insulating capacity. Specifically, fiberglass and cellulose insulation blown under open air requires that no air enters through them. To reduce airflow, the owner will first need an airtight seal.If you've already spent any time on our blog, you've probably heard of the many benefits that sealing and air insulation together can offer your home.

Greater home comfort, greater home efficiency, lower energy bills, and better air quality are just a few of the things you can expect after sealing and insulating the air. Some homeowners try to take a shortcut to access these benefits, putting some insulation in the attic and considering it good. Unfortunately, insulation without air sealing is only 50% more effective than the two combined.

Where Should I Seal Before Insulating?

The experts at Home Energy Medics can diagnose your home in Arlington or the Washington DC metropolitan area to determine exactly what it needs (whether it's sealing and air insulation or something else entirely), and then implement solutions that actually work. Pre-insulation is the time to seal the air, as any air leaks that need to be sealed will still be visible and accessible.

As the air inside the wall heats up, it rises to the attic, while the cold air from the attic sinks into the wall. The air-sealing barrier must be just inside what is commonly known as a thermal barrier (your insulation).

What Happens if I Don't Seal Before Insulating?

Avoid airtight sealing and expect to pay a lot. Many people overlook the need to seal tightly because they look around their house and see walls and ceilings that don't have holes in the attic or outside. If you install insulation in the attic without first sealing the air, air can continue to flow freely through the attic and outside the house.

In other words, without a proper hermetic seal, that valuable indoor air you pay to heat rises and escapes directly through the roof. Hermetic sealing is especially important in the attic because, without it, air can travel freely from the house's conditioned living spaces to the attic and then escape through the gaps and cracks outside the house. Insulation doesn't stop airflow the way sealing does; its purpose is to control heat flow throughout the house.