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August 19, 2017
Insulation technician applying spray foam to interior rim joists

Homes burn through a mortifying 21% of the energy used in the United States. A lot of that energy is spent heating and cooling your house. And even worse, a whole lot of that energy is spent heating and cooling your backyard and front porch, through leaks and holes in your building envelope.

Although some of the air leaks in your home are visible to the untrained eye — around old and untreated doors and windows, for example — much of the average home's air leakage takes place in areas you don't see. A lot of it takes place because of something called the stack effect, or chimney effect, which works like this: cold air infiltrates your cellar through leaks and cracks in the foundation and walls, and begins rising. It works its way up through the floors and/or walls, then up into your attic through structural defects, holes in your ceiling, recessed lighting, leaky duct work, the furnace flue, the plumbing stack, or a poorly sealed attic floor. A home performance contractor doing air sealing work in your home will generally focus on the basement and the attic floor in order to minimize the stack effect, and thus minimize unwanted air movement throughout your home.

Perhaps equally important, air sealing is crucial for maximizing the performance of insulation, the other major component of your home's building envelope. The R-Value of insulation is determined under the assumption that there will be no air infiltration throughout the insulation — it assumes that there will be adequate air sealing around the insulation. Once insulation is left exposed to air movement (air moving up through your attic floor, for example), R-Value decreases.

If you do some serious air sealing work, you can expect to net about $600.00 in annual energy savings. To boot, because the materials are relatively inexpensive, and because much of the most important work takes place in the attic and basement (where you don't have to worry about fancy trim or replacing drywall), the upfront cost is usually pretty low.

What Our Customers Are Saying

  • I would like to express how grateful to each and everyone of you for helping make my house warmer for the winter months, its because of you I was able to have insulation and seal areas of my home that wouldn't get done. Thank you!
    Wendy, Wareham, MA
  • Initially hiring Efficient Buildings for some insulation work, we were so impressed by their efficiency, expertise and depth of knowledge that we went on to hire him for a large addition.

  • Your technicians made a scheduled appointment at our house this past Tuesday to complete a work order. We wish to commend you for hiring such competent individuals. They were knowledgeable, personable, task-oriented and totally honest and reliable.

    Melvyn, Plymouth, MA
  • I hired Efficient Buildings to do some insulation work at my house, as I had heard that attic insulation was one of the best ways to cut heating costs, and Efficient Buildings came highly recommended from a friend.

    James Chase, Bridgewater, MA
  • I wanted to tell you how great a job the installers did putting in my attic insulation. My AC has been out for a few days and the insulation has kept the temperature down. Usually a second story would be boiling, but the men did such a great job that I was able to stay here. 
    Diane, Osterville, MA
  • I wanted to drop you a line and tell you how pleased we were with the crew and the fine job they did at my home today.

    George Foley, Bridgewater, MA
  • Hello, this is Marty from Marlborough. I just wanted to thank all the crew for a job well done. Also I was so impressed by the very kind well mannered behavior of the men. It's nice to know there are still nice people out there.

    Marty Silvia, Marlborough, MA
  • After conducting a thorough and (extremely) informative energy audit, Efficient Buildings assessed that the most cost-effective improvements I could make would be some simple air sealing and improved attic insulation -- they didn't try to sell any expensive windows or talk me into having work... Read More

    Ryan Weymouth, Bridgewater, MA
Thermal image of a house exterior, showing where air leaks
October 21, 2017
One of the key components of an effective home energy audit is infrared thermography. Infrared thermography (or infrared imaging, infrared diagnostics, a rose by any other name...) consists of a... Read more
Caulking a window to prevent air from escaping
September 19, 2017
Sometime during your crusade to seal those energy robbing cracks and holes in your home, you're bound to start asking yourself, "Isn't air flow important for a healthy home? Can I take this whole... Read more