Air Tightness Testing – Existing
It is increasingly common for homeowners and building landlords to consider improved air tightness as part of a wider refurbishment/retrofit strategy. In so doing, they are able to reduce heat loss through draughts which makes the buildings cheaper to heat and more comfortable.
The results of the air tightness test can be incorporated into energy calculations to improve energy ratings/EPCs which make the home/building more attractive to future buyers/prospective tenants.
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Air Testing Process
Our air test engineers are home-based and well-placed to cover Greater London and the City, Kent, Essex, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, we are able to test all over the UK.
We are happy to talk through what is involved, what to watch out for, and when to test. We can provide guidance and checklists.
We provide an indicative price based on the size of the building and location, ahead of issuing a formal quote based on PDF drawings. We can look at penciling in dates to suit your programme, our lead times are typically 1-2 weeks but we can often fit in single tests at shorter notice.
It is often advisable to conduct a ‘before’ test prior to refurbishment works to measure the current air leakage and identify the air infiltration paths so they can be addressed as part of the planned works. Then a final (‘after’) test can be carried out on completed of the remedial work to confirm the air permeability.
We confirm a date. Our engineer will call you ahead of the test date to talk you through the preparation and process plus agree the timings. We would also look to confirm the air permeability that has been targeted in the energy model (SAP) at this stage, if it hasn’t been discussed already.
4. On the day of testing
On houses and flats we would typically complete the temporary sealing for the test when we arrive on site. For larger buildings, we would talk you through what would need to be done in advance of our arrival.
We conduct the test. Testing is done through a pressure test whereby fans are installed into a doorway of the building and used to create a measurable difference between the pressure inside and outside of the building. The amount of air needed to maintain this difference can be used to indicate the volume of air escaping through the fabric (what would be draughts in the building’s day-to-day life).
If the building doesn’t achieve its target at the first time of asking, we can use our equipment to identify the leakage paths. If these can be addressed relatively quickly, then we can repeat the test on the same day. In order to achieve increasingly challenging energy performance targets, air tightness requirements are becoming tighter. Typically, a good level of air tightness can still be achieved with excellent attention to detail in the decorative finish but, to achieve tighter targets, consideration must be given to air permeability within the design of the fabric, including the use of membranes and tapes to maintain the air barrier – please see FAQs.
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