GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Is creating positive pressure (post energy work) appropriate?

cgoyette | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on

Good Morning:

I just had a retrofit done on an old (1940s), duplex home (1600 sq feet) in Northern VA that primarily included sealing, new insulation (cellulose and foam), and aerosol sealing of duct work. The main reason was first for energy efficiency; however, we also have a smoker next door and the primary reason became air quality. We were told that reducing stack effect/sealing would make a big difference. We think it has made some difference but we can still smell smoke. What are our best options at this point (other than selling)? What do folks think of positive pressure and any idea on costs? Thanks for your responses in advance.

Chip G.


  1. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #1

    Pressurization (even at fairly low cfm) using supply-only ventilation would eliminate direct infiltration draw through the common wall, but that may or may not be the infiltration path. You may be able to chase those down with smoke-pencil and a high-cfm pressurization (eg blower door). Without really knowing the path it's hard to say what the proper remediation & costs would be. (Air sealing the neighbor's unit, perhaps?)

    Balanced ventilation (ERV or HRV) would certainly offer a dilution factor, provided the intake was located where smoke blowing out the neighbor's windows wouldn't get taken in. On a ~1600' place that might run $2-4KTUSD, depending on how easy or hard it is to run dedicated ventilation ducts.

    Supply-only ventilation can sometimes have consequences to the building in heating dominated climates, since indoor humidity can condense somewhere along the exfiltration path, possibly on moisture-sensitive materials.

    I wonder what smoking cessation programs would cost, relative to other possible solutions? It could be a pretty hard thing to sell (even if you're on pretty good terms), but stopping it at the source would be better for both you AND the neighbor's well-being.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |