Value of air sealing – mostly BS or at least way overblown (pun)?
So I’m a huge fan of this board and of Youtube channels like Matt Risinger. I’m also building a new house to very high efficiency standards. I have to confess, I’ve never sat down and done “the math” on the payback for increasing air-tightness from “Ok” to “Pretty Good” to “Awesome”.
So I tried to find a rule of thumb on airtightness alone. What’s the super rough value here if I take my house down from 3 ACH 50 to 1 ACH 50, all else being equal? (Assume a 15,000 KWH annual energy budget)?
California has done a study, and in the table it says that the average value for a California home going from “average” to “passive” levels of airsealing would be around 2K kWh annually. (Page 23) So go go all the way to passive standards only saves an incremental $200 bucks on an average home? Seems not worth it!
There are lots of energy nerds here (title used affectionately) that will throw up a lot of math and say “it can’t be calculated without specifics.” That is certainly true. But since the industry seems to standardize on a measure of airtightness using the blower door test, how much is it worth to really push for truly outstanding results like 1 – 2 ACH 50?
Doesn’t seem worth it to just reduce my electric bill by $10-15 a month!
Please prove me wrong! Am I an idiot for just misreading this study?
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