Best Practices for Air Sealing and Insulation Retrofits For Single Family Homes

Best Practices for Air Sealing and Insulation Retrofits for Single Family Homes

With a variety of new BC Building Code changes coming into effect in recent months, we’re here to help educate you on how these changes impact new construction or retrofitting of Air Sealing & Insulation for Single Family Homes.

The guidebook Best Practices for Air Sealing and Insulation on Retrofits’ is published by the Homeowner Protection Office (HPO), a branch of BC Housing. This guide consolidates best practices for air sealing and insulation on retrofits (i.e. building enclosure weatherization) for British Columbia homes. It does not cover mechanical systems, appliances, lighting, or diagnostic testing.

The guide is intended to be a valuable reference tool for construction industry professionals and can help train contractors to perform weatherization work. It is similar in content to contractor-focused weatherization program training guides, but with specific regard to British Columbia’s unique climate, construction practices, and building code requirements. The information may also interest homeowners performing home retrofits without a contractor, though is not written for the do-it yourself audience. Guides such as ‘Keeping the Heat In’, published by Natural Resources Canada, or ‘Insulate and Weatherize – Build Like a Pro’ Series, from the Tauton Press, are examples of publications that are more appropriate for homeowners planning to undertake the work themselves.

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Background Air sealing and insulation weatherization retrofits of homes are proven methods to reduce space-conditioning energy consumption, improve durability, reduce utillity bills, and reduce the gas and electric load on provincial utility providers. Building enclosure weatherization retrofits or energy efficiency measures primarily consist of air sealing and adding or upgrading insulation in the building enclosure, either as a stand-alone activity, or during other planned renovation and repair activities. Simple weatherization work can be performed by homeowners or occupants, while more advanced actvities and extensive repairs or renovations typically involve a contractor.

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There are many health and safety issues to consider when working in existing homes and handling different building materials. This guide is written in the context that the homeowner/contractor has decided to proceed with some air sealing or insulation weatherization work in their home and understands both the benefits and the potential health and safety risks of doing so.

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