another vote for the blower door test
the thermal scan is very effective, even
more so when used in conjunction with
a blower door.
Cost would be a concern.
Get your home and duct work tested
with a blower door.
Identify the leakage areas to be sealed,
you can use a lot of calk and miss the
leakage areas if you do not know where
House leakage is identified by depressurization
test with blower door, duct leakage can also
be identified by pressurizing with blower door.
I use smoke sticks for both types of testing
to show homeowner/builder/havc installer
where leakage areas are.
Best of luck.
BTW the bugs come in everywhere.
In my area ants are a big problem.
Caulking plumbing penetrations under
sinks is a start!
Thanks for all the comments. I think I will have a blower door test done just so I can see for sure what I'm dealing with.
Also thanks for the chemical fume reminder. I plan to keep the chemicals in the garage in this new house. I guess there are possibilities of some leakage from there also but the blower door test should reveal that.
In regards to the bugs I just don't understand how such a large bugs can get in through a hole that I can't locate with my eyes. Do ya think an exterminator can actually find the holes where the bugs come in or will he just wage widespread chemical warfair on the bugs.
Yes , do some searches on the internet, for bug control. They have all the research on how bugs enter the home and how to prevent it.
You got alot of advise on air infiltration, but you havn't said what the problem is, or what effects on Air
quality that you are experiencing? You can't make it air tight, enless you seal all the doors too! My point is your striving for something beyond what is required nor even possible.
[Edited by Chill on 04-19-2005 at 10:47 PM]
I don't really have a specific issue to solve as far as indoor air quality goes. I just thought that it was best to have an air tight house so I can control the infiltration myself. It's a new house and I want to know what I'm dealing with. It's just for piece of mind and the knowledge could come in handy in the future.
My doors and windows are pretty tight so I don't expect much infiltration there. Also it's quite easy to tell if they are leaking. I'm more concerned about the mystery leaks.
I agree with Robo. Extreme tightness is part of the growing "mold remediation" problem we seem to be taking all of the heat for.
And the point about the blower door test is a good one because it is an accurate test of the volume of entering air.
I still like the idea of fresh air either through envelope leakage or forced air entry though, as long as it's not too excessive.
Extreme tightness has nothing to do with the mold problem. Building homes wrong has everything to do with the mold problem. Every home should be built as tight as possible and mechanically ventilated. There is no excuse for building code built crap in this country, that is the majority of new construction.
A homeowner's opinion: It seems a whole lotta builders have no concept of dedicated ventilation. In the days of loose construction, the natural infiltration would be within ASHRAE recommended levels (or sometimes much higher). But if these same people start building tight houses, now they need to get educated on ventilation. Not all of them have the education that is needed to deal with tight, that is proper, building methods.
I tried to find out where the Texas mold problem was coming from, and in most if not all cases that I read about, there was a gross defect in construction. For example a leaky window or pipe in the structure. Tight construction really has nothing to do with that. However for some mobile homes they could grow mold without such a leak, by means of humid air inside and something below the dewpoint, e.g. a cold air duct blowing onto a surface.
But even in houses with no mold, I would be wary of excessive humidity and lousy indoor air quality. When builders understand the need for ventilation, things ought to change for the better.
Hope this helps -- P.Student