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Air Leakage

Air Leakage

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Definition and reduction

Air leakage is classed as the uncontrolled ingress and egress of air through imperfections in the construction of the building envelope of the dwelling. Air tightness is also another term used when describing air leakage. It is normally measurable in terms of air permeability.

Minimizing the uncontrolled air leakage of heated air can have a number of positive benefits by eliminating the following issues that air leakage cause:

  • Less occupant discomfort. Air leakage can also result from draughts, which would affect the dwelling's interior temperature.

  • A possible by-product of the leaking air affecting the interior temperature of the dwelling is increased energy consumption to regulate the correct temperature, thus having a direct financial implication.

  • Air leakage can cause condensation. As warm air escapes through the building material into a wall cavity, it will cool and give rise to condensation.

Factors affecting leakage rate

The rate of air leakage depends on a number of factors including:

  1. Wind speed

  2. Temperature difference between the inside and outside of the dwelling

  3. Temperature inside the dwelling

  4. Air permeability of the dwelling

  5. Exposure conditions