What is an Air Test?
An air leakage test, also known as an air tightness test or air permeability test, is a test to determine the level of uncontrolled air flow through gaps or cracks in the fabric of a building. Too much air leakage leads to unnecessary heat loss and can lead to discomfort to the occupants through cold draughts.
The first most important thing is to locate the air leakages in the building.
What does an Air Test include?
The check includes the following:
- Electrical outlets
- Switch plates
- Window frames
- Weather stripping around doors
- Fireplace dampers
- Attic hatches
- Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners.
Who needs an Air Test?
If your building is a dwelling or it is a non-dwelling and exceeds a certain size you will require an air leakage test pass certificate before you can hand over to your client. This is mentioned in building regulations part L.
What are the Advantages of having an Air Test?
Making a building substantially air tight reduces the amount of fuel needed to heat it. This in turn reduces the CO2 produced and reduces your carbon footprint.
When do I need an Air Test?
All new build construction and major refurbishment require an air test on completion and it can be significant improving the carbon footprint of the project.
Where does Air leakage occur?
The areas listed below are common causes of uncontrolled air leakage areas, we recommend you take care and attention in sealing these areas whilst in the process of construction;
- Intermediate Floors- Use joist hangers where possible, if built into the walls seal with a flexible sealant.
- Behind Skirting Boards-seal between floors and walls
- Behind Coving-seal between wall and ceiling
- Boxed in Pipes & Soil Stacks-seal when pipes/soil stacks go out through the ceiling into the roof space
- Behind Bath Panels-seal all services and pipe work that penetrate the envelope of the building
- Kitchen Units-seal all services and pipe work that penetrate the envelope of the building
- All Other Services-pipe work and services that enters the building ensure a good seal
- Badly Installed Trickle Vents-the test only allows for trickle vents to be shut and not sealed
- Windows and Doors-ensure a good seal behind plaster board as well as decorators finishing mastic
- Recess Lights-ensure they are fire check fittings that are fitted correctly
- Loft Hatch-poor quality loft hatches often leak
- Any Remedial Work to Floorboards-make sure any holes in timber floorboards are refitted correctly and sealed