Why Use an Air Barrier?
Air Barrier Systems
are used to make the building perform better. The primary purpose of
an air barrier system is to stop the air from leaking into and out
of the building enclosure.
The first impact on the
building will work as intended. The occupants are more comfortable,
are provided draft free space, and are protected from pollutants
from entering the building. These pollutants can range from pollens,
suspended particulates and odors to biological contaminates on the
Mechanical systems can
be properly sized rather than having to compensate for the air
leakage by over-sizing the equipment. In addition to the equipment
not having to condition the air that leaked in, the equipment will
work more efficiently.
Moisture laden air
leaking in from either the inside or the outside are barred from
entering the building enclosure. If this is not done this moisture
laden air can migrate far enough into the building assembly that
they can be cooled down to their dew point and at this point the
water vapor turns to liquid water. This liquid water can corrode
metals in the building assembly, provide one of the ingredients
needed for mold growth, saturate building materials such as fibrous
insulations, gypsum wall board, and wood. Air leakage has the
ability to transport exponentially more moisture into and through
the building enclosure than occurs through vapor diffusion alone.
building materials and the growth of mold is detrimental to indoor
Air barriers, especially
when used to separate two different environments within a building
can protect one occupant from another occupant’s pollutants (such as
second hand cigarette smoke), odors (such as cooking odors) and
noise (sound delivered by air transport).
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