Tight Construction

Reduced Air Infiltration

Many ENERGY STAR qualified new homes feature tighter construction than that of homes built to the Model Energy Code. Tighter house construction can improve the energy efficiency, air quality, and comfort of your home by eliminating unwanted drafts.

image map of house with links to ducts, envelope, windows, insulation, and equipment

Tighter home construction can offer you:

  • Improved comfort — reduces drafts, noise, and moisture.
  • Improved indoor air quality — keeps dust, pollen, car exhaust, and insects out of the home.
  • Lower costs — reduces escape of conditioned air.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of penetrations through a typical home's exterior. These gaps and holes are often incurred during framing, and from penetrations for wiring, plumbing, and ducts. Air sealing the house's envelope combined with proper ventilation, can reduce your energy bills and eliminate unwanted drafts and pollutants.

Reduced air infiltration combined with proper ventilation can not only reduces your energy bills but it can also improve the quality of your indoor air. Outdoor air that leaks indoor makes it difficult to maintain comfort and energy efficiency. In addition, air leakage accounts for 25–40% of the energy used for heating and cooling in a typical home.

Today, off-the-shelf technologies such as house wraps, sealants, foams, and tapes reduce air infiltration. In energy-efficient homes, builders use these tools to seal the myriad of cracks and gaps in framing along with hundreds of holes for plumbing, mechanical equipment, and electrical wiring.

View the fact sheets below to learn more detailed information regarding proper air sealing and ventilation.

Air Sealing


tight construction tight ducts improved insulation high performance windows efficient equipment

If you own an existing home, find out how you can improve your home’s air sealing