Why is Air testing needed?
Air tightness testing is a requirement of all new homes and small commercial buildings since 2006. Required to test air permeability of the building to comply with Part L1 and Part L2 of the Building Regulations. Without such, a property cannot be deemed habitable as the quality of air tightness set has not been reached and is not deemed to be energy efficient.
From 2006 when air testing came into regulation the energy efficiency of a building is seen to be very important. Air tightness testing is a method of calculating how much air is leaking in or out of a building. By which air leakage is known as the uncontrolled flow of air through gaps and cracks in the building fabrication. All of which can normally be sealed or repaired to make the building as air tight as possible and pass the required testing.
The set regulations depict a figure for the maximum air permeability a building may reach. If a building’s air permeability falls above that figure, it will fail the air tightness test and will need to be retested.
The aim of air tightness testing is to help increase the energy efficiency of all new buildings and ensure the Design Emission Rate of a building is below the Target Emission Rate.
Maintaining a high level of air tightness within a building greatly helps with the energy efficiency of the building. Air coming in and out of a building can lead to poor energy efficiency, lost heat, and cold draughts. Something nobody wants in their property, especially in the cold winter months.
Failing to maintain air tightness can lead to whopping 40% of heat loss from within a single building. If you’re investing in energy efficiency measures such as a new boiler or extra insulation, make sure you don’t forget about air tightness testing too, as your efforts could be ineffective if the building’s air tightness isn’t as high as it should be.
Building regulations are strict when it comes to air tightness, therefore it’s important to have an air tightness test completed on the property. This allows a figure to be put on the amount of air gained and lost. Which this figure can then be measured against what’s acceptable and what’s not in the eyes of the building regulations. If a property does fail air pressure testing, then the dwelling or commercial property will need to be retested in order to pass the set building regulations.
Air testing is needed in order to make the building as environmentally friendly for both the environment and for the owner of the building. As successful air tightness can reduce the cost of energy bills, as the building is storing more of the heat it needs to keep warm and also decrees the amount of strain it puts on the environment.
Air tightness testing is something that is unavoidable to new buildings due to being a crucial part within the building regulation. However, air tightness testing does also provide a benefit to the occupant of the building.