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An air tightness test, also known as an air permeability test or air leakage test, is a process that measures the amount of uncontrolled air that flows through gaps and cracks in a building’s envelope. This test is designed to assess the energy efficiency of a property and ensure that it meets the appropriate building regulations. In essence, it’s a way to check that the property is well-sealed, preventing drafts, reducing heat loss, increasing its energy efficiency, and improving overall comfort for occupants.
There are two main types of air tightness tests performed using two different equipment techniques and equipment A 50Pa fan system or a 4Pa low-pressure pulse system. Each system has its own benefits, but due to its speed and reliability, the 50Pa fan system is the preferred test of choice by testers.
During the test the property is either pressurised or depressurised. Air will then flow through any gaps in the properties envelope, causing the internal pressure to change. The tester will then take a number of readings and calculate the property’s air tightness score. This will then be used when determining the EPC rating of the property.
Since June 2022, UK building regulations require that all new dwellings, certain renovation projects, and most commercial/non-dwellings are required to undergo an air tightness test to ensure they meet energy efficiency standards. The specific requirements vary depending on the building type and the construction work’s nature.
It is essential to familiarise yourself with the relevant regulations and consult a professional if you are unsure whether your property requires an air tightness test. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines, legal action, and a potentially unsafe or inefficient building.
So, do you need an air-tightness test? The answer ultimately depends on the nature of your property and the construction work being undertaken. If you are building a new dwelling, an air tightness test is a legal requirement to create an energy-efficient and comfortable building. By conducting this test, you will not only be complying with regulations but provide a pleasant living environment and peace of mind knowing your property meets the necessary regulations.
The cost of an air tightness test can vary depending on the size and complexity of the building. An AeroBarrierUK advisor will be able to help give you an accurate cost for testing.
An air tightness test typically takes between 1-3 hours to complete, depending on the size of the property and any specific requirements.
A qualified professional must undertake all tests following CIBSE TM23 to ensure accurate results and compliance with building regulations and issue the correct certifications. Before any work begins, AeroBarrierUk tests all properties and then continues to test throughout the treatment before performing a final test to verify the results.
If your property fails an air tightness test, you will need to identify and rectify the areas causing air leakage. AeroBarrierUk provides a quick and simple solution to provide air tightness that exceeds requirements.
The ideal time to conduct an air tightness test is towards the end of the construction or renovation process when all doors, windows, and sealing work have been completed. This ensures that the test accurately measures the air-tightness of the finished building.