STP922: Measurement of Air Leakage Properties of Common Residential Insulating Materials

    Jacobson, D
    Research assistant, senior research engineer, and research engineer, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

    Harrje, DT
    Research assistant, senior research engineer, and research engineer, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

    Dutt, GS
    Research assistant, senior research engineer, and research engineer, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

    Pages: 10    Published: Jan 1987


    Abstract

    A methodology for the measurement of air leakage properties of common insulating materials is presented. The method involves measuring air flows through a test ceiling section with cracks of various widths and covered by different insulating materials. Corresponding pressure drops are measured, and pressure-leakage curves are fit through the points. Leakage flows through different insulating materials at specific pressure differences are compared. The results indicate that loose-filled cellulose retards flow somewhat better than fiberglass batts and much better than blown-in fiberglass and vermiculite. The study also investigated several combinations of insulation materials in which one type of insulation has been added on top of another, as in a typical ceiling reinsulation retrofit. Improvements in the form of reduced air leakage are also observed in these tests. Our measurements indicate that the choice of insulation material can greatly influence the air leakage of houses and thus affect energy use, ventilation, and indoor air quality.

    Keywords:

    insulation, air leakage, energy conservation, retrofit, residential insulation, thermal insulation


    Paper ID: STP18509S

    Committee/Subcommittee: C16.30

    DOI: 10.1520/STP18509S


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