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An item on the Energy Star Thermal Bypass Checklist. Item 5.1.2, to be exact …
Part of earning an energy star means doing the blocking and tackling required to stop heat from leaking through the building envelope.
Little plumbing holes can really add up (so can the big ones) because air can squeeze through small holes, finding big passageways, and hidden compartments to more holes in the envelope. If you’re working on new construction, it’s easy: frame the walls wherever you want them and then schedule the plumber to come and do the *ruff* in.
And then you’ll have to wait for the plumber to seal all of the holes that he cut.
While you’re waiting, seal the small holes with low expansion foam. Your building inspector may want fire suppression foam, which has an orange tint to it.
Cover the bigger holes with sheet metal or almost any other sheet stock.
Seal the edges with acoustical sealant and foam the bigger openings.
The tops of walls are treated the same as the bottoms: use sheet stock to cover the holes, like drywall or plywood, and seal the large openings with foam.
Seal the small openings, too.
With a continuous air barrier, the insulation can actually work, and you’ll be one step closer to the energy star badge of honor.
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