Author Topic: Air sealing a very leaky and open mechanical room  (Read 1294 times)

tbabs

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Air sealing a very leaky and open mechanical room
« on: February 01, 2020, 12:41:48 PM »
With the cold weather setting in, I've been looking to air seal some of the large gaps in our mechanical rooms (see attached). These are substantial gaps that are letting in quite a bit of cool air as they are connected to the air gap between the outward facing brick and the drywall.

I was curious as to what the best approach would be to remediate this situation. Thank you.

StashingAway

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Re: Air sealing a very leaky and open mechanical room
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2020, 07:57:17 AM »
That looks like a PITA!

How often are you in the room? At first glance, I would consider air sealing the doorway itself and just having the mechanical room belong to the exterior of the home envelope, similar to a garage. You may need to seal around your baseboards as well (pull them off and run caulking around the seam between the drywall and the foundation).

Weatherstripping, and even possibly run a door jam along the bottom so that you can more easily seal all 4 sides of the door hole. Pressing up against a seal is more effective than a skirt that is attached to the door.

Papa bear

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Re: Air sealing a very leaky and open mechanical room
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2020, 08:01:08 AM »
Is there anything in that room that requires combustion fresh air? Doesnít look like it from the pics, but I do see what look like black pipe gas lines. 

If thereís nothing that needs combustion air, caulk and spray foam! Have at it.


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StashingAway

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Re: Air sealing a very leaky and open mechanical room
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2020, 12:25:10 PM »
Is there anything in that room that requires combustion fresh air? Doesnít look like it from the pics, but I do see what look like black pipe gas lines.

If this is the case, it's probably already not to code or very safe; it would require dedicated upper and lower vents if there were gas appliances running in there (either in the door or in the wall). At least, from my understanding; I could be unaware of exceptions.

tbabs

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Re: Air sealing a very leaky and open mechanical room
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2020, 03:02:10 PM »
Thanks for the replies!

No combustion in that room. The gas line feeds the stove/oven only. Tankless water heater and house heat are both electric (heat pump/coil strips).

This is just a very small "room" but it is connected to the main living room. We have a small row home so everything is tight! This door is almost never open unless we need to turn off the breakers for small projects every now and again.

I do like the idea of just weather proofing the door itself to keep the drafts out of the living room. It's usually 4-6 degrees cooler downstairs for probably more reasons than this, but I figured we need to start somewhere. This seems to be the draftiest place I can feel. The crawlspace is also ventilated and there is no insulation under the hardwood floors, but this is a project for someone else as the crawlspace is not large enough to move freely about (6 inch gaps under the joists) and this is not our forever home.

I think foaming up could also work, but this would require filling out some of these holes first with drywall (maybe?) or something else. It's a good 8-12 inch gap.

I'll keep thinking on this and see if anyone else has any good ideas.

StashingAway

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Re: Air sealing a very leaky and open mechanical room
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2020, 08:59:54 PM »
Much easier to fill large gaps with pink foam board than drywall. It's closed cell (air tight), and easier to carve away to fill custom gaps. Can be held in place with HVAC tape and sealed at the edges with spray foam or caulking.

jpdx

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Re: Air sealing a very leaky and open mechanical room
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2020, 12:08:56 AM »
I would just weather strip the door, and donít forget the bottom.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Air sealing a very leaky and open mechanical room
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2020, 10:22:33 AM »
Much easier to fill large gaps with pink foam board than drywall. It's closed cell (air tight), and easier to carve away to fill custom gaps. Can be held in place with HVAC tape and sealed at the edges with spray foam or caulking.
I'll second this approach.  Air sealing and insulation in one.  The thing with air sealing is that you need to chase down *all* the leaks.  It may be worth renting or buying an IR thermal camera so you can find and seal them all.  You can then use the same camera around the rest of the house to find all the other places you're losing heat :)