Air Barrier Systems control the unintended movement of air into and out of a building enclosure. A properly functioning air barrier system provides protection against both the air leakage and the diffusion of air caused by wind, stack and mechanical equipment pressures.
This system essentially “wraps” the building’s shell, protecting it from the effects of air leakage-which can have detrimental effects on how a building functions as well as reduce the life span of the building.
Buildings that have a properly installed air barrier system can effectively operate with a smaller HVAC system because they do not have to compensate for a leaky building. In some cases, the reduction in mechanical equipment size and cost can easily offset the cost of the air barrier system.
Air barrier systems also provide an impediment to pollutants entering either the building or its enclosure. Water vapor, suspended particulates, dust, insects and smells are all pollutants that we want to keep out. Water vapor that leaks into a building can condensate and form liquid water, a key ingredient for corrosion and the development of mold.