air tightness testing scotland

air tightness testing in Glasgow & across Scotland

From our base in Strathaven just south of Glasgow we are ideally placed to carry out air tightness testing in Glasgow, Edinburgh and across all of central Scotland. We also operate in Dundee, Aberdeen & Moray in the north, Ayrshire and Argyll in the west and in the Borders. 

Book a test now: - 01357 520557

                  Get a Quote: - 01357 520557 

Need to comply with Scottish Building regulations on air tightness? Looking for a local air tightness tester? Need some free advice?

We undertake air tightness testing (sometimes known as air leakage testing or air pressure testing) to comply with the requirements of Section 6 of the Scottish Building Standards. We use calibrated Retrotec equipment to de-pressurise a building and record air flow measurements. Air Permeability Certificates can be issued within 24 hours - or if required we can use thermography and smoke testing to locate areas of of air leakage to allow remedial work to be undertaken.

Call Tom or Ann on 01357 520557 or e-mail

If poor air tightness is detected, our high resolution thermal imaging equipment can quickly locate the cause of costly air leaks.

Smoke pencils can also be used to test for leaks and draughts. 

Being based in Strathaven in central Scotland we are able to offer a competitive quotation for all your Air Permeability testing requirements - from early advisory testing through to final certification. Additionally, as we also operate amongst the highest resolution thermal imaging equipment in the UK we are able to use that technology to help locate faults should they exist.

To discuss how we can provide this service for you call Tom Barbour on 01357 520557 or e-mail

What is Air Leakage

Air leakage is the uncontrolled flow of air through gaps and cracks in the fabric of dwellings (sometimes referred to as infiltration, exfiltration or draughts). This is not to be confused with ventilation, the controlled flow of air into and out of the dwelling through purpose-built ventilators that is required for the comfort and safety of the occupants.

Excess air leakage leads to unnecessary heat loss, discomfort from cold draughts and increased energy costs.

  • With more stringent building regulations requiring mandatory pressure tests on all new build dwellings, reducing air leakage, or improving 'air tightness', is an increasingly important issue.
  • The aim should be to 'build tight - ventilate right'. Buildings should not be too airtight and it is, however, essential to ensure appropriate ventilation.
  • The overall air tightness of the finished dwelling depends heavily on getting the original design and specification right. The designer's role is therefore critical.

Standards for air leakage

Air leakage is quantified as air permeability (q value). This is the rate of leakage expressed in cubic metres per hour per metre of envelope area (m3 /hr / m2) in or out of the dwelling. It is measured at a reference pressure difference of 50 Pascals (Pa) by a fan pressurisation test.

Advantages of airtight dwellings

  • Compliance- With 2010 Building regulations
  • CO 2 emissions -An airtight dwelling will ensure lower carbon emissions. 
  • Space heating -The reduced heat loss will mean that a potentially smaller sized heating system may be able to meet the demand temperature and therefore decrease occupants' energy bills.
  • Comfort -Draughts and localised cold spots can cause discomfort. In extreme cases, excessive infiltration may make rooms uncomfortably cold during cooler periods. An airtight dwelling will significantly improve occupants' comfort.
  • Interstitial Condensation -An airtight dwelling will reduce the likelihood of interstitial condensation and improve building fabric lifespan.
  • Sound -Joints between elements and unwanted gaps in the building fabric are sealed as a part of the air tightness requirements. This reduces sound transmission, both from outside to inside the dwelling and also across party walls between dwellings.

When to test

Flats and maisonettes with warrants from May 2011 and other dwellings with warrants from October 2011 will require to be tested. We can also carry out sample testing on current constructions to help identify any weaknesses in your current building practises.

To find out more, call Tom on 01357 520557 or send an e-mail to

News about Air Tightness Testing

6 February 2013

Delighted now to be offering air tests in more locations including Falkirk, Stirling, Perth, Oban, East Kilbride and Dundee

28 December 2012

Top 3 reasons for failing an air test. Read more here.... 

19 November 2012 

Glasgow and Edinburgh testing of air tightness on new dwellings. Identify areas of air leakage as part of our test procedure. Either a one off test, or early air leak detection and subsequent air tightness testing.

16 November 2012

Thermal Image UK was conducting air tightness testing in Glasgow this week, and on one site of the 3 dwellings tested, 2 had an air permeability score of under 3 m3/h/m2. This resulted in the Vent Axia fans in the kitchen, bathroom and en-suites having to be replaced by continuous running equivalents to increase the level of ventilation. Overly tight dwellings continue to be the main problem we encounter - so still a learning curve for many. Learn quicker and avoid costly remedial work by having Thermal Image UK carry out an air tightness test in advance of mandatory test requirements to see how air tight you are currently building!  Call Tom on 01357 520557.

7 November 2012

What is the difference between air permeability and air changes per hour?

There is often confusion on this. Air changes per hour (ACH) is the number of times the complete volume of air in the house is changed. 0.6 ACH is a typical standard for Passive houses. (passivhaus). For example if the internal volume of the house is 500 m3, and 300m3 of air is escaping in an hour then an ACH of 0.6 is achieved.

Air Permeability is the amount of air that escapes from a building in an hour, divided by the external envelope in square metres. For example if the area of the floors, walls and ceilings combined is 400 m2, and 4,000 m3 of air is escaping in an hour (as measured by our fan), the Air Permeability is 10 m3/h/ m2. This is the new minimum standard set by Scottish Building Standards.

5 November 2012

Grand Designs 

It seems that every episode of Grand Designs now has an air tightness test carried out on the house. When combined with a thermal imaging survey or smoke test there is no better way to identify areas of air leakage. 

1 November 2012 

Common air tightness testing problems 

One of the most challenging problems we've encountered with air tightness testing has been dwellings built too tight, where only natural ventilation is provided. This may happen where in an effort not to fail the test for being too leaky, the contractor overcompensates. Sometimes the design includes enhanced details and these two factors combined result in a dwelling scoring below 3 m3/ h/ m2, or at the low end of 3 - 5. This then requires further assessment of the ventilation and often retrofit of additional assisted ventilation. Call Tom on 01357 520557 for more information.

We are based in central Scotland and carry out air testing in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Ayr, Stirling , Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Dumfries.


In Lanarkshire, we carry out testing in Strathaven, Hamilton, East Kilbride, Motherwell, Lanark, Larkhall, Stonehouse, Bellshill, Coatbridge, Wishaw, Airdrie and all towns in between!