Blower Door Test
You may not see it or hear it, but if there is air leakage in your home, it can negatively affect the health of the residents. Gaps and cracks in the air barrier bring in bugs, pollen, and dust and may also open your home to moisture, cold or warm air, and other contaminants. This may lead to mold infestation which causes dry sinuses, numerous viruses, and other serious illnesses. If your home isn’t sealed against these risk factors, it can be costly and unhealthy.
As professional energy auditors, Energy Efficiency Experts uses calibrated blower door tests to help determine a home’s airtightness.
What is a Blower Door Test? This is a test that amplifies the air leaks in the home so that we can detect them easily. Because of what we find when we run this test, we will be able to perform work that will provide the following benefits to the homeowner:
- Reduce energy consumption due to air leakage
- Avoid moisture condensation problems in walls
- Avoid uncomfortable drafts caused by cold air leaking in from the outdoors
The Value of a Blower Door Test. There is a lot of information we derive from this test. We can also determine where the air is leaking from the house. Since hot air rises, leaks at the top of the house severely impact your energy source. For example, if there is a lot of recessed lighting on the top floor of a house, there will be considerably more hot air leaking to the top floor.
A blower door test will help us assess the leakage of bathroom fans and the attic access. We can even tell if the ductwork leaks to the outside of the house. We also look carefully at the areas around porches or garages. Fireplaces may also be a source of leakage. And we check for leaks around doors and windows. The Blower Test is a powerful tool in our energy audit and helps us pinpoint areas where we can make changes that will affect the performance of your house.
How It Works
A blower door is a variable speed fan that mounts into a frame and flexible panel of an exterior door. The fan, which is hooked up to pressure and airflow gauges, pulls air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. The higher outside air pressure then flows into the house through all unsealed cracks and openings.
Energy Efficiency Experts uses a device to detect these air leaks, many of which can be easily sealed using caulk and foam. The data collected during this test can be used to determine the air infiltration rate of your home.
Preparing for a Blower Door Test — Take the following steps:
- Close windows and open interior doors
- Turn down the thermostats on heaters and water heaters
- Cover ashes in wood stoves and fireplaces with damp newspapers
- Shut fireplace dampers, fireplace doors, and wood stove air intakes.