Residential Blower Door Tests
Breen Design – Residential HVAC Calculations & Designs
In addition to providing Energy Audits or Home Energy Ratings, we also offer blower door tests. The cost for this service is $250.
Blower door tests are used to help determine a home’s air-tightness. This test is a vital part of a home energy audit and will help pinpoint where a house is losing energy. A blower door test locates air leaks by using a special fan to depressurize a house. Blower tests can be conducted before and after air sealing to measure the effectiveness of the work.
What is a blower door test?
A blower door is a powerful fan that mounts into the frame of an exterior door. The fan pulls air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. The higher outside air pressure then flows in through all unsealed cracks and openings. The auditors may use a smoke pencil to detect air leaks. These tests determine the air infiltration rate of a building.
Advantages in having proper building tightness
- Reducing energy consumption due to air leakage
- Avoiding moisture condensation problems
- Avoiding uncomfortable drafts caused by cold air leaking in from outdoors
- Determining how much mechanical ventilation might be needed to provide acceptable indoor air quality.
Preparing for a Blower Door Test
- If you heat with wood, be sure all fires are completely out – not even coals – before the we arrive. Remove any ashes from open fireplaces.
- Plan to do a walk-through of your home with us. Be prepared to point out areas that you know are drafty or difficult to condition comfortably.
- Expect us to request access to all areas of your home including closets, built-in cabinets, attics, crawl spaces, and any unused rooms.
- We will need to close all exterior doors and windows, open all interior doors, and close any fireplace dampers, doors, and woodstove air inlets.
- Expect us to set controls on all atmospheric fossil fuel appliances to ensure that they do not fire during the test.
- Expect the test to take up to an hour or more, depending on the complexity of your home.