The Blower Door Test: A Crucial Component of Your Home Energy Evaluation

March 25, 2016
Ross and Witmer

The blower door test is an increasingly popular method of measuring your home’s airtightness to determine and improve energy efficiency and quality of habitation. It’s rapidly becoming a requirement in many energy efficiency programs, including LEED and the Energy Star and Weatherization Assistance Programs.

The blower door consists of a wooden frame with a fan mounted in the middle. The frame expands to fill and seal an exterior doorway, at which point the fan draws the air out of a house to depressurize it. Pressure gauges then measure the amount of force needed to keep the interior depressurized. The force needed is equivalent to the amount of air leakage, and the amount of air leakage determines the susceptibility of a house to issues such as heat loss and damp. The test also pinpoints where the leaks are coming from so that they can be resealed.

Sealing air leaks will prevent issues like conditioned air escaping and unconditioned air from being drawn in through leaks in your home. This not only protects the environment from wasted and inefficient resources, but also improves the air quality in your home by preventing the intrusion of outside pollutants and reducing condensation and resultant mold. The blower door will also determine the best mechanical ventilation your home needs to maintain this air quality.

Recent statistics suggest that the Southeast uses up to 30 percent more energy than the national average, while trials of new energy efficient technology are already saving two Tennessee schools thousands of dollars in bills a month. The importance of a home energy audit rests not simply in your contribution to a greener environment, but also in relieving yourself of unnecessary charges.

For more advice on the blower-door test and how to improve your home’s energy efficiency, please call us today on 704-392-6188. We’ve been proud to serve the Charlotte, NC area for more than 50 years.

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