The Blower Door Test: A Key Component of an Expert Home Energy Evaluation

The Blower Door Test: A Key Component of an Expert Home Energy EvaluationA professional energy evaluation of your home could be the first step in improving the energy efficiency of your home. These evaluations include a blower door test, an assessment that pinpoints how much and where you home is leaking air (or allowing it to infiltrate). Although it’s possible to conduct your own energy audit by looking for air leaks, the professional audit will turn up those areas where air leaks occur in less obvious places.

The blower door frame and fan adjusts to fit tightly inside most exterior door openings. It contains a large, variable-speed fan that pulls the air out of your home, along with gauges that measure the falling air pressure as air is removed. Once the technician has readied your home for the test, he or she turns the fan on and uses the gauges to note how long it takes to drop the air pressure in your home to 50 Pascals.

Homes that have few air leaks lose pressure quickly, while a structure that has leaks takes longer to lose pressure. The fan in the door is powerful, and it will result in air rushing back into the depressurized house through even the smallest cracks. Likely places include window and door frames, or cracks around the foundation and in the attic. Fireplace chimneys, dryer vents and any infrastructure entering your home can also be a source for air leaks.

While the blower door test pulls the air indoors, the technician uses either harmless smoke pencils or thermographic equipment to identify the precise location and extent of the air leaks. Moving smoke indicates a leak, and thermographic devices show temperature differences using colors. Cooler air appears as blue and green, and warmer temperatures show as yellow, orange and red.

Once you know where the leaks are, you can use the data the energy audit provides to remedy the problems, using caulk, expanding foam and other appropriate sealants. The thermographic scan will also reveal where insulation is lacking in our home.

If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of the blower door test to help you save on energy costs, please contact us at Powers Heating & Air. We’ve provided quality HVAC services for the Peachtree City area since 2001.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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