What is a Blower Door Test and Why Should I Have One Done?
November 29, 2016
As houses age and settle, or constructions projects change the envelope of the home, drafts and leaks can build up and cost you money! A blower door test can find those leaks for you and help you seal them up and get your home back in shape.
What happens: A blower door test uses a large box fan in your front door to slightly depressurize your home. This simulates a windy day and recreates drafts specific to your home.
Once the home is depressurized, a home energy professional will go around the home to seek out where air from outside is rushing inside to fill the vacuum. Sealing these drafts can have a huge effect on the efficiency and comfort of your home. In many cases, leaving these tiny cracks and gaps unsealed can add up to the equivalent of leaving a window open 24/7, all year round!
Why I should get one/what can it tell me:
Sealing these drafts with tighten the envelope of your home and conserve heat in your living spaces. This test will also tell you how drafty your home is as a whole system and help determine the exact amount of ventilation needed to keep your home's air quality the best is can be while offering you efficiency and comfort. It may turn out that you need more ventilation in your home rather than draft sealing in order to avoid moisture and air quality problems that can be health risks for you and your family!
Could I benefit from a blower door test?
Homes over 10 years can always benefit from a blower door test, but there are also some common symptoms that may indicate excessive draftiness.
Warning signs of leaks and drafts:
Common drafty places:
- Cold spots
- Breezes and drafts
Who can't have a blower door test?
- Old frames
- Holes around pipes in your walls
- Sill plates
- Construction areas
If your home has a mold problem or any asbestos, operating a blower door test can pull those particles into the air and present serious health risks. Be sure to resolve any mold issues or have the asbestos professionally removed before having your blower door test!
Open construction in your walls or ceilings will also give inaccurate readings from a blower door test, so these projects should be sealed or completed before having your test done.
Also, it is very important that no wood fireplaces, wood, coal, or pellet stoves are used within 24 hours before the blower door test to avoid pulling sparks into your home and creating a fire hazard. Any loose ashes in your fireplace need to be swept up to avoid coating your living space in dust and ash -- no one wants that!
Call us today to schedule your home energy solutions assessment and have your blower door test performed by pros.
Click here to find out how drafty your home is (and fix it)