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Blower Door Test

Air flow through a building can have a powerful impact on comfort, expense, and air quality. Blower doors provide a way to quantify air flow and the resulting heat loss, along with a way to pinpoint specific leaks.

A blower door is a device for testing how tight your home is in respect to air leakage between the inside and outside. It consists of a calibrated fan for measuring an air flow rate and a pressure sensing device to measure the pressure created by the fan flow. The combination of pressure and flow can be used to estimate the air-tightness. The air-tightness of a building is useful knowledge when trying to increase energy conservation or decrease indoor air pollution.

We often find homes that leak so profusely that if all the holes are computed into one location, it would be equal to having the front door open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. By sealing the holes the house becomes more energy efficient, less dusty and allergy symptoms are reduced.

In many buildings, the most cost-effective and easiest method to increase energy efficiency is sealing the building envelope. It is vitally important, therefore, to determine the extent to which your home or building is leaking air and locate all areas of leakage.

Many customers will say they already know where the outside air is entering their house (they usually think it’s the windows and doors), so, they think, a blower door test is not necessary. While this may be true, two factors must be acknowledged. First, knowing where outside air enters your house is only half the problem. Any amount of air entering the house is accompanied by air leaving the home somewhere else. Those leaks are harder to locate. By pressurizing the entire building relative to the outdoors, we can locate all the air leaks. Second, a certain amount of ventilation is needed in a house to prevent the buildup of moisture, pollutants, and earth and combustion gases, which can be deadly! A blower door test allows us to quantify the leakiness of the building and become aware of potential hazards.

A Duct Blaster is a calibrated air flow measurement system used to test and document the air-tightness of forced air duct systems in both houses and light commercial buildings. The Duct Blaster fan is directly connected to the duct system, typically at a central return, or at the air handler cabinet. With the remaining registers and grills temporarily taped off, duct air-tightness is measured by either pressurizing or depressurizing the duct system, and precisely, measuring the fan flow and duct pressure. Duct air-tightness measurements are used to diagnose, and demonstrate leakage problems, estimate efficiency losses from duct leakage, and certify the quality of duct system installation. The Duct Blaster is the preferred system for Title 24 testing in California, as well as compliance testing in Florida, Texas and for Energy Star testing throughout the country.

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