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Residential Energy Efficiency Blog

Monday, June 29 2020
Air Leakage Testing - 5 Benefits of the Blower Door

1. No More Guessing Games

A blower door test is a great way to isolate problem areas of the home as it relates to communication with the outside.  One example would be to isolate an area of the home that is causing an issue.  It there is an upstairs bedroom that seems particularly warm in summer, a blower door test may reveal that the room is connected to the outside.  It could be through an un-caulked window molding, or a light fixure.  A blower door test can help guide us to the issue.  If the room is not connected to the outside, maybe the duct that supplies heating and cooling is disconnected or un-insulated.  A blower door test helps eliminate issues in order to find the root cause of the comfort problem.

2. Confirm Window & Door Theories

If I had a nickel for every audit I have done where the homeowner is in a debate with their spouse/partner about where the drafts are coming from.  In some cases, both are convinced that the drafts are from the windows.  An air leakage test using a blower door is the best wey to prove or disprove any theory about how leaky the windows are in the house.  Using odorless smoke pens and toy smoke makers, drafts in windows and doors can easily be uncovered with the use of a blower door test.  Even the smallest of leak can be detected and determination about new windows can be made from the position of confirmed information.

3. Seeing Air Leak Into Your House is Empowering!

There are several places around your home that you will be shocked to learn are leaky and don't just take our word for it!  We will whip around your home during the blower door test and watch and feel the air stream in.  There are placed in the basement, in the ceiling and in the walls.  The other side of the coin is the places where you won't find any leakage.  That is equally important and should have an impact on feeling in control!

4. Uncover Leakage that are Hiding in Plain Sight

Each and every day we go into our favorite bathroom and we spend some quality time. Those of us that are considerate flip on the exhaust fan and let it run for the duration.  Have you ever gone into that bathroom on a cold winter morning and felt a temperature difference below the fan?  Ever wonder why?  An air leakage test will expose the bath fan as an offender - a secret gateway to the attic - where cold and hot air reign supreme.

5. Compare Your House to Similar Size Houses

When you have a blower door test done with an experienced building analyst, you will receive feedback about the results of your air leakage test compared to those of similar sized houses.  Although no two houses are exactly the same fair and reasonable comparisons can be made based on the age and style of the home compared to others in Maryland. Knowing how your house compares to your neighbors is a good way to set goals and aspire for change with examples of success to model after.

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