Every day there is a tremendous amount of energy wasted in our homes. The average American typically spends over $2000 a year on utility bills, with 42 percent going to heating and cooling the home. The U.S. Department of Energy says that homeowners can reduce their utility bills by 5-30% just by adequately sealing and waterproofing the home. A home blower test can be precisely what is needed to determine the source of home air leaks.
What is a Blower Door
The blower door test is done with a blower door fan to test the airtightness of a home. The blower door is a powerful fan that can pressurize or depressurize a home. The fan uses a pressure measuring instrument called a manometer. This meter measures the pressure on the inside of a home as well as the pressure on the outside. Auditing technicians take these measurements to determine the presence of air leakages.
The blower door is mounted on an exterior door or window frame of the home. Home energy auditors, home performance contractors, and many others do this test. They determine the construction quality of a building, locate air leakage pathways and energy loss associated with them, and access compliance to mandated building standards. These professionals use blower tests before and after work is done to determine the quality and effectiveness of the work.
How Does the Test Work?
The blower test is prepared first by the auditor. They open all interior doors, turn off vent fans, and any fire-making source is put out and shut off. They then take the interior and exterior pressure to set the normal gauge range of the home. The fan creates a positive or negative pressure differential between the outside and inside of the home. This differential forces air to either leak into or out of the home from cracks and other unsealed areas. The technician uses a smoke pencil, air current tester, or some other device to determine the location of leaks in the home.
Why Should Homeowners Consider One?
The blower door test is useful to a wide variety of homeowners. Homeowners looking to reduce their energy bills can use the test to determine what and where to upgrade. A person suffering from allergies can seal their home against many pollutants and potential mold from condensation issues caused by air leaks. The test is also a great place to start for homeowners looking to go green, as you can quickly identify wasted energy in the home. The home blower test is one of the many tools needed to determine the Home Energy Rating System or HERS of a residence. California requires HERS testing in both commercial and residential buildings. The Blower test is also required for a home to qualify for an Energy Star Rating. Energy Star ratings are needed to rent to federal tenants in every state.
There is much legislation across the United States to mandate more energy-efficient construction, in business, as well as in residential fields. Investing in the test and acting on the results now, can hedge against future mandates. The United States government also has the Nonbusiness Energy Property Tax Credit, which a homeowner can qualify for if they meet the criteria of the Department of Energy. A blower test can be instrumental in determining upgrades or changes needed for a home to meet the standards set by the DOE.
Contact us for a Blower Door Test
The blower test is a small investment that has the potential to lead to fantastic money and energy saving in the long run. Contact us for more information or to find an energy auditor today.