Lower Your Energy Bills With Blower Door Testing
If you’re like most homeowners, you’d love to lower your heating and cooling costs — and we’ve got good news: saving the heat and AC for special occasions isn’t the only way to do that. If you’re kicking off the sheets and sweating through hot summer nights or donning your parka indoors in the winter, it’s time to consider investing in blower door testing.
This professional test is designed to accurately detect air leaks in the home and identify where even the smallest gaps and cracks may be contributing to higher energy bills and uncomfortable spots. By identifying where these air leaks are, you’ll know where to focus on sealing your home so you can cut energy consumption.
What are some common leaky areas? Around:
- recessed lights
- attic doors
- air ducts
- electrical outlets
You may think the most expensive air leaks are the big ones around your doors and windows, but that’s not always true. Small leaks can quickly contribute to higher energy costs as well, and without proper testing, you might not ever know those leaks are there.
How Does The Blower Door Test Work & What Does It Measure?
While there are other methods of testing the air tightness of a building, the blower door test is the fastest and most accurate method. How does the blower door test work and what does it measure?
The blower door test relies on a blower door frame (which covers the entire doorway and has a powerful fan at the bottom) and an air-pressure gauge (also known as a manometer) to create and measure air-pressure differences between the inside and outside of the home. The powerful fan will forcibly change the pressure in the home, but don’t worry, the change is so slight it’s not anything that could cause harm to the building or those inside.
Taking note of the air pressure outside of the home and factoring in the height of the building and the wind conditions surrounding the building, we use the indoor/outdoor air-pressure readings to determine how many square feet of leaks are present. This is known as the effective leakage area.
Once we know how many gaps and leaks we’re looking for, we walk through the space using our hands to feel for leaks and infrared technology to detect temperature differences that could be indicative of leaks. Once leaks are identified, you’ll know exactly where to focus repairs so you can enjoy a more comfortable home and lower energy bills.
How Is The Home Prepped For A Blower Door Test?
To ensure the safety and accuracy of the test, it’s important that the home be prepped before starting the blower door test. Some things that will need to be done:
- Fireplaces, stoves, exhaust fans, and clothes dryers must not be in use.
- Fireplace doors must be closed.
- If you have a woodburning fireplace or stove, ashes will need to be removed.
- Wood stove air intakes must be closed.
- Fireplace dampers will need to be closed.
- Pilot lights, water heaters, and furnaces will need to be shut off.
- All windows and exterior doors must be closed.
- All interior doors must be open.
- Mechanical ventilation vents must be closed.
When Is A Blower Door Test Necessary?
A blower door test is necessary if you suspect that air leaks are causing your high heating and cooling costs. You may notice hot spots, cool spots, or drafty areas in your home, or that you have to keep the heat or AC running almost constantly to maintain a comfortable home. In these situations, the quickest and most accurate way to determine if air leaks are to blame is to schedule a blower door test. A blower door test can also help determine if condensation problems and indoor air quality issues can be traced back to the air tightness of the home.
We’re Here For you Six Days A Week — Call Today To Schedule An Appointment
Are you ready to enjoy a more comfortable home while lowering your energy bills at the same time? Give the blower door testing professionals here at West Texas Chimney & Venting Solutions a call at 806-358-0817 or request an appointment online. We’re here to help six days a week.