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A blower door test is commonly done during a home energy audit. They're designed to help professionals understand the airtightness of your home.
Airtightness is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it can help you naturally reduce energy consumption to keep your home or building at a comfortable temperature. It can also help you avoid problems like uncomfortable, chilly drafts and condensation build-up, which can lead to mold and mildew.
A blower door test may also be helpful in new construction where contractors and HVAC specialists are working to determine how much ventilation is needed in order to reach acceptable indoor air quality standards.
Simply put, a blower door is a large, powerful fan that fits into the frame of a door that leads to the outside. The fan sucks in air from inside the home and directs it outside, which in turn lowers air pressure inside. The outside air then seeps into the home through any cracks and openings, which allows HVAC professionals to understand how air tight the seal around the door is. A smoke pencil can also be used to help further detect leaks.
The blower door itself is made with a frame and a panel that slides to fit a variety of door sizes. The fan within it can be set to variable speeds. It also includes a pressure gauge that measures the differences in pressure both in the interior and exterior. A manometer measures the airflow.
Furthermore, blower doors come in two varieties: calibrated and uncalibrated. An uncalibrated blower will only tell you if you have a leakage somewhere in your home, which is why we calibrate our blower door fan gauges to determine how much air is pulled out by the fan, and allows us to determine precisely where the leakage is and how much air is leaking.
You only have one chance to install your building envelope correctly. Once it's fitted with siding and shielding, going back to make changes is practically impossible. Although this is a vital part of the home construction process, being sloppy about having professional energy audits done and air-tightness checked can have a domino effect on the rest of the home, leading to moisture buildup, which in turn causes mold and mildew to grow, and can lead to poor indoor air quality and health problems for the inhabitants.
You may not think that proper exterior building enclosure would matter much to our overall health and wellness, but even small gaps and cracks in not just doors and windows, but also in other surrounding connectors can allow dust and pollen to get in, and even provide an easy avenue for insects and other pests to get inside and even build nests, compounding the problem. In addition, because the weather in our area can differ from one day to the next, you may find some rooms colder and drier in the winter, and hotter and stickier in the summer. Even when rooms are dry in the winter, the probability for cold and flu viruses to spread becomes higher.
Whether you're building a residential, commercial or multi-family residence or you're doing restoration or retrofitting, having a professional HVAC company to conduct your blower door test, as well as examine it for proper duct and enclosure sealing is paramount. A blower door test can ensure that the airtightness of the construction has been done properly on a project.
In short, measuring airflow and checking for airtightness with a blower door test is a lot like adding water to a leaky bucket. Our tools and expertise allow us to know how much water we're putting in, and how to keep the level of water in the bucket consistent throughout the test. This also allows us to determine the rate at which the water is leaking out. It's a simplified example, but it explains the process well.
Keep in mind that if you can't measure it, you can't improve it, which is why residents, contractors and builders alike trust Poppy Energy to help them with their energy audit needs. To learn more about our comprehensive services or to schedule a blower door test or other type of air tightness test for your home, business or other building, contact us today at (916) 306-5535 or fill out the form on our website. We'll work with you to determine a convenient time to conduct the test and get you the results in a timely manner.
We're proud to follow all local and national health and safety regulations to protect all parties involved at all times, so you can be confident that you're hiring a professional team to get the job done right. Don't leave air quality to chance. Contact the experts at Poppy Energy today!
*If purchasing QII & Duct Testing together.
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If you'd like to learn more about the other HERS energy solutions we perform or would like to schedule an appointment for a blower door test, we're happy to do so! Contact us today!
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