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Energy Auditing / Blower Door Testing

Diagram of Blower Door Depressurization Test

What is a blower door test?

A blower door test is a diagnostic tool used to measure and quantify the airtightness of your home. Air leakage can result in unnecessary usage of energy resources and excess wear and tear of heating/cooling systems. This results in additional costs to the homeowner of both higher utility costs and reduction of the life of the home's heating/cooling system.

How is the test performed?

The blower door test consists of a powerful calibrated fan, an adjustable door frame to seal the fan into an exterior doorway of a house, and gauges to measure fan flow and house pressures created by the fan. In a typical blower door test the fan blows air out of the house to create a slight pressure difference between the inside and outside of the house. This pressure difference forces outside air into the house through all holes, cracks, and penetrations in the building envelope.

Do I need a test?

Deciding to have a blower door test performed is a personal decision. If you are experiencing discomfort in any area of your home and/or you are paying high utility bills, we highly recommend an energy audit be performed on your home. Air leakage around windows, doors, mail slots, pipe and wire feed throughways, foundation seals, wood stoves, fireplaces, old caulking, ductwork, ductwork chases, electrical receptacles and attics, make up the typical home air infiltration sites and are often the causes of the problem. An APC experienced auditor can locate the problem and recommend corrective measures to fix the problem.

What are typical results?

National data shows that 20%-30% of a home's energy usage is lost due to air infiltration. On both existing and new homes there are typically areas where air leakage causes uncomfortable rooms except for those homes built under the Utility's Energy Programs. These homes have already had a blower door test to quantify air leakage. The sealing of air leakage is very cost effective and can pay for itself in the first year.

What does it cost?

The blower door test costs about $450.00 for a typical house. This includes a report of the air leakage locations and recommendations for the sealing approach. The report lists the sealing measures in a cost efficient priority. Pricing can be obtained separately for caulking and sealing the air leakage.

Where Does Leakage Occur?

American Property Consultants, Inc. understands the factors that affect air infiltration. The following are common air leakage sites:

  1. Attic Access
  2. Baseboards/Moldings
  3. Flue/Duct Chases
  4. Door/Windows
  5. Dropped Ceilings
  6. Wall Cavities
  1. Lighting
  2. Plumbing
  3. Switches/Outlets
  4. Framing
  5. Rim Joists
  6. Cracks/Holes