Blower Door Test

Blower Door Test and it’s Effect on Energy Efficiency of a Building

Building owners in NYC largely concentrate on making their homes energy-efficient to lower their electricity bills and also for legal compliance. But before you can make your home energy-efficient, you will have to understand the points of energy wastage. The test is an effective way of performing an energy audit of your house. Delve deeper into this article to discover more about the blower door test and how it can help you achieve energy efficiency in a building. 

Understanding the Concept of a Blower Door Test

The intention of this test is to assess the airtightness of your house. A blower door comes with a high-powered fan in a panel fitted in the exterior gate of your house. While performing the test, the fan will attract from inside the home and push it outside. 

With outside air infiltrating the structure, calibrated gauges on the blower door will help in detecting air pressure fluctuations inside the home. An increasing level of air pressure will suggest that your home has innumerable issues with infiltration and air leaks. 

The Blower Door Test Procedure

An energy auditor will arrive at your building to perform the blower door test. The professional auditors will walk through your whole building to look for issues like poor air circulation and drafty windows and doors. To prepare your house for the test, you will have to ensure the following:

  • Remove clutter from all your windows and interior doors. All windows should be closed, and interior doors should be open during the blower dry test. 
  • Extinguish the flame of your fireplace or wood-burning stove and get rid of all the timbers before the test is performed. 
  • Adjust or turn off the controls of your combustion equipment. 

You usually don’t need to get out of your house while the examination is ongoing. In fact, you will be able to walk around with the auditor to look for known areas with air leaks. 

The Scores Of A Blower Door Test

The ACH number from a blower door test is useful for understanding the extent of air leakage in your home. The different categories of test scores include:

  • 2 – 4 ACH: This score indicates that your home is tightly sealed.
  • 5 ACH: This is indicative of a moderately sealed home. But this score is perfect for an old property that is hard to insulate. 
  • 6 – 9 ACH: This is suggestive of a leaky home that needs certain improvements in its insulation. 
  • 9 – 12 ACH: This range of score indicates that your home is extremely leaky, and you need to invest in proper insulation of the entire building. 

The CFM is another method of calculating your examination score. You should aim for a CFM score lower than the total square footage of your building. A house of 3000 sq ft should have a CFM of less than 3000 on a test. Therefore, a lower CFM indicates that your building is tightly sealed. 

Why Is the Test Significant for Your Building?

As a building owner, you might wonder what’s the point of this examination. Well, the air tightness of your house will influence the following:

  • The amount of heat that will exude from your building during the winter months
  • The amount of cool air exuding from your house during the summer months
  • The amount of air condensation in your building
  • The number of external contaminants entering your house through natural passages

Does Every Building Need to Undergo This Examination?

The blower door test is part of a larger matter, which is an audit of the overall building for the purpose of energy efficiency. Therefore, undergoing this examination is often a significant step for achieving compliance with energy efficiency laws. After performing the test, energy auditors will also be able to provide recommendations regarding achieving energy efficiency in your house. 

Energy auditors often perform the examination during the last stage of constructing a new home. Usually, it’s done after painting, installing doors, and applying weather stripping. However, fixing leakage issues during the last stage of construction is more difficult.

Therefore, you can also contact professional auditors to perform the test during different stages of the construction process. It ensures that the issue of leakage can be easily fixed with access to the primary air barrier. But if building owners are going for the examination at an early stage of construction, they must seal doors, windows, and other openings that haven’t been sealed yet. 

Achieving Energy Efficiency with the Test

Comprehending the air tightness and insulation grade of your home with the help of the blower door test has considerable significance. It ensures that you are investing in proper ventilation and heating equipment to keep the energy efficiency of your house in control. 

Moreover, it will help in regulating humidity and air quality. Therefore, ensuring that your building is airtight will also help you breathe fresh air inside.  

The amount of energy that you can save by treating the issue of air leakage in your building will depend on a plethora of considerations. For instance, the temperature inside your house and the amount of wind getting into it will influence the amount of conserved energy. However, achieving an ACH between 3 and 5 with the test is doable and has also become a legal requirement. 

Wrapping up

If you are looking forward to improving the blower door test score of your house, you need to hire a reliable energy consultant. At The Cotocon Group, we have a team of experts to help you achieve energy efficiency by preventing the issue of air leakage. Get in touch with your experts, and we will ensure that the examination score of your building passes regulatory requirements.