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Air Leakage Testing
Blower Door Testing (Air Leakage Testing)
Testing the leakiness of your home or business is a simple concept. We utilize a calibrated fan and digital pressure guage to depressurize (suck the air out) of your home. We target a specific pressure to simulate normal weather conditions, and calculate the total amount of leakage in cubic feet per minute (CFM). This enables a certified technician to:
- Measure exactly how leaky or tight your home or business is.
- Find (with the help of other tools) problematic leakage areas responsible for indoor air quality and comfort issues.
Why do we test buildings for leakage?
- Uncontrolled air leakage into your home is the number one culprit of comfort issues.
- Tighting up your home is the number one step to good indoor air quality (IAQ).
- It's mandatory to perform air leakage testing for new home construction.
- A tight building envelope is an easy way to maximize the useful life of the building.
What does a Blower Door Test look like (What's involved)?
- All doors and windows to the outside are shut.
- A fan is installed in a door to the outside.
- The mechanicals and combustion appliances, (furnaces, exhaust fans, water heaters, ovens, etc...), are shut off.
- After taking some initial readings to account for normal outside conditions (wind, atmospheric pressure), the fan is turned on to depressurize/pressurize the building to a pressure difference of 50 Pascals (simulating normal wind conditions on your house) with respect to the outside.
- With the fan running, your certified technician will utilize infrared thermography, pressure pans and other tools to find air leaks.
- The air moving through our fan is utilized to calculate the cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air that can leak into or out of your building. CFM along with the total volume of your home, can be utilized to calculate the air changes per hour (ACH) at the 50 pascal difference.
Can my home be too tight?
The simple answer is no, your home cannot be too tight. In the past, a common misconception has been that your home needs to breath to prevent things like sick building syndrome or an unhealthy home. The problem is, uncontrolled air leakage is very unreliable and unpredictable, causing many problems for the home and home owner. Uncontrolled air leakage in homes can cause (and we've seen all of these on new and old homes):
- Condensation and mold inside your walls
- Mold on the underside of your roof deck
- Frost on the inside of drywall, windows or doors
- Humidity related issues associated with asthma, allergies and much more
- And of course, it is the leading cause of discomfort in homes and business
We like to tell our customers, your home does not need to breath, however new homes (or tighter old ones), will often need controlled mechanical ventilation. Our certified building science professionals will test your building and help determine if it needs air sealing and if so home much before mechanical ventilation is a mandatory requirement.
Call Priority Energy today for more information about our blower door testing at 800-737-2299.
Priority Energy will lead a trial installation of the Department of Energy's (DOE) Extended Plate & Beam wall system for a Chicago-area home builder.
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