Did you know that, according to the United States Department of Energy, you could reduce your electricity bill by 30 percent with a few energy efficiency upgrades identified in your home energy audit? One of the most telling tests that is performed during a home energy audit is the Blower Door test. The Blower Door test determines how well your house holds air in and can help auditors identify problem areas for you to fix.
If your home is airtight, that’s a huge benefit to both your comfort and your energy bill. On the other hand, if your home allows a lot of air to escape from the inside and enter from the outside, you will feel cold air come in during the winter time. You will also spend way too much money on heating and cooling your home. Not only that, but a home that isn’t airtight will have moisture condensation problems, which can cause mold in your home.
A Blower Door Test measures how air tight your home is by blowing air out of your home, usually through a sealed, flexible frame that fits over your main entrance. Blowing the air out of your home will depressurize it, creating a difference between the inside and outside. As air blows out of your home, an equal amount of air is brought into your home through the leaks in your walls, doors, and windows. By measuring the amount of air flow from the fan, energy auditors can measure the amount of air leaking into your home and determine your home’s airtightness.
A Blower Door Test will not determine the location of your leaks. The test will only tell you how much air is leaking into your home. However, professional energy auditors will have a good idea as to where to look for leaks based on the amount of air your home is letting in. They will use both high tech infrared sensors and low tech visual and touch inspections to find where the leaks are and make recommendations for you to fix them.
A Blower Door Test usually takes an hour and is normally part of an energy auditor’s suite of tests. An energy audit can run between $200-600 dollars, but the savings will be seen immediately. If you are living in an older home and you haven’t performed an energy audit, you should do one very soon, because you are likely to be wasting a significant amount of energy and money without knowing it.