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The Blower Door: A Basic Component of Your Home Energy Evaluation

The Blower Door: A Basic Component of Your Home Energy EvaluationA home energy audit is great for finding ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home, and a blower door test is a major component of it. Blower door tests  are used to check how airtight your home is. Having an airtight home helps lower your energy bills by reducing the amount of conditioned air that escapes. It also helps avoid issues with cold drafts and moisture problems due to condensation.

To perform the test, your contractor will mount a powerful, adjustable fan in a doorway. The fan will be surrounded by flexible panels that provide a tight seal to the door frame. The fan is then turned on to blow out air to depressurize the home. If a calibrated fan is being used, then the measurements from the airflow and pressure gauges can be used to determine how much air leakage your home has. Additionally, depressurizing the home causes air to flow through any leaks that are present in your home’s air envelope so your contractor can use a smoke pencil or other means to find where the leakage is occurring.

A full energy audit will also include a home inspection to determine where any other inefficiencies lie and usually additional tests that can identify other problems, like inadequate insulation. To prepare for a blower door test and home energy audit, you’ll want to take the following steps:

  • Prepare to give the contractor access to all areas of your home and walk through with them to point out any locations where comfort issues are present.
  • Make sure any fires are completely out and ashes are removed from wood stoves and fireplaces.
  • Be prepared for the contractor to close all exterior windows and fireplace flues, as well as open all interior doors.
  • Have a copy or summary of your energy bills for the year.
  • Know that the evaluation will likely take an hour or more.

To make sure your home is thoroughly examined, you’ll want a quality contractor.  Contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing for a qualified energy auditor.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about energy efficiency and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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