Why Should I Have a Blower Door Test Done in My Home?

Monday, August 5th, 2013 by Caralyn Gilchrist

Why Should I Have a Blower Door Test Done in My Home - Image 1

Back to school commercials have started - that means fall is on its way.  Now is the time to start thinking about your energy usage. 

Here’s an excerpt from the Dr. Energy Saver Home Comfort Science handbook by Larry Janesky about our blower door test:

A blower door is a calibrated fan set up in an exterior doorway with a computer attached to it.  It sucks air out of the house until the house is depressurized to 50 pascals of pressure.  A pascal (Pa) is a unit of air pressure.  50 pascals is a standard unit of air pressure we test and compare the total air leakage in every home to. 

…Compare it to what? An industry standard called Minimum Ventilation Guideline (MVG).  The idea is that you need some fresh air in your home for proper health, and operation of combustion appliances that take air from the house.  Any more than that and you are just wasting energy and causing discomfort.  Many of us call it the “Maximum” Ventilation Guideline when looking at it from that perspective. 

The MVG is calculated by measuring the size of the heated (“conditioned”) space in your home and considering how many people like or could live in it.  Then some simple math tells us what the MVG is.  Anything over that, and you’re wasting energy.  You can even be up to 30% under the MVG number for total air leakage in your home, especially if you install high efficiency heating and water heating appliances that take air to burn fuel directly from outside. 

Most home we test are far over their MVG number.  That’s no surprise considering when and the way they were built, without consideration for how much air they leak. 

Another thing blower door test allow us to do is find where the biggest and most important air leaks are.  We do this with a smoke tool that allows us to see the leaks when the blower door is running. 

Think you may have a leaky home? Contact Dr. Energy Saver by MacNaughton Builders today to schedule your home comfort check-up today.  One of our Home Comfort Doctors will uncover why your home is uncomfortable, where you may be losing energy, and fix it!

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Dr. Energy Saver by Eco Energy Solutions
800 Prospect Hill Rd
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Windsor, CT 06095