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Air Leakage Reduction: Not Just a Lot of Hot Air

We all know that leaky houses are harder to heat and cool.  Air leakage lead to uncomfortable homes that are hard to heat and cool, wasting money and energy for the homeowner.  Additionally, homes with higher air leakage are prone to damage from condensing cold spots that attract mold and rot, as well as frozen pipes in the winter.

Before you can set out to fix air leaks in your home, however, you first have to find them.  By far the most common method of determining the location of leaks in your home is the Blower Door test.  Blower door tests have been an essential tool for the energy efficient builder for years now, but recently, changes in the International Residential Code makes blower door testing the new standard, and sets out regulations for air tightness of buildings dependent upon climate zone.

To schedule a blower door test for your home today, please contact This Efficient House, your local, energy-efficient Contracting company!  info@thisefficenthouse.com

 

My beautiful picture                 What is A Blower Door Test?

In 1970’s researchers in Sweden, Saskatchewan, and New Jersey began to study how air leakage affected the overall energy efficiency of a home.  This led to the development of the first blower door by two teams of researchers, one of which included Harold Orr, who is generally credited with their invention.

The standard blower door includes a powerful, variable speed fan which is connected to a two-channel, digital manometer (an air pressure gauge).  This last piece of equipment measures both indoor and outdoor air pressure.  The blower door fan depressurizes the house by pulling inside air out until the manometer registers typically a 50-pascal difference between the external and internal air pressure.  The amount of fan-power and air flow that it takes to generate and hold this difference can then be used to measure how tight or leaky the house is.
The results of the blower door test are often expressed in cfm50, which is the airflow at a pressure difference of 50 Pascals.  These data can be extrapolated to calculate air changes per hour, or the number of times all of the air in a structure will be completely replaced by outside air every hour.  In Colorado, a Zone 5 state, the 2012 IRC requires that a building meet a standard of fewer than 3 air changes every hour.  This Efficient House has a team of experts on staff to help YOU discover whether or not your home meets these requirements.

Chasing Air Leaks                                               audit1

 

Air infiltration is one of the main factors that can compromise a building’s energy economy, durability and comfort.  A blower door test can provide an added benefit: there is no better way to locate and seal up air leaks!  During the depressurization, the air leaks in walls, rim joists and attics are exaggerated.  scanning the seams of a building with an thermal imaging camera can allow an insulation technician or a homeowner to easily see and identify areas of air infiltration by locating unusual hot or cold areas within the building. This Efficient House specializes in blower door test informed air sealing, and we would be happy to speak with you about the best approach to air sealing your home.

A home energy audit is a great place to start if you are considering an energy efficient remodel.  This Efficient House offers Home Energy audits to help get you on track to start saving money and energy today!  Rebates are even available to those who qualify.  For more information about the energy audit process, Fort Collins Utilities or Xcel Energy rebate programs, contact This Efficient House, and We’ll be happy to help you out!

 

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Call (970) 204-9931 or email info@thisefficienthouse.com to schedule your audit or estimate today!  This Efficient House is a local, dependable energy company, and we thank you for your support!

 

References

Armanda, Larry.  “Blower Door Testing.”  The Best of Fine Homebuilding. Winter 2014: 110-116. print.

http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/blower-door-tests
Bailes, Allison B. III.  “What’s a Blower Door Good For?  Hint: its not air changes per hour!”  Building Science. December 12, 2012. http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/building-science/what-s-blower-door-good