Blower Door Test
Want to make sure your home is energy efficient? Get a blower door test. A blower door test, also known as a building envelope test, can tell you almost everything you need to know about the airflow in your home. A blower door test will give you a measurement of your home’s energy efficiently.
Philadelphia has begun enforcing the 2015 IECC, (International Energy Conservation Code), requiring both a blower door tests and a duct leakage test in all new residential units. We regularly perform these types of tests for contractors looking to close out their building permits. Whether you are looking to have 1 test or 200 we are ready to serve our contractors with prompt service and fair pricing.
Why do I need a blower door test?
There are many reasons to get a blower door test and they’re a good idea even when you aren’t required to get them. Here’s why getting a blower door test is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your home.
Keep your HVAC system running smoothly. When there are air leaks in your home, or our test indicates air inefficiencies, it could mean that your HVAC system is working a lot harder than it needs to be. This means higher energy bills, more repairs, and it shortens the life of your HVAC system.
Gain better control over your home’s temperature. When air leaks from your home, this can create hot and cold spots. For your HVAC system to evenly cool your home, it can’t have an excess exchange of indoor and outdoor air. If your home has a passing score on a building envelope test, you can count on an even distribution of hot and cold temperatures.
Prevent expensive damages from excess moisture. Excess moisture can damage the wood in your home and other vulnerable surfaces with staining, rot, and fungal growths. Keep your home and your family safe by ensuring your home has a passing blower door test rating. Moisture damage can significantly reduce the property value of your home, and mold that thrives from moisture could have severe consequences for your health.
What is a blower door test?
A blower door test inspects a home’s building envelope, the physical barrier that separates the inside from the outside. You can use it to measure how much air leaks out of your home and how much-unfiltered air makes its way inside.
The main thing a technician looks for when conducting a blower door test is how air-tight your home is. Of course, it’s normal for air to leak out of a home, but the test accounts for this and makes sure you aren’t leaking more air than what is required by IECC regulations.
How is a blower door test conducted?
Getting a blower door test doesn’t take a lot of time. The test itself only takes about 15 minutes, but the preparation can take 1 to 1 ½ hours. This means you can get the test done in under two hours—that’s it.
A building envelope test is conducted by installing a frame onto a central door in the home and attaching a fan to the door. The fan depressurizes the home to a Pascal of 50. Once the home is depressurized, we use a manometer to measure the air pressure difference between the outside and inside of your home.
We get results in ACH or air changes per hour. This is the amount of time that a certain volume of air leaks out of and into a home. All homes leak and that’s normal, but keeping air changes to an acceptable amount is important since each air change creates a need to reheat or cool the new air.
What is a passing blower door test score?
Southeastern Pennsylvania is in energy climate zone 4 according to the IECC, (International Energy Conservation Code). In climate zone 4 a number of 3 air changes per hour is a passing score for a blower door test. However, Pennsylvania has increased the amount allowable air changes to per hour to 5.
How much does a blower door test cost?
For residential customers we price the blower door test at $390 which includes a walkthrough of the home with a thermal imager and a written report of air leakage and recommendations on how to correct those issues.
For contractors we price the blower door test at $350 for one single home. That includes the test and the certificate you’ll need to present to the building inspector to close out the building permit. For a duplex the price is $600.
If you are looking for multi unit testing for large project 3 tests to 300 we will bid the project to achieve a price which is comfortable for you.
The best way to ensure that the blower door test is a success
● Anticipate potential air leaks ahead of time.
● Using the correct outside air barrier such as Tyvek or Zip Sheathing and making sure to tape the joints.
● Property insulating using the correct R Value and ensuring proper installation of the insulation material.
● Caulk or spray foam any penetration in the exterior of the home.
● Doors and windows are property installed, caulked and weather sealed.
● Penetration between conditioned and unconditioned areas such as basements, attics and crawl spaces are sealed.
● Philadelphia provides a step by step checklist you can follow to make sure everything is done correctly. You can get it by clicking here