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Energy Evaluations: How a Blower Door Test Works

Posted on: April 26th, 2013 by

Energy Evaluations: How a Blower Door Test WorksEnergy evaluations are often the solution homeowners need when high energy bills become a regular affair. With expertise and specialized tools like the blower door test, an energy auditor can pinpoint the exact locations in your home that allow heat loss and heat gain. Both lead to higher energy bills, as the air conditioner and heating system have to work harder and run longer cycles to compensate.

Heat gain occurs in summer, as the hot outside air is drawn into the home via air leaks, attracted to the cooler air inside. In winter, heat loss occurs, as the warm inside air is attracted to the cooler air outside. The heated inside air escapes from the home via air leaks. Stopping this cycle of waste requires specialized tools to locate air leaks.

In fact, one of the primary ways that energy is lost in the home is through air leaks in the home’s exterior shell, also called the envelope. Professional energy evaluations include a blower door test designed to locate areas in the home that are leaking air. Here’s how it works:

  • The device consists of a large fan, pressure gauges and a frame.
  • The frame installs in an exterior door, fitting snugly inside of the door’s frame.
  • The fan, resting in the lower portion of the door, turns on.
  • The fan draws out all of the air inside the home, effectively depressurizing it.
  • The auditor uses the gauges to determine the differences in pressure between the outdoor and indoor air, and the exact rate of air loss.

When scheduling an energy evaluation, request that your auditor employs a calibrated blower door test. Differing from an uncalibrated blower door that only locates the leaks that occur in your home, the calibrated blower door measures airflow, a key to determining how airtight the home is, and whether or not any air-sealing projects will actually increase the home’s energy efficiency.

A lack of insulation will also affect the amount you pay on energy bills, a factor that energy evaluations also explore using the thermographic scan. With a device much like a camera or video, the auditor can “read” areas of the home as warm or cool, learning where damaged or ineffective insulation allows heat to move out of the home during winter, or heat to move inside the home during summer.

Contact AirRite Air Conditioning Company to learn the value of energy evaluations or to schedule an appointment. We serve the DFW area. Give us call today or visit our website at www.airrite.com for more information.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about energy evaluations and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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