Home Energy Efficiency - A Blower Door Test

Every homeowner hopes to maximize home energy efficiency. There are several ways to increase home energy efficiency. Adding insulation is one way to minimize heat loss and reduce fuel costs.  But it is really putting the cart before the horse!  Before you spend time and money for more insulation, seal the air leaks.  Doing it the other way around creates a lot more work and frustration. 


Energy inspections from the utility companies typically include a visual inspection to see if there are any air leaks.  If you want the most accurate answer as to how energy efficient your home is, you need an energy audit.  Unlike an energy inspection, the audit will include testing for air leaks with a blower door and infrared scans.  Because a blower door test depressurizes a home, it can reveal the location of many leaks.  A blower door consists of a powerful variable-speed fan that mounts into the frame of an exterior door.  It also includes a pressure gauge to measure the pressure differences inside and outside the home and an airflow manometer and hoses for measuring airflow.


The fan is used to blow air into or out of the building, which creates a small pressure difference between inside and outside.  This pressure difference forces air through all holes and penetrations in the building enclosure.  The tighter the building (e.g. fewer holes), the less air is needed from the blower door fan to create a change in building pressure.


One of the most common ways to normalize building air tightness is to calculate the number of times per hour that the total volume of air is changed, when the home is subjected to a 50-pascal pressure difference.   The measure that is used to estimate energy savings due to reducing air infiltration is Air Changers per Hour or (ACH).  A tight house has about 1 air change every three hours or an ACH of 0.3.  A leaky house will have an ACH of 1.0 and a very leaky house will be above 1.5 ACH.


So why is important to minimize air leakage?  Reasons for establishing the proper building tightness include:

  • Reducing energy consumption due to air leakage

  • Avoiding moisture condensation problems

  • Avoiding uncomfortable drafts caused by cold air leaking in from the outdoors

  • Making sure that the home's air quality is not too contaminated by indoor air pollution

#energyefficiency #homeenergysavings #blowerdoortest #howtopassablowerdoortest #blowerdoortestnewconstruction #blowerdoortestreport #energysavingstipsforyourhome #energyefficiencytips #energysavingstipsforwinter #energyefficienthomeideas #howenergyefficientismyhome #homeenergyefficiency #homeinsulation #energyefficientoldhome #homeenergyaudit #energyaudit #energyinspection

Adding insulation is certainly one way to minimize heat loss and reduce fuel costs.  But it is really putting the cart before the horse!  Before you spend time and money for more insulation, seal the air leaks.  Doing it the other way around creates a lot more work and frustration. 


Energy inspections from the utility companies typically include a visual inspection to see if there are any air leaks.  If you want the most accurate answer, you need an energy audit.  Unlike an energy inspection, the audit will include testing for air leaks with a blower door and infrared scans.  Because a blower door test depressurizes a home, it can reveal the location of many leaks.  A blower door consists of a powerful variable - speed fan that mounts into the frame of an exterior door.  It also includes a pressure gauge to measure the pressure differences inside and outside the home and an airflow manometer and hoses for measuring airflow.


The fan is used to blow air into or out of the building, which creates a small pressure difference between inside and outside.  This pressure difference forces air through all holes and penetrations in the building enclosure.  The tighter the building (e.g. fewer holes), the less air is needed from the blower door fan to create a change in building pressure.


One of the most common ways to normalize building air tightness is to calculate the number of times per hour that the total volume of air is changed, when the home is subjected to a 50-pascal pressure difference.   The measure that is used to estimate energy savings due to reducing air infiltration is Air Changers per Hour or (ACH).  A tight house has about 1 air change every three hours or an ACH of 0.3.  A leaky house will have an ACH of 1.0 and a very leaky house will be above 1.5 ACH.


So why is important to minimize air leakage?  Reasons for establishing the proper building tightness include:

  • Reducing energy consumption due to air leakage

  • Avoiding moisture condensation problems

  • Avoiding uncomfortable drafts caused by cold air leaking in from the outdoors

  • Making sure that the home's air quality is not too contaminated by indoor air pollution.

  • Hawkeye Home Inspections
  • Hawkeye Home Inspections
  • Hawkeye Home Inspections
  • Hawkeye Home Inspections
  • Hawkeye Home Inspections

Contact Us

  • Hawkeye Home Inspections Yelp
  • Hawkeye Home Inspections - LinkedIn
  • Hawkeye Home Inspections Facebook
  • Hawkeye Home Inspections - Twitter
  • Hawkeye Home Inspections G+
  • Grey Pinterest Icon
Areas We Cover

We cover the Greater Boston area, including most of Eastern and Central Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire

You can pay by cash, check or

Hawkeye Home Inspections

(978) 897-7130,

405 Waltham St # 218

Lexington, MA 02421

© 2015-2020 by The Hawkeye Companies, Inc.