There’s no reason you should be paying high heating costs and living in a home that is still cold. If this sounds like you, the underlying issue is probably your home’s insulation. Insulation should create an air seal that keeps the outside air out, and the inside air you pay to treat (and heat), inside. A blower door test will reveal how much uncontrolled air flows through your home. The signature test of home performance offers data about air leakage that can be compared to other homes. The data is also used as a comparison to results once an insulation project has finished.
So what is a blower door? Explained simply, it’s a powerful fan (with variable speeds) and a flexible panel that is fastened into the frame of an exterior door. It also has a pressure gauge to measure pressure differences in and out of the home, and an airflow manometer and hoses to measure airflow. When the fan is turned on, it pulls the air out of the house and lowers the pressure inside (depressurizing the house). The result is higher outside air pressure flowing into the house through unsealed cracks or openings. During the test, it’ll become clear where air leaks are hiding and technicians will be able to determine the air filtration rate of the home. Technicians will move from room to room detecting and diagnosing leaks. Sometimes technicians can even hear or see where leaks are coming from. Heatless smoke tools can also pinpoint leaks, as can special cameras that are sensitive to temperature differences.
When the test is complete, you’ll have a clear picture of how air leaks are affecting the temperature in your home and your energy bill. Your technician will then determine the best solution for your home, which usually requires a full air sealing and new insulation. It’s best to get started right away, so you can stop spending too much on your energy bills and start feeling comfortable in your home again.