Blower Door Testing Basics for Homeowners

If you’re serious about making your home energy efficient, a blower door might be a smart investment for you.

Knowledge is power, and it’s hard to compete with the information that you can retrieve using this clever device. A blower door will test a building for airtightness, and it will help you find out if your home is leaking air, specifically where that might be, and to what degree. This helps pinpoint the problem so that you can take action and find a solution. Using this testing device is standard practice for commercial buildings, but it can make a lot of sense for homeowners to use as well.

Every building leaks. So, it’s pretty much inconceivable to have an air-tight house. However, in order to have an energy efficient home it has to be as air-tight as possible. Most people have little awareness that the quiet killer of energy efficiency is air leakage in the home, and often completely unnecessary leakage. Particularly in older American homes, between one third and one half of the home’s total heat loss can be attributed to air leaks.

Once you find out where your home is leaking air and wasting energy by overworking air conditioning and heating systems, you can save money on your utility bills by cutting down on the energy it takes to control the temperature in your home. Here are some of the basics to know about blower door testing in the home:

Why use a blower door?

Blower doors give valuable information about where air leaks are in the home. This is useful data to homeowners who are in the process of building a home, as well as for those who are existing homeowners. It’s like seeing a doctor or a nutritionist before beginning a diet. Knowing your starting point tells you where you are, so you can find out where you need to go.

What does a blower door look like?

A blower door looks like a red tent-like material that is spread tight inside of a door frame, like a temporary nylon door that has a huge fan at the bottom of it. During the test, it fills the doorway.

Where does one get a blower door testing kit?

Only three companies manufacture blower doors in the US:
Infiltec in Waynesboro, Virginia.
Retrotec in Bellingham, Washington.
The Energy Conservatory in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The price for a residential blower door kit ranges from $2,500 to $3,200. Each company offers blower door testing tips on their respective websites.

Making your home energy efficient not only helps conserve the environment, it helps conserve your hard-earned money. Using a blower door test kit is a huge step toward laying plans for an energy efficient home. The price tag on the blower door is hefty, but it’s an investment that, if used correctly, will pay for itself in the long run. Most people have no clue how much heat and energy their home is losing (heat that is costing them monthly), and a blower door can educate a homeowner and help find smart energy solutions.

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