Many homeowners have no idea what a blower door is, and no idea that it is one of the most powerful tools out there.
What is a blower door you ask? Well, a blower door is a tool that can tell you a lot about your home. A blower door is a sheet with a powerful fan that gets mounted inside of it. The blower door gets mounted in an exterior door of your home. As the fan runs, it depressurizes (sucks the air out of) your home. This lets us see how airtight or leaky your home is. The tighter your home is, the more efficient it is. Did you know you can only accurately size heating and cooling equipment with a blower door? The tightness of you home determines how much heating and cooling the home needs. For example, if your home is ‘leaky’, you have a greater amount of air infiltration entering the home. This must be offset by using bigger heating and cooling equipment.
Air infiltration can also play a big part in your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). As air infiltrates into the home, it comes in unfiltered and unconditioned. Here’s a recent article by Forbes as well.
A blower door is also used to quantify energy upgrades. As you make your home more efficient, you will want to have your home tested again to make sure those upgrades are successful.
Blower door with thermal imaging. Picture is of an attic access in a closet. Notice how the cold air is being pulled through the access into the closet space?
And one of the coolest tests is operating the blower door with a thermal imaging camera. Using the thermal imaging camera while running the blower door lets us visually see the leaks you would not be able to with the naked eye. You can see the air infiltration move through wall cavities or into the space. The thermal imaging camera also helps us pick up deficiencies in the insulation. This helps us target spots that might be of importance. These pictures were taken during the colder months. The blue in the pictures represents cold temperatures. You can see the air infiltrate through the wall cavities and out the hatch. Identifying where the biggest opportunities are increase your chances for success in making a comfortable and healthy home.
This a picture of a vaulted ceiling in a home. You can see some significant air leakage coming through the wall for the interior room.
Air entering through the top plates of the walls.
We offer a blower door test with some thermal imaging in our Home Comfort Consultation.