Tests conducted with a blower door are fast and safe. The house is either pressurized or depressurized by installing a large cloth frame into a doorway and using a fan to move air in or out of teh building.
No one has to leave and the pressures created are to simulate an approximately 25 km/hr wind.
A blower door is useful in testing many variables in a home
1. Air Leakage Volumes
2. Depressurization Problems
3. Air Infiltration or Exfiltration Issues
4. Wind driven water leakage (IE windows)
5. with Infrared Thermography
6. Zone Pressure Diagnostics
Energuide, Energy Star, LEEDS, and many other energy programs for homes require a blower door test to calculate the volume of air leakage to provide the energy rating
There are three basic components of a blower door
1. Door frame /cloth
A variety of diagnostic testing can be conducted with a blower door.
A simple test that can be conducted uses the building's interior volume and can calculate the air change rate of the house, including whether the openeings are made up of several larger penetrations or hundreds of tiny ones.
Zone pressure diagnostics calculates which surfaces have teh highest levels of air leakage. This is especially useful in multi fmail buildings where party walls can be a cause of higher leakage.
Pre-Drywall Air Testing
- Spray Foam Application
RCI Alberta is a local company in Central Alberta that contracts us to perform air tightness testing on the house after the foam is applied.
First the blower door is installed and set to depressurize the building.
Next, using an Infrared Camera we check the exterior surfaces and verify if there is missing insulation or air leaking at temperature changes (shows dark in winter and light in summer) showing on the Infrared Camera.
Finally, these areas are marked and the contractor returns and touches up these areas. (usually very minimal)
This provides incredible air tightness and assurance that there should be no moisture issues associated with air leaking outwards onto cold surfaces such as OSB sheathing.