Time for the first blower door test!

I can’t believe that it’s already time for our first blower door test. It feels like yesterday that I was walking around on a piece of raw land and problem-solving with my wife over what we wanted our new home to look like. Now here we are - the lion’s share of construction has been completed and I’ve shifted my focus to the interior.

Before we get into things like solar thermal, trim and drywall and paint, I have to take one last big step when it comes to the building envelope - a blower door test.

A blower door test is part of the home energy evaluation that will make sure the building envelope and other systems will truly do their job once my new home is complete. Basically, we’ll seal off all of the doors and windows of my home and put a specially-designed variable speed fan in one of the doors.

The variable speed fan will be hooked up to a pressure gauge to measure the pressure differential between the interior and exterior of the house, and an airflow manometer for measuring airflow.

For these steps, I’ve invited George Keithan and Paul Sekas of Consulting Engineering Services back to the job site to run the test. They’ll be able to take the data that we gather and give me some conclusions about the overall energy efficiency of my building envelope. Paul is also going to go around with an infrared gun and hunt for areas of the envelope that might need to be tightened up.

Once this blower door test is complete and I have the results in my hand, I’ll be able to make whatever necessary adjustments to the building envelope that need to be made. From there, it’s on to interior details - we’ll have one more blower door test before the project wraps up. Stay tuned!

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  • Wendy Zoel
    Is there a follow up article to see how it went for you? My boyfriend’s employers @ http://aiolandscaping.com are thinking of offering this a service but is having a tough time selling it.
  • Dave Sweet
    Thanks, EJ. It was fun and informative to go through the process – I think blower door testing can bring a lot of value to anyone’s project. Stay tuned!
  • Ej Cruz
    Great video, Dave! Very informative. I will be adding this to our HVAC-R curriculum.
  • Dave Sweet