Prepping for an Energy Evaluation? What to Expect From a Blower Door Test

An energy evaluation helps you find areas of your home where you have air infiltration and inadequate insulation. It's one of the easiest and most affordable things you can do to reduce high energy bills, winter and summer. Most energy auditors or HVAC contractors will employ a blower door test to pinpoint the areas of your home that contribute to high conditioning bills. 

The blower door test involves depressurizing your home. This is why you'll be asked to close the windows and open the interior doors, along with turning down the thermostat. You may have to close the fireplace damper and cover fireplace ashes with damp newspapers.

The blower door sits inside an exterior door frame and exhausts the air from the home, lowering the interior air pressure. This results in outside air rushing in through leaks, typically located around window and door frames or other openings, in order to equalize the pressure. A calibrated gauge will measure the air pressure in your home. Homes that are fairly airtight won't regain their regular air pressure as quickly as leaky homes.

Besides using gauges to indicate where and how much air is leaking, the energy evaluation likely will employ a thermographic scan of your home that shows where insulation is lacking.

The thermal imaging may show that you have leaks around recessed ceiling lights, places where cables and wires enter the home, around the chimney or flues, and even around electrical outlets on exterior walls. Once you know where they are, you can seal them with weatherstripping, caulk or expanding foam (depending on the situation) or pack insulation around them to stop the infiltration.

If you'd like to learn more about an energy evaluation for your Mid-Ohio home, please contact us at Joe Behr Plumbing & Heating.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Mid-Ohio area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about energy evaluations and other HVAC topics, visit our website.

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