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What is a Blower Door Test? (How it Works/Measurements/Cost)

energy efficiency | energy assessment | blower door test

What is a Blower Door Test? (How it Works/Measurements/Cost) Blog Feature
Amanda Ringler

By: Amanda Ringler on September 19th, 2018

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The best way to find air leaks in your home is with a blower door test during a professional energy audit.

When you hear the term “blower door test” you’re probably wondering what it is and why is it so important in determining the airtightness of your home.

First and foremost, let’s talk about what a home energy audit is.

The U.S. Department of Energy defines a home energy audit as a way to help you figure out where your home is losing energy and what you can do to save yourself money on monthly energy bills. A home energy auditor will also assess the health of your home, as well as any safety issues that might exist. Usually, a blower door test cost is included in the price of an audit, which is between $300 to $500.

RetroFoam of Michigan is BPI certified, which means we have the knowledge and experience to perform blower door tests.  We frequently perform blower door tests after we have insulated several areas of a home with foam insulation. With our experience, we can explain to you what a blower door test and when is a blower door test required.

What is Blower Door Testing?

A professional energy auditor will test the airtightness of your home using a special fan called a blower door.

Blower doors consist of a frame, flexible panel that fits in a doorway, a variable-speed fan, a pressure gauge, and an airflow manometer and hoses for measuring airflow, according to the DOE.

A blower door is a powerful fan that is mounted to the frame of an exterior door of your home. The fan will pull air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside.

The higher outdoor air pressure flows in through all of the unsealed areas around your home. The person conducting the test may use a tool like a smoke pencil or thermal image camera to find those air leaks around your home.

What Does a Blower Door Test Measure?

The test measures the air exchange in your home.

Discovering that air exchange is key when you’re talking about controlling the temperature in your home. We heat and cool our homes by heating and cooling air and then pushing it through the house. If you have air leaking out then the heat’s going to pour out through all of the cracks.

The blower door test is the key because it tells you how much air you’re losing and to pinpoint where those penetrations are.

Home Energy Audits and Air Seals

If you feel like a blower door test is a little more than you need, you can always start with a free DIY home energy audit to make some changes around your home.

One of those projects you should consider is sealing air leaks in your home with insulation. If you want to learn more about how foam insulation can help you achieve that, check out the Learning Center on our website.

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About Amanda Ringler

Amanda previously has worked as a breaking news and crime reporter, TV news producer, and editor in Flint and Detroit. Throughout her career as a journalist, she has won several awards from The Society of Professional Journalists - Detroit Chapter and the Michigan Press Association. As part of the RetroFoam of Michigan family, Amanda uses her experience as a journalist to write content that will help educate homeowners on the benefits of foam insulation. When Amanda isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her husband and rescued huskies. She also loves knitting, making art, cooking, and hosting dinner and a movie night for friends and family.