What is an Energy Audit or Blower door test?
Energy audits work perfect with a home inspection. An Energy audit provides you with an even better look at what is going on inside your new home. An energy audit is an in-depth analysis of a home’s energy performance. Why is this important? Because through diagnostic testing, an energy audit will reveal where and how a home is losing energy. Losing energy can result from any number of issues, including: Poor insulation, Air leakage, Inefficient appliances
All of which lead to the same place: an uncomfortable home that’s expensive to maintain.
So How Do Home Inspections and Energy Audits Work?
Remember, a home inspection is a complete visual inspection of your home, from top to bottom, outside and inside. Even though a very well trained Master Home Inspector like myself does a very thorough job with the visual inspection of your home, would you be surprised to learn that an energy audit can tell you even more?
Home Energy Auditors are highly skilled specialists in energy efficiency. I understand how a house functions as a set of inter-related systems, and how an issue or change in one area can have an impact on another area of the home. Through diagnostic testing with specialized equipment, I can pinpoint areas of your home where energy is being lost. Using diagnostic specialized equipment such as a blower door test, duct leakage tester, combustion analyzer and infrared camera help me to determine the amount and location of air leaks in the building envelope, the amount of leakage from HVAC distribution ducts, the effectiveness of insulation inside walls and ceilings and any existing or potential combustion safety issues.
What is a Blower door Test? And how does it work.
A blower door is a powerful fan that mounts into the frame of an exterior door. The fan pulls air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. The higher outside air pressure then flows in through all unsealed cracks and openings. The Inspector may use a Thermal Imager or a smoke pencil to detect air leaks. These tests determine the air infiltration rate of a building. Blower doors consist of a frame and flexible panel that fit in a doorway, a variable-speed fan, a pressure gauge to measure the pressure differences inside and outside the home, and an airflow manometer and hoses for measuring airflow.
There are two types of blower doors: calibrated and uncalibrated. It is important that auditors use a calibrated door. This type of blower door has several gauges that measure the amount of air pulled out of the house by the fan. Uncalibrated blower doors can only locate leaks in homes. They provide no method for determining the overall tightness of a building. The calibrated blower door's data allow the auditor to quantify the amount of air leakage and the effectiveness of any air-sealing job.
Ask for an Energy Audit with Your Home Inspection!