Airtight Home: How to Do Effective Air Leakage Testing
Are you trying to figure out how to get an airtight home? Read this article to learn more about air leakage testing so you can keep your home airtight.
About 25% – 30% of your energy bills are wasted because air escapes through your windows. That doesn’t count door drafts.
The only way to prevent that kind of energy drain is to narrow down the root cause of energy leaks. You can do that by performing air leakage testing. You’ll figure out exactly where cold or heat is getting into your home, plug up the holes, and make your home energy efficient.
Read on to find out how you can do your own air leakage test.
How Does an Air Leakage Test Work?
Air leakage testing doesn’t work the way you think it does. It doesn’t mean that you stand on one side of a window or door, blow a ton of air through it and measure how much air travels to the other side.
It’s commonly known as a blower door test, and it measures the amount of air required to stabilize the air pressure. Once the air pressure is stable inside the home, you can then measure a drop or rise in pressure.
The pressure is measured in air changes per hour. A good or bad rating will depend on the size and layout of your home and the amount of air change that occurs every hour. A good guideline for a new home is to see a rate of 3 changes per hour.
That change in pressure is used to detect air leaks. The likely culprits are windows and doors. Other areas where air can get through are walls and the area around your roof.
These air leaks mean that you may have to replace insulation in your home or seal up your windows.
How to Find Air Leaks in Your House
An air leakage test is the best way to detect leaks in a residential or commercial building. You do need to hire professionals to do blower door testing because it requires specialized equipment.
You can hire a professional that does blower door tests as part of a complete home energy audit. A home energy audit evaluates your entire energy usage in your home, from light bulbs to dishwashers.
You can’t hire just anyone to do the test. They need to be certified by either the Building Performance Institute or RESNET.
If you have a home that is in the process of being built, it’s the best time to perform an air leakage test. It allows you to test the efficiency of the structure before the insulation is installed.
Air Leakage Testing Saves Money
Air leakage testing is an important step to figure out where your main energy leaks are in your home. It’s also necessary to do as your home is being built to ensure it meets building energy codes.
In both cases, an air leakage test will save money in energy bills for years to come.
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