Find Air Leaks in Your Home Using a Blower Door Test
By: Danny Lipford
Air leaks can significantly increase the heating and cooling costs for your home. The best way to find air leaks is to have an energy audit conducting using a blower door test to lower the air pressure in your home.
A smoke pencil is then used to locate any air leaks which are sealed with caulking, weather stripping, or spray foam insulation. Conducting an energy audit costs a few hundred dollars, but it will pay for itself over time in the energy saved.
This is one of the simplest physics tests in the world. Air pressure pushes down into the bottle and forces the liquid out the small hole. But, seal the gap, and no more leak. The same principle applies to your home’s energy-efficiency. Seal the gaps, and no more leaks. But how do you find the leaks this easy?
The best thing you can ever do is have a professional conduct a blower door test on your home. This involves a large fan temporarily mounted in an exterior door frame. The fan pulls the air out of your house, which lowers the air pressure inside. The higher outside air pressure forces its way into every unsealed gap. The pro can then find these gaps by using a smoke pencil. Once you know exactly where the gaps are, it’s a simple matter of sealing them up. Most of these tests can cost two or three hundred dollars, but you’ll re-coup that money easily as you save every month on your energy bills.
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