Blower Door Testing In Snohomish, Bellevue, Kirkland, WA, and Surrounding Areas
We perform blower door leakage tests for single and multi-family buildings. We have BPI certified technicians who will not only provide the test results and post the required certificate but also document the findings in the event that the test does not pass. This saves you time and money by making it easier to identify and remedy the areas which are causing the failure.
You may think that a blower door test consists of putting your hand down to the bottom and up to the top of door to see if you can feel any air coming in. Maybe that’s how other people would do it, but not the techs at Lifetime. A true blower door test is a comprehensive process to physically locate air leakage in the building envelope that is your home. We utilize a calibrated, variable-speed fan to induce a range of air-flows sufficient to pressurize and depressurize your home. By doing this, and with the use of a pressure monitoring instrument called a manometer, the we will locate where air is leaking out of your home, measure the rate of flow (and therefore your resulting energy loss) and recommend the best, smartest weatherization strategy for your home.
Infrared Heat Loss Analysis is a non-invasive analysis that creates a real-time picture of your home to quickly identify hot and cold spots. We can see where energy leaks are and plug them, so your energy dollars stay in your home!
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 auditors may use 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.
Take the following steps to prepare your home for a blower door test:
If you heat with wood, be sure all fires are completely out – not even coals – before the auditor arrives. Remove any ashes from open fireplaces.
Plan to do a walk-through of your home with the auditor. Be prepared to point out areas that you know are drafty or difficult to condition comfortably.
Expect the auditor to request access to all areas of your home including closets, built-in cabinets, attics, crawl spaces, and any unused rooms.
The auditor will need to close all exterior doors and windows, open all interior doors, and close any fireplace dampers, doors, and woodstove air inlets.
Expect the auditor to set controls on all atmospheric fossil fuel appliances to ensure that they do not fire during the test. The auditor should return them to the original position after the test.
Expect the test to take up to an hour or more, depending on the complexity of your home.
Home Energy Audits
Home Energy Audits are the key to creating a smart weatherization strategy and a thermally efficient home. We will conduct an energy audit or review your existing one to ensure that it was thoroughly and properly conducted, and then meticulously interpret the findings to create the best, smartest weatherization solution for your home.
Infrared Heat Loss Analysis
The techs at Lifetime love to use their infrared thermographic cameras. It allows them to conduct a non-invasive analysis and create a real-time picture of your home and quickly identify hot and cold spots, but more importantly, we can see where energy leaks are and plug them, so your energy dollars stay in your home!
Other Weatherization Services
Installation of gables, soffits and roof vents are critical to creating the smart, protective, “sealed” envelope that will ensure maximum energy savings.
The techs at Lifetime also installs bathroom fans, which provide important protection against excessive moisture accumulation and the problems this can cause.
Call Lifetime at (425)-553-4328 or contact us online for you free energy audit.
To schedule your blower door test or pre-consultation, call us at 425-553-4328.
Why use Lifetime Heating and Air Conditioning?
- Lifetime uses the best and most updated equipment.
- Lifetime offers Blower Door Tests, Duct Leakage Tests, and Pre-Consultation Services.
- Lifetime offers 48hr scheduling.
- Lifetime is a great choice for an independent 3rd party test (which can be required).
- Prices range from $250 to $500 depending on size of the house. For multiple homes or units please call.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Duct Leakage Test?
Duct leakage testing is a systematic way to test the energy efficiency of ductwork within homes. By sealing off and depressurizing the ductwork the technician uses specialized equipment to measure the airflow through the system.
What is a Blower Door Test?
Blower door testing is a scientific way to test the air leakage of any given structure. By depressurizing the building and measuring the rate at which air infiltrates the building envelope through any number of imperfections in the structure.
Is it required?
Per R402.4.1.2, this test is required to be done on every new construction home, additions over 500sf and all multi-family buildings. As of July 1st, 2016, the standard has been set to less than 5 ACH @50 pascals (air exchanges per hour). Your project must meet this standard.
What is Washington R402.4.1.2?
The building or dwelling unit shall be tested and verified as having an air leakage rate of not exceeding 5 air changes per hour. Testing shall be conducted with a blower door at a pressure of 0.2 inches w.g. (50 Pascals). Where required by the code official, testing shall be conducted by an approved third party. A written report of the results of the test shall be signed by the party conducting the test and provided to the code official. Testing shall be performed at any time after creation of all penetrations of the building thermal envelope. Once visual inspection has confirmed sealing (see Table R402.4.1.1), operable windows and doors manufactured by small business shall be permitted to be sealed off at the frame prior to the test.