A mid-construction blower door test is a diagnostic test which depressurizes or pressurizes the home to identify unintentional leaks and issues with the air barrier. Importantly, the mid-construction blower door test needs to be scheduled at a point in the construction when it is not too late to effectively remedy identified air leakage issues.
A mid-construction blower door test service may include the following:
- Measurements required for volume and area calculations;
- Performing the airtightness test using a blower door fan;
- Locating and documenting the air leakages – while the home is depressurized or pressurized you can walk around the home and feel air being drawn into the house through unintentional gaps in the building envelope;
- Determining preliminary blower door metrics using HOT2000 or other software;
- Air changes per hour (ACH) and/or;
- Normalized leakage area (NLA) and/or,
- Normalized leakage rate (NLR)
The mid-construction blower door test service can also include:
- Blower door guided air sealing (where the energy advisor is on site with the blower door while a crew is conducting air sealing. This allows the builder to benefit from the expertise of the energy advisor and the confirmation that the air leakage target is achieved);
- Providing a formal mid-construction blower door test report (with narrative and images of air leakage areas);
- Other tasks agreed to between the two parties (e.g. repeated test to check for improvement).
Benefits of a mid-construction blower door test include:
- A mid-construction blower door test helps your company avoid surprises and helps you to meet energy efficiency targets early in the process.
- A home built with minimal levels of air leakage (and right ventilation) can reduce heat loss and energy bills in the winter, keep the home cooler in the summer, improve home comfort, enhance air quality, protect the building structure and other materials from moisture damage, and help prevent dust, noise, and insects from entering from outdoors.
- A well-built and air sealed home can also shrink the environmental footprint of the home by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions produced by using energy to heat and cool your home.
- The cost of addressing air leakage issues at the right time in the construction process can be negligible. If you wait until construction has been completed to identify air leakage issues, fixing the problem may be time consuming, expensive, or nearly impossible.
- The mid-construction blower door test can be a practical teaching tool for your crews and sub trades. Involve them in the process: the test can be an opportunity for them to learn how to identify and address air leakage issues many builders have called the mid-construction blower door test more educational than weekend-long workshops on air tightness.
Contact a professional energy advisor to request a quote for a mid-construction blower door test.Currently, new homes energy advisors can be found on https://energystepcode.ca/energy-advisors/.