Blower Door Testing: Building Leakage
Your Trusted Air Leak Finders
Title 24 Compliance
Title 24 of the California Energy Commission (CEC) outlines energy efficiency standards for new, altered, and existing buildings in the state of California. California requires a minimum mandatory energy score, as well as mandatory compliance measures. Optional upgrades and tests can translate into compliance points. For more information, visit the CEC website.
The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) is used to test and enforce energy code standards set by the California Energy Commission. HERS Raters are private building inspectors who perform state compliance inspections and functional tests on residential and commercial buildings. Compliance testing has been legally required since 1974, and the codes are updated every couple of years. A HERS Rater is licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an HVACR (Heating, Ventilation, Air conditioning, Cooling, Refrigeration) technician. At BarrierEnergy, our certified HERS Raters are thoroughly trained on all new building codes and regulations.
What Is Blower Door Testing?
Blower door testing is a diagnostic whole-house pressurization test. Some other common names are infiltration testing, whole house leakage testing, and building envelope air leakage testing. Building leakage refers to how tightly a building is sealed as a whole. A building’s envelope is the exterior construction of a building. Air could be leaking into or out of a building from windows, doors, flooring, roofing, and so on.
During the test, a duct blower is fitted to a doorway, while the exterior door and windows of the building are sealed. Inside doors must be open during the test. The blower pushes air into the house and pulls air out to gauge how much energy it requires to pressurize/depressurize the building. Then, those readings are used to determine the total average air leakage.
Why Building Leakage is Important
1) Air Quality: Knowing your home or business is properly sealed will give you peace of mind. Improving your indoor air quality can also improve your health and safety.
2) Save Money and Resources: Efficiency saves energy and resources. Think of how much air could be escaping your home through gaps that could be easily sealed. That is the air you paid for; literally, money is going out of the door! Thusly, you will see the benefit in your wallet. In fact, the EPA recognizes an average of 10-15% savings in properly sealed buildings.
3) Creature Comfort: Have you ever walked into a room and noticed it was very drafty or muggy? Problems with building air leakage can cause an uneven distribution of temperature. Furthermore, it’s more difficult for your HVAC system to heat or cool your home entirely. Don’t be stuck with poor temperature control during peak seasons.
4) Increase Value: The market for efficient real estate is steadily rising. Buyers want the security of knowing they are signing up for low bills and longstanding performance. Even HVAC systems last longer within efficient buildings, which are costly to replace. Consumers are getting wise to these facts and will pay for a building stamped with the seal of energy efficiency.
Air Seal Your Home or Business
If the pressurization results indicate an efficiency issue, identified leakage paths must be identified. Solutions are fairly simple and cost-effective. First, our air leakage finders must locate the problem spot(s). Visual inspecting, thermal detecting, or smoke testing will uncover the problem area(s). Lastly, the technicians will offer solutions for you to employ, such as insulation, caulk, weatherstripping, window replacement, etc.
Whether you’re a general contractor or a building owner, contact us for a free quote today. BarrierEnergy is based out of Santa Barbara, California, and services most of the Southern Coastline. Building departments in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo Counties may enforce the requirement for blower door testing if a compliance credit was used in your plans / Title 24 report. Call us beforehand so you don’t get caught up during your final inspection!
(888) 383-HERS (4377)
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