Many homes in Richmond Virginia, like my home located near the Fan District and Carytown, likely would benefit from having a residential blower door test to see where specific air leaks are located that can drive up energy costs for a home. Last week I had Blake Waring of Home Energy Remodeling, a subsidiary of Bain-Waring Builders, conduct an energy audit at my home, and the primary test to check air-tightness in a home is called a blower door test.
Probably if you asked me just a few years ago what blower door test means, my initial thought would be a measure of door strength. Actually, this test means something else entirely. This specialized test uses a powerful fan mounted on a flexible frame to an exterior door, a pressure gauge to measure pressure differences inside and outside a home and an airflow manometer to measure airflow in the home.
Above is the blower door test equipment that formed a seal in the opening of my front door.
For me, I found this test very beneficial for my older home, and it showed me exactly where several air leaks where located. For example, the energy auditor showed me air leaks around the window frame in my half bathroom. Fortunately, these particular air leaks could be remediated fairly quickly and inexpensively by using more caulk to fill gaps located adjacent to the window frame.
Another example of air leakage for my home happened to be the access panel that leads to the attic. Fortunately, the leaks around the access panel also could be eliminated by having a gasket seal installed. However, this would involve more work and preparation to help seal the air leaks at the access panel from the attic.
Above is the airflow manometer used to take measurements for the blower door test at my home.
Unfortunately, a stack effect can occur when a leak occurs between unconditioned space in an unfinished attic and the conditioned air in the actual living space of a home. Basically, a stack effect means the difference in moisture content and temperature that causes air infiltration and a strong positive or negative buoyancy force. By making a tighter seal at gaps around the access panel, this stack effect can be minimized.
Are you curious where the major airleaks exist in your Fan District or Carytown area home that could be causing you to pay higher utility bills? Call a local energy auditor about having a residential blower door test done, and discover how much you can lower your own energy costs at your home!
Are you looking to buy or sell a home in Fan District, Carytown, or elsewhere in the Richmond area and have a concern about energy efficiency in that home? Call me today, and let's see whether a having blower door test can help!