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If your home in Maine has indoor comfort or energy efficiency issues, you may have already performed a visual inspection to identify areas where there are air leaks or gaps in insulation. But what about the hidden areas which can only be inspected using high-tech diagnostic equipment — such as behind your finished walls?
If you’re planning an insulation upgrade to resolve indoor drafts, fluctuating temperatures, or high energy bills, it’s important to start your project off with careful planning and engineering. A comprehensive energy audit that includes blower door testing offers exactly that. A blower door test is an in-depth diagnostic assessment that provides valuable information about your home’s air leakage, insulation levels, and overall efficiency.
How a Blower Door Test Works
Before a blower door test begins, there are a few key steps your energy auditor will take to prepare your home. These steps include closing all exterior doors and windows, opening all interior doors, covering ashes in wood stoves and fireplaces, and turning off all combustion equipment.
Once your home is ready, your energy auditor will fit the blower door — which is essentially a large, powerful fan — into one of your home’s exterior doorways. The fan pulls interior air outside to create negative pressure inside your home. This forces outside air to rush into your home through any holes, cracks, and gaps in the home’s exterior, or building envelope.
Once the blower door has sufficiently lowered the air pressure inside your home, your energy auditor will study a gauge on the blower door to determine how much air is seeping in (and how quickly). They will then inspect your home using an infrared thermal camera to pinpoint hidden air leaks and insulation gaps throughout.
Why Do a Blower Door Test?
A blower door test provides valuable information about your home’s overall air leakage and energy efficiency, as well as where air leaks and insulation gaps are. Often, both new and older homes from Rockland all the way down to Portland have high levels of air leakage, letting valuable heated air escape during the winter and wasting valuable energy year-round. On the other end of the spectrum, a home can have too little air leakage, trapping harmful contaminants indoors and creating unhealthy indoor air quality (IAQ).
With the results from your blower door test and energy audit, your energy auditor can help you design your air sealing and insulation upgrade in a way that maximizes results. Then, after completing your carefully designed home upgrade, you’ll gain access to benefits like:
A properly airtight home
Greater energy efficiency
Less need to run heating equipment
Lower annual heating costs
Enhanced comfort year-round
Healthier indoor air quality
Assess Your Home with Maine’s Home Efficiency Expert
As a team of home performance experts, we’re here to help you get your home comfort and efficiency upgrade started on the right foot. Whether your utility bills are skyrocketing in the winter, or certain rooms are impossible to keep comfortable throughout the year, diagnostic testing by Evergreen Home Performance, including blower door testing, will put you on the path to a healthier, more comfortable, and more energy efficient home.
Planning a home insulation upgrade? Find out what blower door testing can reveal about your home’s efficiency and comfort. Contact us or call (207) 594-2244 to learn more during a free consult!
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