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Blower Door Test: Professional energy auditors use blower door tests to help determine a home's airtightness. A blower door is a powerful fan that mounts to 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. This test determines the air infiltration rate of a structure.

Blower doors consist of a frame and flexible panel placed 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.

To prepare your home for a blower door test, close windows and open interior doors; turn down thermostats on heaters and water heaters; cover ashes in wood stoves and fireplaces with damp newspapers; shut fireplace dampers, fireplace doors, and wood stove air intakes; and turn off any appliances that utilize a pilot light.

Here are some reasons for the importance establishing the proper building tightness:

  • Reducing energy consumption due to air leakage
  • Avoiding moisture condensation problems
  • Avoiding uncomfortable drafts caused by cold air leaking in from the outdoors
  • Making sure that the home's air quality is not too contaminated by indoor air pollution.