When conducting the energy evaluation of your home, the energy efficiency advisor will perform the blower door test.

What is a blower door test?

The blower door test is part of the energy evaluation of your home. It is a performance test that uses a device to verify the air tightness of your house, which means that it measures the amount of outdoor air that enters your home.

During this test, the advisor goes through your home to locate the possible air leaks. We recommend that you follow the advisor and take down a few notes. You will learn how to increase your comfort level and reduce your energy consumption by sealing the many unwanted air leaks easily and very affordably.

What is a blower door?

The instrument used during the blower door test is a blower door.

It is composed of a fan, a nylon fabric and a manometer (device used to measure pressure). The advisor sets up the blower door on the main exterior door of your home using an adjustable door frame fitted with airtight nylon fabric.

The fan, which blows through the fabric, can be set at various speeds. The manometer measures the airflow through the blower and the pressure on the nylon fabric.

It is not necessary to take down the door during the blower door test; you only need to open the door.

How long does the test last?

The blower door test itself lasts about 30 minutes. The energy evaluation, however, can last from 2 to 3 hours.

What does the advisor need to do before the test?

Before conducting the test, the energy advisor begins by closing all openings that lead outside: windows, doors (except the one where the test device is installed), vents and ventilation doors. He also closes doors that open to unheated spaces in the house, such as the attic, the garage and the crawl space under the house. Interior doors are left open so that the air can circulate throughout the house. In rooms with suspended ceilings, he raises one of the acoustic tiles to avoid any damage to the ceiling. Gas and oil-burning furnaces are shut off for safety reasons. If need be, the fireplace doors and air outlet are also closed, and the ashes are removed by the owner to avoid possible messes. To avoid any unpleasant surprises, he will start the test with the fan at low speed and will do a quick tour of the house to ensure that everything is in place.

What happens during the test?

First, the energy advisor installs the test device and starts the fan. Pressure gauges connected to the fan measure the airflow rate per minute required to keep your home at a constant pressure. He repeats the exercise at different pressures, and compares the information gathered with estimated values based on the volume of the house.

After gathering that data, he keeps the blower running and inspects all the rooms in the house, identifying the presence of leaks by using his hand or a smoke pencil. Once the leaks have been detected, he rates their importance and makes a note of it in his report.

That air leaks in a home are often overlooked. The evaluation report on the energy performance of your home contains recommendations as well as an air leak reduction target.

If you reach or exceed this target after the work is completed, you could receive between $245 and $490 of additional financial assistance.

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