Air and Duct Leakage Tests
Higher energy usage and lower savings can be a byproduct of improperly sealed homes. Luckily for homeowners, there are professional tests which can be used to measure a home’s performance. The two primary tests used by Eco Three to measure air leakage are blower door and duct pressure.
Blower Door Test
A blower door test is a diagnostic procedure performed by a certified professional to identify air leakage in a building. The test simulates a 20 mile per hour wind blowing on the top, the bottom, and all sides of a home or building. Wherever air can enter through gaps, cracks, or other voids, it will.
The blower door test is used by evaluators to discover paths of least resistance for air. It can quantify the amount of air leakage and, based on the volume of the home, can identify if a home is within the recommended flow standard. With this information, the evaluator can suggest upgrades for improved energy efficiency. For more information visit What Is A Blower Door Test.
New construction homes must not leak beyond a predetermined amount in order to meet Energy Code standards. This amount is known as “air changes per hour” at 50 pascals of pressure, or, ACH50. ACH50 is calculated using the cubic feet per minute for each individual home and its volume.
Duct Pressure Test
A duct pressure test measures the amount of leakage in a duct system and air handler. At Eco Three, we primarily use this test in new construction homes to ensure the system meets Energy Code requirements. During the test, we cover all registers/vents then attach our duct testing fan and manometer to a central return. Duct leakage is calculated based on the square footage area that the system heats and cools. If a system in a new construction home does not meet the requirements, we can pressurize the system and use a smoke pen to find leaks. Any identified leaks in the system will be properly sealed with mastic paste or special tape.