Housing buying preferences have evolved over the past decade, with most people placing a greater focus on energy-saving homes. As the cost of living across the world generally increases, it only makes sense to cut back on your utility bills.
If you live in Chicago, then you should consider making energy efficiency improvements to your home. The first step is to conduct a home energy audit and know what aspects of your home’s energy usage should be reduced. Thanks to the Home Energy Saver tool introduced by the US Department of Energy.
Green Attic is a leading contractor in Chicago that conducts professional blower door tests to determine the airtightness of your home. From helping reduce moisture condensation to preventing contaminants from entering your home, the blower door test is very helpful for energy-saving improvements.
Are you curious about what the blower door test is and how to get one done? Here’s an overview of the important terms and the huge role Green Attic plays in providing quality professional services.
What is a Home Energy Audit?
A home energy audit is a comprehensive assessment that reveals your home’s energy consumption, efficiency, and safety. The audit occurs in the form of several tests that expose air leaks and determine the efficiency of energy systems in a building.
Who Can Perform an Energy Audit?
Residents of Illinois typically have access to the Home Energy Saver tool, which is an online audit platform. There, you can calculate the energy use in your building based on metrics like appliances as well as cooling and lighting systems.
This tool is only available for residential areas and does not consider many non-appliance contributors to energy consumption. On the other hand, certified energy auditors analyze residential and commercial buildings. They conduct checks on insulation levels, HVAC, and general airtightness.
Steps Involved in a Home Energy Audit
Generally, there are three aspects to any energy audit. The first is the evaluation, which involves a walk-through of the building to highlight appliances and systems that use up energy. Afterward, auditors conduct an air tightness test. Also known as the blower door test, this process checks for air leakage and seals up cracks. Lastly, you’ll get recommendations on how to improve your energy efficiency.
What is a Blower Door Test?
The blower door test is the second step in every home energy audit. It is designed to detect air leakage and provide accurate measurements of the air tightness of a building. While conducting this air tightness test, auditors usually mount a calibrated fan at the exterior door frame of the building.
With all other main exits like windows and doors shut, the fan will pull air from inside the building. During this process, there is a considerable difference in the pressure on both sides of the house. As a result, leaks and gaps around the walls are exposed. Experts also use infrared cameras or nontoxic smoke pencils to look through the building for leaks.
Auditors also retrieve information about the air tightness of the building from the difference in pressure and volume of air moving from the building. Blower door tests are useful to determine if mechanical ventilation is necessary to improve the quality of air within the building. Additionally, it helps detect and seal off air leakage from the home which consumes energy.
What Equipment is Used in a Home Blower Door Test?
As the name suggests, the main equipment for an air tightness test is the blower door. This equipment is essentially a flexible frame with a variable-speed fan that covers a doorway and pulls air out of the house. A blower door can either be calibrated or uncalibrated.
While uncalibrated doors only detect leaks, their calibrated counterparts are equipped with gauges to measure the air flow coming out of the building from the fan. Interestingly, calibrated doors are the most common type used by top-quality energy auditors like Green Attic.
It consists of different parts that work together to provide seamless functionality. This includes the fan, a temporary seal, infrared camera and a pressure monitor. Here are the major functions of these components.
The fan comes with a very powerful variable speed feature that sucks air by creating negative pressure in the house’s interior.
To prevent air from escaping, a dense cloth seal is usually a part of the home blower door equipment. It is mounted around the door frame while the far is inserted into it.
This camera allows auditors to see through walls and detect leaky areas or parts of the house without insulation.
Auditors require this device to get information about the level of air within the home as well as the speed at which air leaks.
How Much Does a Blower Door Test Cost?
At Green Attic, you can get a professional blower door test for as low as $250 on buildings less than 3000 sq ft. Compared to several other options that cost up to $500, Green Attic offers you expert and affordable services.
Green Attic Chicago Home Energy Contractor
If you’re in Illinois and would like a comprehensive energy audit on your building, you should contact Green Attic. The company has a broad range of experience in ensuring that your building stays energy efficient and provides you with the best comfort.
Cut back on your heating bill by up to 50% when you schedule a Green Attic blower door test today.