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What is a Blower Door Test (air leakage test)?

A technician performing a blower door test in Warwick, RI
A technician performing a blower door test in Warwick, RI

A blower door is a machine used to measure the air tightness of a home. It is a large fan mounted on an adjustable metal frame. Collapsible red fabric makes the entire opening air tight. The frame is installed in an exterior door jamb.

When turned on, the machine literally sucks air from the inside of the home and pushes it to the outside. This forces makeup air to rush in (by creating a vacuum) through cracks and holes around windows, doors, plumbing chases, virtually anywhere in the building envelope that is not properly sealed. This makes pinpointing drafts a breeze. Depending on the location our technicians then apply the correct remedy.

By following similar steps a blower door can also be used in conjunction with a duct blaster (similar to a blower door) to test the airtightness of ductwork in a forced-air heating and cooling system. Leaky ductwork is common and our technicians can patch duct leaks with fiberglass and mastic.

The process of finding and fixing drafts with the help of a blower door is called air sealing. Blower door test (air leakage test) results are then used to develop an action plan to further increase energy efficiency. Suggested measures may include air sealing, and adding insulation and or ventilation.

Interested in a Blower Door Test?

We’ll be happy to perform a blower door test on your new or existing home to identify any leaks that can be sealed.

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