Blower Door Test
Otherwise known as an air leakage test, a blower door test is required for new houses in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The One and Two Family Dwelling Code states as follows: The building or dwelling unit shall be tested and testing shall be conducted with a blower door at a pressure of 50 pascals. Testing shall be conducted by an approved third party, where required by the building official. A written report of the results of the test shall be signed by the party conducting the test and provided to the building official.
The reason for a test in this situation is to determine air changes per hour (ACH) under normal conditions. In other words how many times per hour all the air in a dwelling changes under natural conditions due to leakage. An ideal target would be five or less air changes per hour. The national code requires a result of five air changes or less per hour. At present no enforcement is taking place for blower testing that results in an ACH above five. Meaning there is no pass or fail. Looking forward we expect the national standard of five ACH to be adopted and enforced by most states.
In addition to the blower door test many municipalities may also require Duct Leakage Testing. This latter test is required when ductwork is installed outside the thermal envelope.
When should a Blower Door Test be Conducted
For best test results wait until the new home is complete. Just before the closing would be ideal. For example if you wait until the carpeting and other flooring is installed there will be less air leakage from the subfloor and wall cavities.
Blower Door Test Cost
Expect the cost of a blower door test to be between $225 and $350 depending on the size of the dwelling.
In our next blog we will discuss another recent code requirement for new homes, “Duct Leakage Testing”.
Contact us today at www.energygeeksinc.com or give us a call at 401-766-1540.
Our trained technicians can usually meet your requirements for a blower door test within twenty four hours.