Blower door testing with IR thermometer or smoke stick

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Blower door testing with IR thermometer or smoke stick

Can I rely on using only an IR camera during a blower door test to find air leaks in the building envelope of a very tight new construction home?

We will be conduction our first of planned 2 or 3 blower door tests to achieve the Passive House standard of 0.6 ACH@50 in southern Maine. This first test will be done with the building envelop completed, windows and doors installed, air sealed all gaps, but before plumbing, electrical, insulation etc trades begin work.

Blower door testers I have spoken to in the area use one or more detection tools: IR thermometers, IR cameras, and smoke sticks. Others use only the IR camera. Is one tool better than the other? If we use only the IR camera, do we have to heat the interior with a propane/kerosene space heater to raise the interior temp sufficiently to spot the air leaks. I have personally done nearly all the air sealing as construction has progressed, so I don't expect to find any large or medium holes, but more likely just smaller holes.

Asked by Roger Normand
Posted Fri, 01/25/2013 - 23:23