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Video Series: A Home-Energy Audit


Blower-door-directed air sealing in an existing home


Although many homeowners assume that the most significant air leaks in their home are around windows and doors, hidden leaks in a basement or top-floor ceiling are usually more significant. To find these hidden leaks, air-sealing contractors use a blower door. To find out whether his own house was leaky, GBA managing editor Dan Morrison invited John Jennings, an energy consultant from Steven Winter Associates, to bring a blower door to Dan’s Cape Cod house. Once the blower door was installed and operating, technicians checked for air leaks in every room of the house.

One Comment

  1. user-593033 | | #1

    Energy Audits
    A complete Energy Audit should have three parts to it. The first part is the actual inspection and testing of the home. This should include but is not neccessarily limited to Combustion gas testing to determine not only the efficiency of the equipment but to detect potential safety concerns (such as carbon monoxide), A Blower door to determine the volume of leakage and location of leakeage using zonal pressure testing, A duct blaster if there is a forced air distribution system for heating or air conditioning to determine both total duct leakage and leakage to outside of conditioned space, A visual inspection of all systems within the house, temperature and humidity levels recorded, and if available a complete thermal scan both prior to the blower door and after the blower door has been running for at least twenty minutes. The second phase of the audit is to perform computer modeling work. The homes dimensions, type of equipment, the levels of insulation, the air infiltration rate, the ventilation rate if equiped with mechanical ventilation will cause the software to run a series of scenarios of the currant state of the home and how it is performing compared to the energy standards of today. The computer model can be checked to the utility bills of the homeowners to verify the accuracy of the model. The software can also run a number of improvement analyses of the home where it actually looks at specific improvements and the effect that they would have on energy consumption. The third phase of the audit is the education of the homeowner, sitting down and discussing the report that was generated after the first two phases of the audit to explain concepts and answer question. Anything less than this is just an ennergy consultation and not a complete diagnostic energy audit.

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