If your home develops air leaks, your HVAC system's efficiency will drop, your indoor comfort level will plummet and your monthly heating or cooling bills will increase with no corresponding benefit. If you have hard-to-find air leaks in your home, an infiltrometer test is probably the best technique for locating them.
An infiltrometer test, more commonly called a blower door test, is used to test your home's airtightness and find gaps, cracks and openings where conditioned air escapes and unwanted drafts come in.
The test shows you where you need to focus caulking and sealing efforts to prevent problems such as:
- Moisture buildup and condensation that can damage your home and encourage mold growth and insect populations
- Waste of money and energy generating heated or cooled air you don't use
- Decreases in indoor air quality and increases in the amount of particulates and other contaminants in the air
- Cold, uncomfortable drafts in winter
During an energy audit, the auditor will conduct the infiltrometer test by temporarily installing a large, strong fan in the frame of your front door or another door that leads outside. When the fan is turned on, it creates a powerful draft that pulls air out of your home and decreases indoor pressure, causing air to enter your home through both visible or hidden openings. Sophisticated measuring instruments and the attached computer calculate the amount of air entering your house. With this information, the auditor can determine if more air than expected is coming in. The auditor can also use a "smoke pencil," a device that produces a stream of smoke that will be affected by drafts, to locate air leaks. For added diagnostic ability, an infrared camera can be sued to show other, less apparent leaks and weaknesses in insulation as well. When you know where the leaks are, you can seal them yourself or have them sealed by an HVAC professional.
Every day, P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling applies its 75 years of industry experience to making sure its HVAC sales, maintenance and repair customers in the Greater Cleveland area get the best service possible. Contact us today for more information on improving your home's seal and for additional details on how an infiltrometer test can help you locate costly home air leaks.
Paul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.