So you are thinking you want to save on your energy bills and you keep hearing about energy audits and blower door tests. But what are they and how can they help you save? Blower door tests are a diagnostic tool used to measure the airtightness of your home. When your home is not tight, it uses far more energy to keep it warm or cool and this not only raises your utility bills, but it also shortens the lifespan of your cooling and/or heating system(s).
How It Works:
The blower door is actually a high caliber fan that is placed in your doorway and sealed with an adjustable door frame. It gauges and measures the airflow and house pressure created by the fan. During a normal test, the fan blows air out of the house creating a pressure difference between the inside and outside of the house. The difference will force the outside air into the house through holes and cracks which shows the penetration in the home’s envelope.
Why You Need One:
If you’re noticing your utility bills are going up or a room or two in your home always seem drafty or a little uncomfortable you might want to look into getting an energy audit. An experienced auditor can locate the problem and give you recommendations for corrective measures. Our HEAT Squad energy auditors can perform a low-cost comprehensive whole-home energy audit and coordinate any energy projects you may want to consider. They’ll even recommend tried-and-true local contractors to do any work.
Did you know that around 20-30% of the home’s energy usage is lost because of air leaks? Leaks can cause rooms in a home to become uncomfortable to be in and hard to maintain, temperature-wise. Getting air leaks sealed will save you a lot of money in the long-run and make your home more comfortable. The most common places that leaks occur in your home are in the attic, baseboards, joists, wall cavities, and in the plumbing holes.
For a typical home the cost of our HEAT Squad comprehensive energy audit will be around $150 – far less than many energy audit companies. Many of our customers see an annual savings of approximately $900 after an energy audit and energy modifications such as sealing cracks and adding insulation.
Preparing For Your Test:
If you heat your home with wood make sure the fire is completely out, coals included, and if you have an open fireplace be sure that all ashes are gone before the auditor gets there. Plan for a walkthrough of the home and point out any areas of concern or drafty areas. Expect the auditor to change the settings of fossil-fueled appliances. And, be ready for the test to take an hour or more depending on how complex or large your home is.
Having air leaks in your home is not ideal. Getting an energy audit and a blower door test could help you to make your home more comfortable and save you money. To schedule an energy audit with our HEAT Squad team, call 802-438-2303 or visit www.heatsquad.org for more information.