A: It takes about 15 minutes to set up the blower door, and about 5 minutes to run a simple blower door test. So you can see that driving back and forth to the house will generally take much longer than the actual test. It takes only seconds to bring up the pressure in the house. Most tests take longer because the tester generally explains the test to the occupant. (It takes a LOT longer if the occupant is an engineer!) And after the test, you can spend a lot of time investigating just where the leaks are in the house.
Q: Can a blower door test damage a house?
A: It is very unlikely that the pressures from a blower door test will damage a house. The typical test pressure is about 50 Pascals in metric pressure units, or 0.20 inches of water in US units. This is the pressure you feel when you are under a swimming pool by only 0.20 inches. It is the same pressure you feel when a 20 mile per hour wind is blowing in your face. So you can compare a blower door test to having a 20 mph wind blowing on all sides of the building. If the building is fragile enough to be damaged by this pressure it would already have been damaged by the last high wind. The most common type of damage caused by blower door tests is pulling ashes out of a fireplace or stove. ALWAYS check to see if ashes are present before a test, and place a weighted newspaper over them if they are present. In the winter it is VERY IMPORTANT turn off any combustion fired furnaces or fireplaces during the test. It is very rare to have the blower door tests blow out pilot lights in furnaces or water heaters so we do not generally worry about them.
Q: What is the difference between Infiltec blower door models?
A: There are 4 Infiltec models:
All have a 6000+ cfm variable speed fan, but differ in the door frame that is used to seal the fan into an exterior door jamb, and in the gauges that display house pressure and air flow.
E-3A-MAG: Aluminum door frame, Magnahelic analog dial gauges, manual gauge zero
(most popular model, easiest and quickest to set up, case for door, 5% accuracy, Magnahelic gauges are not as easy to read as digital gauges)
E3-A-DM3: Aluminum door frame, DM3 digital gauge with single switchable sensor, auto gauge zero
(more accurate (3%) and easy to read digital gauge, digital gauge can be used as a hand-held micromanometer, manually switchable between reading house pressure and fan flow, all data can be read and saved by an optional Windows program.)
E3-A-DM4: Aluminum door frame, DM4 dual sensor digital micromanometer with auto-zero
(more accurate (3%) and easy to read digital gauge, digital gauge can be used as a hand-held micromanometer, simultaneously reading and display of house pressure and fan flow, all data can be read and saved by an optional Windows program.)
Q: What are some of the applications of blower doors?
A: Here are some of the many uses that we know about:
Do you know other applications? Let us know and we will add to this list.
Your question could go here! Email the Infiltec blower door guru today.
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