Blower door test on house... worth it?


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Old 09-30-08, 12:02 PM
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Blower door test on house... worth it?

I'm supposed to have one done Thursday. For 400 bucks they will do the test plus give me a report on what they recommend be sealed up

Then they will give me an estimate for what it would cost to do it but of course i can do easy stuff like caulk/insulate etc.

I was talking with someone about this and they said this may not be a good time of year to do it since the temp in the attic and outside is about the same as inside. Does this matter?

and what should i expect on the report? Things like X amount of air loss etc?
 
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Old 09-30-08, 02:24 PM
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Time of year does not matter! If you were doing thermal imaging I would say Waite. Yes should get how much air flow is leaking.
 
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Old 09-30-08, 04:12 PM
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Check with your local utlity company, they may do it for cheap.

I know our local electric company does it for $60. I am going to give them a call next week or so.
 
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Old 09-30-08, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay11J View Post
Check with your local utlity company, they may do it for cheap.

I know our local electric company does it for $60. I am going to give them a call next week or so.
utility wouldnt give me even a recommendation..unless i was low income

this guy isnt doing thermal imaging...
 
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Old 10-01-08, 01:28 PM
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My thinking is thermal imaging will tell you more, such as poorly insulated spaces that don't leak.
 
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Old 10-02-08, 06:32 AM
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yea i do wish this guy included it/had it. He did mention something about a blank and white one but didnt say he'd be using it.
 
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Old 10-02-08, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by luckydriver View Post
yea i do wish this guy included it/had it. He did mention something about a blank and white one but didnt say he'd be using it.
Its sounds like you are locked in, so just go with it. Once this is done go ahead an make the improvements and then have someone come in with an IR imager and check your work.

I had one done last spring and found a number of spots in the ceiling, walls and floors that need some insulation. Of course it also caught many unsealed drafts.
 
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Old 10-02-08, 08:20 AM
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well i guess it wouldnt hurt to make one hole in the wall and check out of i need insulated too. I guess i can do the foam stuff myself. If i decide to do that i'll have to research more on this board how best to do that. I remember when i was a kid my dad had 'bullet holes' all over the house top and bottom of each wall and about 10000 cans of foam from kmart lol..but it stopped his mold problem
 
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Old 10-06-08, 09:10 AM
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Had the test done but no reports in hand yet. I asked a lot of questions and it took 2.5 hours total. By luck i did get one of the guys that my local utility uses for low income jobs. And this guy says he's been doing this 20 years and his experience did show

My biggest problem is under most windowsills (which i never would have figured), there's a gap between the woodwork and the wall. Lotta air thru there in most every room. Imagine that on my 13 foot living room window..whooosh!

Also around the woodwork for my doors, same problem. The doors themselves arent really that bad but they havent shrunk from the summer yet or would have been. You can see light thru the crack sometimes.

The attic originally had r11 throughout. But the exposed parts had an additional r19 put in. But the part that has the floor, about 1/2 the attic, is still R11. He suggested pulling up every Nth board and blowing in insulation. This is about 800-900 Sq ft of just R11 and id imagine adding the r19 would really help me there.

I have all thru the wall AC units so expected some loss there. On my 2 new units you can see daylight inside them. But one i have a custom cover for and put an outdoor table cloth against the wall and that seemed to not leak very much. But the kitchen one with just a cheapo AC cover was really leaky. He recommended every winter just build a styrofoam 'box' inside the house to keep all the cold out from the AC.

He didnt have thermal imaging but i could feel every single outlet/lightswitch had a ton of cold air coming in. Must be from my attic or from my crawlspace. So i have to get insulating covers for all them and then maybe try to figure out if it's cold from above or below causing the issue. But i dont really think this problem can be resolved in of itself. Hopefully just insulating the attic would help. He did not recommend insulating interior walls. He said the payback would be terrible and a lot of destruction with all the holes. He said with my plaster walls I likely had little to no space to even insulate my exterior walls. But of course no one knows without seeing inside there.

He also said dont do a thing until i resolve my mold issue because it would be worse if i tightened up the house. As a temporary, if poor, fix i did put a sump in the crawlspace and i can activate it remotely from my living room after rains. this should help a decent amount since all the water pools under my living room.

the good news is whoever finished off half my attic for a 360 sq ft bedroom did a great job. hardly any leaks at all there.

Ill post back when i get the official reports. They are supposed to have payback figures on them. And i'm getting a new boiler regardless since my current one is old and way oversized (237K when i only need 110-150K depending on who you ask)
 
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Old 11-28-08, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by luckydriver View Post
Ill post back when i get the official reports. They are supposed to have payback figures on them. And i'm getting a new boiler regardless since my current one is old and way oversized (237K when i only need 110-150K depending on who you ask)
Don't get a new boiler Consider other energy saving alternatives please.
david
 
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Old 11-30-08, 12:00 AM
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Blower door tests only measure air infltration into your conditioned space. Thermal imaging won't measure air infltration but R(insulation) properties of your structure. If you have alot of air coming in you can seal it. (Expandable foam and outlet and switch foam insulators. Reducing air infltration into your home (drafts), older systems where designed to have a certain amount of infltration because that is where they got combustion air from. If you make you house real tight you will need a make up air system to provide enough air to the furnace for combustion. (That is why is some homes you will see a high and low vent or duct in the furnace room that opens directly to the outside)
 
 

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