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Old 09-24-10, 12:19 PM   #1
AC_Hacker
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Default Blower Door Testing...

I was looking over a copy of Fine Homebuilding Magazine, and checked out their website and found this video of Blower Door Testing.


SVOboy found a technique that is a good approach and it's free.

However, except for all the digital meters, something like this blower door would not be so hard to make. I can see that it would really show up house leaks like nothing else.

-AC_Hacker

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Old 09-24-10, 12:23 PM   #2
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Thats actually my article. When posted to the blog on the main page a summary gets automatically posted by a program we have running on the site, it uses SVOboy's user to do this.

Anyway, the DIY test works very well. I found the wet hand method works a TON better than the smoke method. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to find leaks in their house.

The results of my test can be found here: DIY Home Pressure Test Results | EcoRenovator.org
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Old 09-25-10, 01:04 PM   #3
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I had a blower door test done on my house, we found that altho you did not feel any drafts around any of the windows that alot of cold air was getting in to the joist spaces, a space that you would never feel a draft, it would then come up between the cracks in the floor and around outlets in inside walls, but when we had the test done they had the digital inferred camera and you could see the cold air streaming in to the ceiling joist spaces but all the places you would expect to feel a draft were tight.
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Old 09-26-10, 02:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
...when we had the test done they had the digital inferred camera and you could see the cold air streaming in to the ceiling joist spaces but all the places you would expect to feel a draft were tight.
Now that would be an incredibly useful tool to have.

I thought I could hack an existing camera to work as an Infra-Red camera, there are plenty of links on the web telling you how to do it, but it turns out that the camera you mentioned is really is a Thermal Imaging camera, and the spectrum is lower than Infra-Red.

I saw a great film recently called "The Cove", and some military grade thermal imaging cameras are used and it's pretty impressive.

Since 50% of all engineers in the USA are hired directly or indirectly to work on military projects, perhaps there will be a technology tinkle-down and the public will have access to that also.

Video of a thermal imaging camera used for home energy audits:



It would make tightening up a house so much easier.

Here is a $5000 Flir Thermal Camera at work in conjunction with a blower door:



Perhaps state departments of energy would buy these things and rent them out to citizens??

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-AC_Hacker

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Old 09-26-10, 12:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC_Hacker View Post
Perhaps state departments of energy would buy these things and rent them out to citizens??
One of the big complaints of the people who do energy audits/blower door tests for a living is that a large number of home owners that hire them wander off to watch TV instead of walking around their house so they can get a first hand look at how their house performs.
I'm not sure how much you would have to rent out the camera and blower door for but for $45 we had someone show up with the whole blower door set up, the camera and a handful of other tools, then they gave us a 15 page printed report complete with photos of problem areas of our house, they will then do a follow up test, normally they charge $300 for all of this and $300 is still a great deal for what they do as I wouldn't have thought to check as much as they checked.
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Old 09-26-10, 01:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
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...for $45 we had someone show up with the whole blower door set up, the camera and a handful of other tools, then they gave us a 15 page printed report complete with photos of problem areas of our house...
Sure sounds like appropriate technology to me.

So where do you live that such a program was possible? And was this an entirely private venture, or a government subsidized private program, or a government program?

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Old 09-26-10, 02:11 PM   #7
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Default Check with your utility

Quote:
Originally Posted by AC_Hacker View Post
So where do you live that such a program was possible? And was this an entirely private venture, or a government subsidized private program, or a government program?
The TVA sponsors a program with utility providers for a comprehensive audit. The homeowner pays $500 for the audit but then gets a credit up to $500 for repairs or more energy efficient equipment. Of course, this is only helpful if your power comes from the TVA.

Check with your utility provider to see if they offer energy audits or can direct you to someone who will do an audit. If they don't have a subsidized program, suggest that they offer one. Utilities benefit by not having to build new, capital-intensive power plants to provide for peak demand.

I have been meaning to get my house audited for over a year now, but school and now work have made it difficult to find the time. I am going to have to take off one day this winter to get the inspection. Time, it seems, is never on my side.


Last edited by Daox; 09-27-10 at 07:15 AM..
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