A light breeze in the summer always seems to distract us from the heat and humidity, but an unwanted breeze in your home actually increases both of these summer discomforts. Air sealing prevents unwanted air from creeping into your home and changing your home’s temperature.
In the summer, a sealed home holds the comfortable cool air in while preventing outside air from intruding. When you heat your home in the winter, air sealing keeps the warm air inside your home. To test for the amount of leakage in your home, we use a machine called a blower door. Although homes of all sizes require air sealing, the size of the house is actually not what matters; it is the size of the hole in the house.
The size of the “hole,” or amount of air leakage, does not relate to the overall size of your home. A smaller home could require more sealing than a larger one, and vice versa. The blower door pressurizes your home to pinpoint these areas that need to be sealed. The blower door is placed in an entryway that connects your home to the outside, and when it is turned on it drags air out of trouble spots. Many people think that the bigger the home, the more sealing, but the blower door proves that this is just a myth.
The amount of leakage in a home scales with the entire area of the building, not just floor space. Every home has a different amount of leakage per square foot of the total area, so we cannot expect an increase in leakage with increased area. Instead, each home must be measured separately for its air sealing needs. Blower door testing on a home-to-home basis means that each home will receive specific attention to its own needs for sealing.
To calculate how much air sealing a home will need, we need to know both the size of the house and the infiltration rate. With these numbers, we know how many blower door fans will be needed to effectively test the home. For example, a very small house might be really leaky and require more than one blower door fan for it to reach the required pressure difference for the test. On the other hand, a big house could be fairly airtight already and only require a small blower door to reach the desired pressure difference.
Because each home varies in total area, amount of infiltration, and need for pressurization, the blower door test is an effective way to diagnose each individual home. When we perform this test, we know that it will find areas that need sealing that are specific to each home. This ensures that your home receives the special care it requires to seal it off from intruding outside air. Your home will be different from your neighbor’s, which guarantees that, like each home, air-sealing services are unique to each client.