Blower door tests are instrumental in determining leakage points in a home. Professionals and homeowners use the results of these tests to fix issues that prevent rot or other damage, reduce drafts in your home, and ultimately save money.
The equipment used in doing a blower door test is critical. The kit usually includes a fan, a temporary seal for the doorway, and a pressure monitor. These pieces work together to seal the opening and measure the pressure over time within the airtight room.
Purchasing blower door equipment can run several thousand dollars; however, it is possible to rent the equipment or have a professional do the testing for much cheaper. It can be challenging to find the equipment to rent, but you can probably find some by digging into your specific local used marketplaces.
This article will dive into breaking down the equipment used in blower door tests and determine if renting it is a viable option for you.
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Blower Door Test Equipment
There are four main pieces of equipment used in a blower door test, and they all have an essential function. Professionals can also use some additional tools to get even more detailed data from the blower door test.
The fan itself that is used to create the temporary seal is called a blower door. This device sucks air from the room into the main structure, creating a negative pressure that forces air through the leaks or weak points within the chosen space.
These fans are extremely powerful. They can pull air from even the most minor cracks or holes.
The temporary seal is placed around the door frame and has the blower door set in it, which is usually a form of plastic or very dense cloth that will prevent any unwanted air from escaping the room.
The blower door needs to create a negative pressure within the space, so a seal over the rest of the entry is key to a successful blower door test. The temporary seal is placed over the door using a frame, usually aluminum or other light metal.
The pressure monitor is placed on the door’s exterior and measures the amount of air going through the fan. Once the fan depressurizes the room, any additional airflow through the fan comes from cracks or holes.
The pressure monitor reads and records any of this airflow which is key to determining how much unwanted air is moving through the room at any given time.
Knowing the speed of the leaks is one of the most critical pieces of information that can help you start making your home more efficient.
Analysts who conduct blower door tests professionally typically have an infrared camera, which allows them to see through the walls per se. As a result, it can identify and help speed up pinpointing the locations where the air is leaking or insulation is missing in your home.
Can Blower Door Test Equipment be Rented?
It is tempting for many construction-savvy individuals to want to do the blower door test themselves; however, just the equipment can cost thousands of dollars. Additionally, even if you are knowledgeable in blower door tests, it can be a problem if you don’t have the equipment.
Now comes the question of: can blower door test equipment be rented? There is a short and a long answer to this question.
The short answer is, yes, blower door test equipment can be rented. Renting equipment is significantly cheaper than purchasing the equipment. The long answer is that you may want to hire a professional anyway.
Very few places rent blower door equipment, and finding a suitable rental is extremely specific to where you live. Not many major tool rental providers (Home Depot, for example) have blower door equipment rental. Most of the equipment rentals are smaller companies that were location-dependent.
Additionally, the rental for blower door kits runs over $100 per day. Unless you are very efficient at conducting blower door tests, the costs could add up quickly.
A professional can do a blower door test in about an hour once everything is set up and should cost a maximum of $500, with an average cost between $200 and $450.
Additionally, there are a lot of energy companies that will give discounts to increase the energy efficiency of homes.
Blower door rental equipment does not typically come with some useful items a professional would have, like an infrared camera, which is a unique tool that helps professionals identify air leakage points or areas with low insulation quickly and efficiently.
Blower door tests are an essential part of home renovations or investigating inefficiencies in a home. They have a lot of benefits and can reduce energy costs, drafts, mold or moisture issues, and pest problems long term.
Knowing the equipment used is an essential step in understanding what goes into a blower door test and can help you decide whether to do it yourself or hire a professional.
The three main pieces of equipment used for a blower door test are a high-powered fan, a temporary seal for the door, and a pressure gauge. Professionals usually also have the fourth piece of technology, an infrared camera, to help with the accuracy and efficiency of the test.
While you can rent the equipment, hiring a licensed professional can be more time-consuming and cost-efficient. Equipment is typically rented by the hour and can cost more than hiring a professional might.