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Central Electric Home Energy Audit

Blower Door & Infrared Camera Testing

Central Electric's home energy auditor uses blower door tests to help  homeowners find areas of their homes tha tleak conditioned air to areas outside the building envelope.

Reasons for having a blower door test completed include reducing energy consumption due to air leakage, avoiding moisture condensation problems, and/or avoiding uncomfortable drafts caused by cold air leaking in from the outdoors.

A blower door is a powerful fan that mounts into the frame of an exterior door. The fan pulls air out of the house, lowering the air pressure inside. Outside air then flows in through all unsealed cracks and openings. An infrared camera is then used to detect areas which turn cold from the outside air. These cold areas indicate low or poor insulation and air leaks.

Blower doors consist of a frame and flexible panel that fit in a doorway, a variable-speed fan, a pressure gauge to measure the pressure differences inside and outside the home, and an airflow manometer and hoses for measuring airflow. Blower doors, like the unit used to locate air leaks in homes.

A completed report with photos is provided to the homeowner with recommendations for making the home more energy efficient. The cost to have a blower door test completed by Central Electric is $250. Ask about rebates and incentive that are available to Central Electric members. Central Electric provides these services within the SD counties of Aurora, Brule, Buffalo, Davison, Hanson, Jerauld, Miner and Sanborn.

Take the following steps to prepare your home for a blower door test:

1. If you heat with wood, be sure all fires are completely out - not even coals burning - before the auditor arrives. Wood burning stoves or fireplaces should not be used for 24 hours prior to testing. Remove any ahses from open fireplaces.

2. Plan to do a walk-through of your home with the auditor. Be prepared to point out areas that you know are drafty or difficult to condition comfortably.

3. Expect the auditor to request access to all areas of your home including closets, built-in cabinets, attics, crawl spaces, and any unused rooms.

4. The auditor will need to close all exterior doors and windows, open all interior doors, and close any fireplace dampers, doors, and woodstove air inlets.

5. Expect the auditor to set controls on all atmospheric fossil fuel appliances (gas fired appliances, fireplace, etc.) to ensure that they do not fire during the test. The auditor should return them to the original position after the test.

6. Expect the test to take up to two hours or more, depending ont he complexity of your home.

 

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