We use Infra red thermal imaging and Blower Doors to pinpoint where the leaks and weak areas are, letting both heat and A/C out into the outside. Reducing the amount of air that leaks in and out of your home or commercial building is a cost-effective way to cut heating and cooling costs, improve durability, increase comfort, and create a healthier indoor environment.
From The Department of Energy here are some Tips for Sealing Air Leaks:
- Test your home or business for air tightness.
- Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air.
- Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring comes through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets.
- Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
- Inspect dirty spots in your insulation for air leaks and mold. Seal leaks with low-expansion spray foam made for this purpose and install house flashing if needed.
- Look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet, which may indicate air leaks at interior wall/ceiling joints and wall/floor joists, and caulk them.
- Cover single-pane windows with storm windows or replace them with more efficient double-pane low- emissivity windows. See theWindows section for more information.
- Use foam sealant on larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where air may leak out.
- Cover your kitchen exhaust fan to stop air leaks when not in use.
- Check your dryer vent to be sure it is not blocked. This will save energy and may prevent a fire.
- Replace door bottoms and thresholds with ones that have pliable sealing gaskets.
- Keep the fireplace flue damper tightly closed when not in use.
- Seal air leaks around fireplace chimneys, furnaces, and gas-fired water heater vents with fire-resistant materials such as sheet metal or sheetrock and furnace cement caulk.
Blower Door Testing
The Blower Door Test is a very useful tool that we use to determine how “leaky” your house is and to pinpoint where the leaks are coming from. These leaks can have a powerful impact on your comfort, expense, and air quality. By using a blower door, we get instant feedback to determine what needs to be done to your house.
The Blower Door is an aluminum frame that adjusts to the inside of a door opening. A “nylon door” is wrapped around the frame and inserted into the door opening. The Blower Door was invented during the 1970s energy crisis and weighed about 200 pounds. It took a van to transport the Blower Door and about an hour to set it up. Today, it takes about ten minutes to set up, weighs about 50 pounds, and can fit inside the trunk of a car.
As you can see in the picture, the white circle is a powerful fan that we insert into the nylon door. This fan is attached to pressure gauges. When the fan is turned on, it pulls air from outside air into your house, through the leaks you have. This is called depressurization. The pressure gauges measure the amount of air flow required to maintain your house at a certain pressure, usually CFM 50. CFMs is the air flow, in cubic feet per minute. At CFM 50, we record the measurement. This is our pre-test figure.
Because the outside air is being pulled into your house, we can walk around your house and feel where the air is coming from. For smaller leaks, we can use a smoke pencil. This pencil emits a puff of nonhazardous smoke and shows us if an area is leaking or not. The smoke is then pulled outside by the blower door fan.
After we seal the leaks and insulate your house, we do a post-blower door test. We can recheck the areas that we found to be leaking. Because these leaks are now sealed, it is possible to find more leaks because your house got “tighter.” Your post-test reading determines if it is cost effective for us to continue sealing your home.