Message Board Thread - "Blower Doors"

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Blower Doors trinity 1/22/2007
I am just wanting to discuss with someone on purchasing a blower door system. I've seen different systems out there for sale and wanted to ask the opinions of this blog as to what I should get before I spend my money. I am wanting to do residential inspections. Are blower doors hard to use? Do I need a course on this or are they pretty self-explanatory.Any info would be greatly appreciated.My e-mail if anyone wants to talk directly is:
dwainemacdonald@eastlink.ca
 
Re:Blower Doors fspevak 1/22/2007
In general Blower Doors are not hard to use. A system consists of a calibrated fan, door frame and panel to close off the doorway, hoses and a calibrated gauge for measuring building pressure and fan flow. The fan is placed into a hole in the door panel. A hose is placed outside, away from the fan and connected to the pressure gauge to monitor the house pressure. The fan speed is increased until the house is at 50 Pascals or .2 inches of water column. The gauge then measures the pressure going across the fan. Than pressure value is then converted to cubic feet per minute. The resulting value is xx CFM 50, so many cfm of air at 50 Pascals.

The hard part is then determining what that number level means in relation to size of house, complexity of construction, age, HVAC system, etc. Learning how a house works and how air leakage paths are connected can be tricky. A Blower Door in combination with an infrared camera can help to identify the leakage paths more easily to then start air sealing the house. A caution is that if the house is too tight it can cause other problems related to natural draft combustion appliances. Training is highly recommended in building science as it helps you understand the dymanics of the building and how to solve problems.

Frank Spevak
The Energy Conservatory
www.energyconservatory.com
 
Re:Blower Doors trinity 1/22/2007
Thank you Frank, can you tell the customer how much money they are losing so they can determine if it is worth their while to replace the problem area, ex. faulty windows etc?
 
Re:Blower Doors miller0723 1/22/2007
trinity wrote:
st wanting to discuss with someone on purchasing a blower door system. I've seen different systems out there for sale and wanted to ask the opinions of this blog as to what I should get before I spend my money. I am wanting to do residential inspections. Are blower doors hard to use? Do I need a course on this or are they pretty self-explanatory.Any info would be greatly appreciated.My e-mail if anyone wants to talk directly is:
dwainemacdonald@eastlink.ca
the minneapolis blower door is a great system, talk to frank from the energy conservatory and he can sell you one. i trained on the system and it was a well put together system that was easy enough to use. however the system alone will not do very much unless you know how to read it. this is pretty indepth and requires understanding of "the whole house as a system" the BD is great at measuring air leaks but the house as a system requires that you know much more. in order to save people money you will have to know alot about the house like insulation levels with the installed grade, air leaks, how efficent is the water heater, heating unit and ac unit, lights and other appliances and also the leakage of air ducts. you will have to know all of the u-factors of walls (u-factor and u-avg. alongwith the fraiming factor which is the decimal point figure of how much wood verses cavity is in the wall ceilings and floors), doors (u-factor), windows (which take into account the direction they are facing, the solar heat gain coeffient, the visible light transmittance , air leakage of the window itself with the u factor and is there any shading factors like trees or awnings that cover the window) ceiling (u-factor and u-avg) and floors (u-factor and u-avg.), air barier properties, heating and cooling loads for right sizing of the hvac unit along with the heat flow through walls floors and ceilings along with finding and defining the thermal boundary and it even gets more indepth, but the thermal camera along with the blower door and the duct blaster and the key here is the software will allow you to save poeple some money. that will help you figure out the above information
if you want to talk to me about all of this you can email me at thermalconcepts1@bellsouth.net
william miller
 
Re:Blower Doors Pat_R 4/12/2007
I have been considering buying a blower door system that had a manual gauge as opposed to automatic. Am I right in thinking sticking with the manual isnt a big inconvenience? By the way, residential energy auditing is the use it will be put to.
 
Re:Blower Doors miller0723 5/3/2007
Pat_R wrote:
been considering buying a blower door system that had a manual gauge as opposed to automatic. Am I right in thinking sticking with the manual isnt a big inconvenience? By the way, residential energy auditing is the use it will be put to.
I think the digital gauges might be alittle more accurate. I trained on the digital and maybe i'm partial. I think the digital "looks better" to the customer than the manual but both do a great job. I do know that the digital has more options like doing an average for a few seconds and i liked that about it. I think this makes it a bit easier to use also. Bottom line, what ever floats your boat.
www.thermalconcepts.net
 


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