The 2015 Energy Conservation Code requires that some residential occupancies pass a Blower Door Test within each unit. A final inspection cannot be passed without a Blower Door Test demonstrating compliance. This article covers everything you need to know about Blower Door Tests to ensure there are no delays in passing your final inspection.
What is a Blower Door Test?
A Blower Door Test is used to help determine the airtightness of a building. The test is performed once the sheetrock has been installed.
Why is airtightness in a building important?
Proper building airtightness helps to ensure:
- Reduced energy consumption due to air leakage
- Reduced risk for problems caused by moisture condensation
- Reduction of drafts caused by cold air leaking outdoors
- Necessary mechanical ventilation to provide acceptable indoor air quality
How Does the Blower Door Test Work?
The blower door test uses a powerful fan mounted into the frame of an exterior door. The fan then pulls air out of the building or residence, reducing inside air pressure. The outside air, which is at a higher pressure, then flows in through unsealed cracks and openings. The test determines the air infiltration rate of a building.
Essentially, the blower door test depressurizes the residence to identify air leaks.
How common are air leaks?
Surprisingly, the average home has enough air leakage to add up to a two-foot square hole; the equivalent of leaving an average-sized window open all day, every day.
What are the Blower Door Test Requirements in Texas?
Regulations state that the building should not have an air leakage rating which exceeds:
- Five air changes per hour in Climate Zones 3 and 4 (Houston, Austin and San Antonio)
- More stringent three air changes per hour in Climate Zone 2 (Dallas and Fort Worth)
How can Garland Insulating Help?
Garland Insulating is proud to collaborate with several inspectors to ensure that our insulation process provides the airtightness required to pass the Blow Door Tests. Our open communication with inspectors has produced results. Our multi-family insulation team has passed every blower door test since the new 2015 code was adopted. Garland Insulating is eager to provide consultations regarding this crucial process. Please feel free to reach out to us anytime! You can also get more information regarding the Blower Door Test here!