How well your house heats or cools, what your indoor air quality is like, and how much energy your furnace or air conditioner use are affected by much more than just the “boxes” themselves. It makes sense to say that when we are evaluating a system, we also have to look at the duct work that brings the air from the furnace to your home, but going beyond that, we also have to look at the home itself to see what is actually happening.
Common problems people face within their homes are high utility bills, excessive dust, allergies, and uncomfortable or uneven temperatures. These can be caused not only by leaky duct work but also by a leaky home—and we don’t just mean your windows. People often have upgraded their windows to help with energy consumption, and while that helps, it only accounts for 20% of the leaks in an average home. There are other places that leaks can and do occur that can be even more damaging, such as recessed can lights, power outlets, large gaps behind and under walls, around cabinets, penetrations, and plumbing stacks. Unfortunately, these can be difficult to find unless you have the right tools.
Home Performance Testing is designed to find those leaks. A blower door is set up inside the door of your home, which uses its fan to create a negative pressure within your home. Because of that negative pressure, air is sucked into the home through any cracks, and the person performing the testing can use a smoke puffer to find the leaks. After documenting the sources, he will be able to give you a list of prioritized recommendations of home improvements, if there are any. Some can be done by you as a weekend project, but others require a skilled technician to perform. Either way, you will have powerful information about your home that will help you make decisions about it in the future.