US Renewable & Efficient Energy
Todd Menzies, Owner
6740 Brittany Place
Pinson, AL 35126
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Left: Todd performs a blower door test on a home in Huntsville.
A blower door test can be used independently to detect leaks in the building envelope (the roof, the attic, the walls, the floors, and all openings) or it can be part of a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) rating.
The blower door test replaces one exterior door with a temporary door containing a fan. The fan sucks air out of the building creating the effect of a strong wind on all exterior walls at the same time. Any leaks are obvious, as you can feel the air blowing into the room around electrical outlets and other leaks.
A HERS rating can determine just how much conditioned air your building envelope is leaking to the outside. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) estimates that a new home built to Alabama building codes has enough leaks to amount to leaving your front door open year-round; you are trying to heat and cool the outside. If a new home leaks that much, just imagine how an old one leaks. A HERS rating cannot only tell you how bad your structure is, but it can tell you how to fix the leaks, and it can even provide documentation to get a home-improvement loan.