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25 May . 2011

Blower Door Test for "Dummies"

by Kristy Yule


If you have been following my home buying blog, most recently I have been hitting the details of the key green features of our new home. The final "test" of green comes down to the 3rd party inspection provided by Southern Energy Management.


At Briar Chapel, everyone home must pass a final inspection in order to receive its Energy Star Certification. Why is this certification important? Because there are discounts provided by Progress Energy/Duke Energy and PSNC for homes that are Energy Star certified. Progress Energy provides at 5% discount for the life of the home; PSNC Energy provides discounts as well, details can be found here.


On Friday 13th (!) our home was inspected by Andrew of Southern Energy Management. Since most people do not understand the process of a blower door test, we video taped it. Basically the blower door test creates negative energy in the house (the equivalent of 20 mph winds!) and then tests to see how much "leaks" out. The goal for each energy efficient home is around 2700 cfm (cubic feet per minute). We were excited to learn that our house achieved a rating of 1527 cfm, almost half of the target! Check it out! 

As part of the inspection, Andrew was looking at the house to confirm that green building practices were in place: Low VOC paints, energy efficient HVAC and water heaters, insulation and crawl space.


Bottom line...Our house is VERY tight! We discovered that our HERS rating is actually 65, exactly what they thought it would be!


I learned a lot over the last several weeks. How about you, did you learn anything about green building that surprised you?


tags: Homes

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