Blower Door Test

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Initial Blower Door Test.JPG

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Blower Door Test Experiment

Goals of Experiment

  • Determine if we met our air leakage design criteria of 0.1 AC/hr leakage rate.
  • Verify general effectiveness of sealing of building envelope with construction now complete.
  • Measure potential energy and comfort impact of a window being left cracked open to try to inform occupants.

Decisions to be made from Experiment

  • Determine if any additional sealing or gasketing is required.

Expected Outcomes

  • Determine a value for our overall building leakage (or at least observe leakage with smoke tracer if unable to measure).
  • Provide educational information to building occupants on the effects of leaving windows open.



  • No occupants opening/closing doors/windows in building (SEND OUT NOTICE AHEAD OF TIME FOR TEST).
  • Seal up any openings between Annex and Historic Building (CHECK WITH KEN; Kirsten has visquine).
    • Seal up damper openings in exterior wall with visquine because pressure measurement so low.
    • Seal openings for conduits/wires/pipes in wall between Annex and Historic.
    • Seal ductwork openings between Annex and Historic.
  • Make sure basement is segregated from rest of building; area is excluded from test.
  • Start out sealing gaps in doors and windows. Incrementally test envelope construction, door/window gaps, then open window to observe impact.
  • Prefer to perform test on low/no wind day (CHECK WEATHER).
  • Building air systems off initially and sealed closed at outside envelope.
  • Consider putting differential pressure meters in multiple locations (use blower door test apparatus meter, digital micro-manometer, magnehelic gauge). Calibrate meters together first to check for differences.
  • Use building exhaust system as alternate approach if pressure differential from testing apparatus inadequate.

Process Measurements

  • Record outside conditions; temp/RH/barometric pressure/wind speed & direction/weather conditions
  • Record inside conditions; temp/RH
  • Building pressure differential (Kenco equipment; LL Catey meters).
  • Building leakage pressure (Kenco equipment then convert to CFM; otherwise bldg. equip CFM with smoke tracer).
  • Use smoke tracer to check for leakage locations.
  • Velocity/CFM through slightly open window with building under 0.02" w.c. negative

Resources Required

  • Equipment for Test
    • Blower Door Test Apparatus - Kenco
    • TSI Digital Micro-Manometer - LL Catey
    • Magnehelic Gauge - LL Catey
    • Green Garage DDC Online through Laptop - LL Catey
  • Media to Document
    • Measurement recording: test form (LLC check with KEN or create in Experiment Workbook)
    • Video - Flip camera USL
    • Photos - Canon camera USL


  • Ken Byczinski, Kenco - Perform test
  • Laurie Catey - Labs POC
  • Library (USL) - assist with media (Flip, camera)
  • Interested participants:
    • Peggy Brennan - videographer, photos
    • Kirsten Lyons - assist, record data (not on Wednesday)
    • Michael Paciero - remote interface


  • USL - media
  • Kenco - conducting testing, equipment
  • LL Catey Engineering Services - equipment

Help Wanted

  • Open to observers

Scheduling & Sequencing

  • Sequencing/Prerequisites
    • No occupants opening/closing doors or windows during test.
    • Ventilation systems must be balanced.
    • Must have control of ventilation systems.
    • Openings/gaps sealed ahead of time.
  • Scheduling
    • Experiment design - 9/23/2011 - REVIEW
    • Conduct field testing - 10/6/2011 between 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. (prep starting at 11:30 a.m.)



  • Is there other test equipment that might handle the size of our building? (Centrifugal fan or using our equipment)
  • Could multiple test apparatus achieve our pressure difference? (Yes; Ken will bring two sets of test equipment with him)


  • Plan / Do / Study / Act / Repeat
  • Research blower door testing online to find if any other conditions/process requirements.
  • Calculate the CFM for Annex and Historic Bldg corresponding to 0.1 AC/hr - Kirsten
  • Get small scale floor plans to note results and observations - Kirsten
  • Review experiment process - group, Ken - DONE
  • Confirm October 6, 2011 12-2 p.m. okay with Ken - CONFIRMED. DONE