Blower door testing a 20 year old house

“What can I do to make it better”?

That is the question that I was asked having completed a blower door test on a 20 year old house. The test result was 9.09 air changes at 50 Pascals which isn’t too bad for a house of that vintage. I loved the question though. Showing someone tangible evidence of air leakage is a great motivator to drive improvement in energy efficiency.

The leakage culprits:

  • Downlights (lots of).
  • Unsealed exhaust fans.
  • Unsealed entry door.
  • Plumbing and electrical penetrations through walls.
  • Behind wall oven (massive leak).
  • Windows (not as bad as some new windows that I have tested though).
  • Architraves.

LESSON: People want energy efficiency and are willing to pursue it if they can be shown the effects. Writing energy efficient measures on drawings and in specifications doesn’t really mean much unless it is verified and tested. (You don’t stand at the opposite side of the room and ask your doctor to guess your blood pressure). Specify it, install it, verify it and test it.