It was like Christmas morning here at Petersen Engineering today. I ran downstairs from my office to find 3 big boxes by the fireplace containing a blower door. Just what I always wanted! In a fit of joy I opened the boxes and set the door up with Matt to test it out and learn how it is done. (Matt just joined the Petersen Engineering team after working 6 years Conservation Services Group where he performed thousands of energy audits and blower door tests. He is what I would consider a blower door expert.) We set it up and depressurised the house to 50Pa and walked around the house to feel for leaks. This was interesting...
We felt air around some window openings, the louvers for the future ERV connection, the exhaust hood connections for the bathroom fans, the bathroom fans, general cracks around the rubble foundation, the fireplace in the basement was super leaky, there was a big hole in the foundation where the natural gas comes in... lots and lots of little things need to be addressed in order to dial this number down.
The results were not as impressive as I had expected. We blew a 0.62 ACH Natural. For everybody that is unfamiliar with the term ACH Natural - This number stands for natural air changes per hour of air within the building. So we blew and 0.62, this means that over the course of an hour, 62% of the air in our building will naturally exchange with outdoor air through cracks and gaps in the building enclosure. We have plenty of room for improvement and lots of big holes to foam up to dial this number down.
This should be an exciting number to continuously work on driving as low as possible. I will post updates as we consinuously work on air sealing the building.