Air Tightness Testing – Blower Door Testing
Air Tightness Testing identifies areas of your home/building that are experiencing heat loss due to the uncontrolled flow of air through gaps and cracks in the fabric of the building. Having an air tight building does not mean that there is insufficient air flow, rather the air flow is controlled.
It is a fact that air (energy) leakage is one of the most significant contributors to inefficiently heated homes which inadvertently leads to significantly higher levels of CO2 emissions, not to mention costly wastage.
An Air Tightness test is carried out by a Blower Door Fan. A blower door fan is installed in an external door of the building and this either pressurizes or depressurizes the whole internal volume of the living space. This test will quickly provide a measured air tightness level for the building and identify leakages in the building envelope.
We are certified to carry out tests to I.S. EN 13829:2000 – Thermal Performance of Buildings – Determination of Air Permeability of Domestic Buildings – Fan Pressurization Method. Air Leakage is the Exfiltration or Infiltration of air through uncontrolled paths in the building envelope caused by imperfections in the dwelling construction. Unlike Ventilation which is controlled Air Leakage is the uncontrolled movement of air through cracks, gaps and openings in the external envelope of a dwelling or building.
Air leakage has always been an assumed building design parameter and testing is now compulsory for all new dwellings. Our Air Tightness Testing makes this leakage distinctly measurable. This testing provides an acceptable criteria and a repeatable quality test. The calculated representative leakage characteristics of a building – the Air Permeability – is expressed in m3/hr/m2 @ 50 Pa. As part of our survey we can also carry out a smoke test which will identify areas of air leakage points. All our Air pressure testing is carried out to the highest standards and in accordance with I.S. EN 13829:2000 – Thermal Performance of Buildings – Determination of Air Permeability of Domestic Buildings – Fan Pressurization Method.
Excessive Air Leakage Results in
- Inadequate heating systems
- High fuel costs
- Cold surfaces/condensation
- Ineffective insulation
- Occupant discomfort
- Health Issues
- Low Productivity (Commercial)
Building Regulations 3.4.1
Building Envelope Air Permeability:
- To avoid excessive heat losses, reasonable care should be taken to limit the air permeability of the envelope of each dwelling. In this context, envelope is the total area of all floors, walls (including windows and doors), and ceilings bordering the dwelling.
- A performance level of 7m 3/hr/m2 represents a reasonable upper limit for air permeability (2011 regs)
- If the result is greater than 7m3/hr/m2 remedial work and a retest is required, this will need to be repeated until the above figure is achieved
Air Tightness Testing and Thermal Imaging complement each other. Their combined use indicates air leaks within a property. Once defects are identified solutions can be decided which will ultimately increase the comfort and energy efficiency of your home.
How to find out more:
Simply contact us and one of our team will be more than happy to answer any query you have.