Help Your Building Withstand the Weather

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How building owners can find long-term savings by using blower door and fan tests to add energy-efficient measures to their facilities.

by Frank Spevak
Published in RSES Journal

It is the dead of winter—10°F degrees outside, with a relentless wind spreading the chill. All people want to do is get indoors and crank up the thermostat. But what if their apartment is drafty and constantly letting in cold air? They continue to turn up the furnace, putting more and more money into heating the building. Unfortunately, this only covers up draft and does not fix the problem. The root of the issue is small cracks and holes in the building’s exterior that let warm, conditioned air escape and cold air enter the structure. Until a contractor seals these holes, tenants will continue to combat the cold by turning up the heat, at a costly sum for facility managers. This same principle applies to retaining cold air and keeping out hot air. This situation calls for an air-tightness test with a blower door and fan to weatherproof buildings and keep conditioning air costs down.

Blower doors and fans play an important role in the building and home performance industry because they help builders, designers, architects and owners develop energy-efficient buildings. However, many people never work directly with blower doors and fans, making them a complex tool to understand. Learning the basics of blower doors, including what they are and why they are important will help facility managers plan for energy-efficient measures that save money in the long run.

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Posted with permission from RSES Journal.