How blower door testing and air duct testing can impact energy costs

How Do Blower Door and Air Duct Tests Impact Energy Costs?

Maintaining an energy-efficient home is important for comfort and savings, especially as energy prices continue to rise. Blower door tests and air duct tests are valuable tools that help identify air leaks, which can cause your heating and cooling systems to work harder and increase your energy bills.

In this post, we’ll explain what both tests are, how they work, and the benefits they can offer. When you come to the end, you’ll be better equipped to enhance efficiency at home and reduce energy costs.

What is a Blower Door Test?

This is a diagnostic tool used to measure the airtightness of a home. It involves mounting a powerful fan in an exterior door frame to depressurize the house.

The process highlights air leaks by forcing air through any gaps or cracks in the building envelope.

How It Works

  • The technician seals all windows, doors, and vents.
  • A blower door fan is installed in an exterior door.
  • The fan pulls air out of the house, lowering the indoor air pressure.
  • The higher outside air pressure causes air to flow into the house through any openings.
  • The technician uses a smoke pencil or infrared camera to detect leaks.
A blower door test being conducted separately from an air duct test

What is an Air Duct Test?

An air duct test, also known as duct leakage testing, measures the amount of air leaking from your HVAC ductwork. Leaky ducts can cause significant energy loss, leading to higher energy bills and reduced indoor comfort.

How It Works

  • The technician seals all registers and vents.
  • A calibrated fan is connected to the duct system.
  • The fan pressurizes the ducts, and sensors measure the airflow and pressure.
  • The technician identifies any leaks in the ductwork.
Conducting air duct testing

What They Reveal

Pressure testing can identify hidden problems that silently cost you money and comfort. For instance:

  • Air Leaks: Typically found around windows, doors, electrical outlets, and other openings. Even small gaps can lead to significant energy loss over time.
  • Duct Leaks: Disconnected or poorly insulated ductwork can cause air to escape before it reaches its destination, making your HVAC system work harder.
  • Insufficient Insulation: Areas like attics, basements, and crawl spaces are prone to having inadequate insulation, which can lead to increased energy usage.
  • Poor Sealing: Vents and registers with poor sealing allow air to escape, reducing the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems.

The Impact of Pressure Testing

Blower door and air duct tests significantly influence your home’s energy costs by pinpointing and addressing areas where energy is escaping.

Air leaks force your heating and cooling systems to work harder, consuming more energy and driving up utility bills. According to the Department of Energy, sealing air leaks can reduce heating and cooling costs by an average of 15%. Identifying and sealing these leaks helps your HVAC system run more efficiently, reducing energy consumption and costs.

Sealing air leaks also improves indoor air quality and reduces strain on your HVAC system by keeping out pollutants, allergens, and moisture. This allows for consistent temperature control throughout your home that eliminates cold spots in winter and hot spots in summer.

Finally, if you plan on selling your home soon, energy-efficient homes are more attractive to buyers. Investing in blower door and air duct tests to address any needed improvements can increase resale value.

Preparing for Blower Door and Air Duct Tests

Getting ready for the tests ahead of time can streamline the process and ensure accurate results. Here are a few things to note:

  • Close all windows, doors, and any other openings are securely shut to create a controlled environment for the test.
  • Turn off your heating and cooling systems before the test to avoid interfering with the results.
  • Seal fireplaces, dampers, doors, and any other vents to prevent air from escaping during the test.
  • Remove any obstructions so the technician can set up the equipment and conduct the tests efficiently.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Beyond blower door and air duct tests, maintaining an energy-efficient home requires regular attention to various elements.

Consistent HVAC maintenance is crucial – scheduling routine check-ups ensures your heating and cooling systems run efficiently. Replacing air filters regularly also improves airflow and system performance. Proper insulation is another key factor, especially in areas like attics, basements, and crawl spaces, to prevent energy loss.

Additionally, upgrading to energy-efficient windows and doors can significantly reduce air leaks, further enhancing your home’s overall energy efficiency and comfort.

When to Call a Professional

If your energy bills are unusually high and the temperature is inconsistent throughout your home, you would benefit from pressure testing.

Also, visible damage to ductwork, such as disconnected or poorly insulated ducts should be addressed by a professional to assess the sealing and insulation. Professionals use specialized equipment and techniques to provide accurate results and effective solutions. If you are preparing to sell your home, investing in professional tests can enhance your home’s marketability by demonstrating its energy efficiency.


Pressure testing can be a game changer for your home’s energy efficiency and your utility bills. Blower door tests and air duct tests pinpoint hidden leaks and cracks, helping your HVAC system run more efficiently.

Take the next step towards a more energy-efficient home today. In Alabama and Florida, schedule pressure testing or an inspection of your home with Knockout Inspections today.

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