Whitney Architecture

Blue Ridge Passive House Passes Blower Door Test!

Blue Ridge Passive House Passes Blower Door Test!


WE BLEW A 0.461!
What is a Blower Door Test?

Every home has air leaks. They can vary greatly depending on the year the home was built and how well it has been sealed. My 1913 home would fail this test miserably, as I can feel the cold air blowing under the front door in the winter.

In order to test the amount of air leaking from a home, we use a Blower Door Test. To understand how it works, just imagine a balloon completely full of air. If it has no leaks, it will maintain its pressure and stay inflated. But if there are small leaks in the seams and you want it to stay inflated, you would have to keep blowing air into it. The amount of air you have to blow into it to keep it inflated is the way to infer how leaky it is. More air blown in = leakier balloon. The same is true for a house!

The Blower Door Test measures how leaky the house is by finding out how much air needs to be blown into it to keep an elevated pressure of 50 pascals. The results of the test are shown in reference to the pressure and the air changes that occur per hour in the house. (ACH50) So what is a good result for the test? Here is some perspective:

10-20 ACH50= a very old “breezy” house

7-10 ACH50= an average new home that is not built with much concern for energy efficiency

3-5 ACH50= Energy Star Home standards

3 ACH50 and lower= A very tightly sealed home

0.6 ACH50 and lower= A super tight house! 0.6 is the Passive House Standard.

The Blue Ridge Passive House, designed by Whitney Architecture and built by Dyna Contracting has passed with flying colors at 0.461!

Thank you to Hammer and Hand for performing the blower door test!





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