What is a Blower Door Test?
The blower door is a piece of equipment used to test buildings for air leakage. The test typically depressurizes the building by placing a temporary door with a calibrated fan in the opening of a door or window. It simulates a 25MPH wind on all surfaces of the house. Once a pressure difference is created between inside and outside, the rate of flow is measured by a gauge called a manometer. The final result of the test is read in CFM @ 50Pa where 50Pa is 50 Pascals of pressure, about 1/350th of a psi.
Can I conduct my own blower door test?
You could if you have the equipment, but it may not qualify for code compliance or any other programs. The code in Michigan specifically states that the testing must be done by a “Certified Individual.” They have not yet clarified what the certification requirements are, but it will likely be Resnet, the Residential Energy Services Network, the national trade association for HERS Raters.
How much will this cost me?
Prices are set by the individuals or companies doing the testing. Prices will also range depending on the scope of any other items being tested or inspected. Prices for just a simple blower door test typically start around $100 and may cost up to $300. HERS ratings, ENERGY STAR Certifications, and other code compliance packages which would also include a blower door test could cost from $500 to $1000.
What if there are no professionals in my area?
While every effort will be made to recruit professionals to list their services on this website, some may not wish to be included; therefore, there may be a professional in your area who is not listed. Because the individuals or companies doing the testing are independent, for-profit companies and contractors, they need to have access to enough projects to be profitable. If your project is far away from the general population, such as northeastern Michigan or the upper peninsula, you may need to hire a professional from some distance away and incur a mileage charge. Remember that many of these professionals serve dozens of customers over very large areas, so contact them as soon as possible to get your project scheduled.
Can I get a tax credit or rebate for having the test done?
At the time of this writing (8-8-2014) there are no tax credits available for energy efficient measures to new or existing homes. If and when a tax credit does become available, it would probably cover new construction homes that receive a HERS Rating, or existing homes after improvements are made. There may be utility rebates available as well.
Currently, Consumers Energy has a $1500 rebate for new-construction homes that received ENERGY STAR 3.0 certification. The homes have to be in Consumers gas and electric territory to receive the full rebate. Partial rebates are also available. Click HERE to visit the incentives page for Consumers Energy.
Why are some raters and other professionals not listed here?
While every effort will be made to recruit professionals to list their services on this website, some may not wish to be included. This website was created to ensure that the list contains ONLY those companies interested in doing the work. Also remember that the most popular website to find HERS Raters is RESNET.US but the list is very small because they charge $200 to be listed there.
In addition to RESNET HERS Raters, the Building Performance Institute (BPI) has several certifications that meet our state code requirements including the Building Analyst, Envelope Specialist, and Infiltration and Duct Leakage (IDL) certifications. To find BPI Contractors, please visit their website and search your area.
How to I become certified to conduct blower door tests?
I am a certified professional. How can I have my company listed in the directory?
Until the bugs are all worked out of this site, you can contact email@example.com and express your intent to create a listing. Once the site is fully operational, you will be able to submit your listing information and pay a small fee (for maintaining the site, not for profit) to be included.
What is MEECA?
The Michigan Energy Efficiency Contractors Association is a group representing the energy professionals in Michigan. It works closely with contractors, code committees, and legislators to ensure that the industry has a voice and moves in the right direction. Learn more or join by visiting www.meeca.info MEECA members receive a discount on their listing on this site.