Blower door test?

Someone sent this to me. Here’s a partial part of the info received. Has anyone heard of this requirement before? Perfect for us Inspectors but do we need special certification. Would appreciate your comments.

Florida Building Code requires that beginning July 1, 2017, all new homes must have a blower door test to determine if they need mechanical ventilation.
· If the test shows leakage of less than 3 air changes per hour, the home must have a mechanical ventilation system installed.

· Since about 160,000 homes are built each year in Florida, that means each of those homes must be blower door tested, somewhere In the neighborhood of 800 blower door tests daily.

· Blower door tests will be performed by certified HERS raters, BPI certified individuals and some air conditioning businesses.

· If you care to perform such testing, you may be trained, tested and certified by the HERS program at the Florida Solar Energy Center.

· You may also be proficiency tested by BPI Building Performance Institute to be certified.

· It is my understanding that the tests will require about two to three hours for a fee of $200.00 to $300.00

Well yeah!

If you do not understand your question, you’re not qualified to perform the service.

By the way; this is a stupid law. Just my opinion.

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Now that is BS!

Besides the blower door test, you must test for gas leakage, carbon monoxide leakage, flue draft testing, CAZ zone testing and inspection for asbestos/vermiculite insulation etc. before you turn on the blower door. You must also seal all chimneys, flues, vents. Inspect gas appliances and ventilation devices for these appliances.

You need to purchase a blower door, CO2 detector, gas leak detector, personal CO2 detector, flu and combustion gas analyzer, and formal infrared thermal imaging training and equipment is recommended.

You must inspect the house before you test it, so add a home inspection fee on top of that.

Yes, it is another service (actually another business all together). But, like home inspection, the competition will drive down the price and you can not do the job properly at those fees which will raise your liability when your basically working for free.

Government mandates are nothing but a big rat trap. I have seen many come and go. No matter how good they sound, it never works out as intended. Most end up getting investigated for fraud and graft.

You can learn to do all of this stuff and not play the government game and make a bucket load of money by working for the right client. I do building envelope evaluation for the Army Corps of Engineers at about $2700 a day. Same equipment, same training, same inspection standards, huge income difference.

Again, you can use it as a Boy Scout merit badge or you can market and provide a significant service to professional engineers and architects.

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Do you have a source we can refer to?

I know a lot of the training is being geared to HVAC contractors and techs

I just became certified and yes it is required on new construction starting July 1st. Contractor can not get a Certificate of Occupancy till the test is done and house passes. The test is a fail or past test with a blower door. You do not have to find the leaks, contractor does.
Here is the link.
http://www.myfloridahomeenergy.com/help/library/contractors-certifications/testing-for-air-leakage/#sthash.hrSoe2AO.dpbs

There is an alternative offered in the code which allows a visual inspection by a person independent of the parties responsible for the sealing to say it has been properly sealed.

It’s getting more common now in Philly. It’s been the code for a year but they are just starting to enforce blower door tests and duct leakage testing. I think it has to alot to do with the inspectors. The new ones seem more demanding while the older ones are stuck in their ways.

Ori

Yes we do that too its an air barrier and insulation checklist we can fill out as a 3rd party.

Ori

We do perform an air barrier and insulation check as a 3rd party but the blower door is performed post construction. The blower door test is becoming more common in Philadelphia. We conduct them at the post construction phase but I do think it would be beneficial to conduct it while the walls are exposed so that problems can be found and corrected ahead of time. The blower door is an incredibly useful tool for keeping the building air tight.

Ori Rosenkrantz