Enclosed outdoor living spaces and their connection points to the rest of the house is often one of the leading sources of energy and heat loss in a home. Luckily, there are several high-tech methods of finding and correcting point of energy loss in your enclosed patio or outdoor space.
Blower Doors are the primary tool used in a professional energy audit, but there are other technologically advanced implements that might be utilized for the auditor to fully understand your energy usage.
Blower Doors are used to test the air tightness of a building’s “envelope”, or the outermost exterior. Using fans and special measurement tools, cracks in the envelope can be detected and fixed.
The blower door is mounted in a door or window. High power fans are used at variable speeds to force the airflow into areas, exaggerating the room’s airflow, cracks are made more obvious to detection tools.
Detection of airflow, or thermography, is done by using infrared cameras and video; the images captured use a color spectrum to show the areas in the building’s envelope that need more insulation.
These two tools, blower doors & thermography detection, are most effective when used in tandem. The blower door amplifies the building’s natural airflow and circulation. Using thermography, the slightest variations of temperature are able to be recorded; these recordings are called thermograms; thermograms are images that reveal the smallest cracks in the buildings surface, as well as areas that need more insulation.
New home purchasers should consider having one of the three types of thermographic scans, with a blower door, performed on any enclosed outdoor space before purchase to ensure energy efficiency of the property.
The spot radiometer allows the auditor to cover one point in the room at a time. The auditor notes changes in temperature.
Line scanners show changes in temperature across a line. This therographer creates a thermogram, which allows the auditor the ability to view an image of the temperature changes along the viewed line.
A thermal imaging camera give a more in-depth survey because they produce 2-dimension thermograms of the area.
Blower doors and thermography help detect the areas in your building that might not be performing as well as they could. Energy efficiency can be achieved by employing these two devices.
About the author
Myles Albert is the Owner of Interior Excellence, LLC, a Bridgewater, NJ basement remodeling company.