Commercial Airtightness Testing

Air Permeability Testing - “Air tightness testing” – New regulations within building control now require that all new buildings comply with Part F for Northern Ireland, Part L for England and Wales, which was introduced to reduce CO2 emissions. This means that new houses need to undergo air tightness testing, which is a test carried out to trace any unwanted drafts and airflow through the house. Too much air leakage leads to heat loss resulting in higher C02 emissions.

The most common leakage areas include behind skirting boards, coving between the wall and ceiling, pipes and soil stacks entering the building, attic hatches and floor boards as well as windows and doors, so we at EBSNI would advise that you ensure that these areas are well sealed during construction.

What can an air-tightness test do for me?

“Identify air leakage paths and reduce heating costs
by removing unwanted draughts”

Thermo 1

The blower door system

The system consists of a powerful, variable-speed fan with a speed controller mounted in an adjustable panel that is temporarily fitted into an open exterior doorway.  A set of manometers or differential pressure gages are used to measure pressure differences generated by the fan. Airflow across a calibrated opening in the fan housing is also measured.

Measuring Air Leakage

Blower door testing is usually performed in a depressurization mode. As air is exhausted out of the house (or building envelope), the house becomes depressurized relative to the air pressure outside the house. Expressed in pascals (a pascal or Pa is a unit of pressure), the magnitude of the difference between these two pressures will depend upon the capacity of the fan because it works against the back-pressure created across the building envelope.

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