I'm in the market for a blower door for house energy audits, and would like to hear about the pros & cons of current Minneapolis & Retrotec offerings from people who've used them both.

I suspect there are partisans for each, so I hope this doesn't spark a flame war...!

Tags: Minneapolis, blower door, retrotec

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First things first what type of housing stock will you be testing? If your testing new homes build to energy codes you might want to consider a duct pressure type device and use it as a blower door. That all depends on the homes being build tight to start with. Existing, older homes stick with a bIower door.
Good question, Michael.

I'm primarily auditing single family houses, duplexes & townhouses: new homes to BCs new Energy Step Code , and existing homes seeking an EnerGuide homes evaluation .

The Step Code references ASTM E 779, “Standard Test Method for Determining Air Leakage Rate by Fan Pressurization”, USACE Version 3, “Air Leakage Test Protocol for Building Envelopes”, and CAN/CGSB 149.10, “Determination of the Airtightness of Building Envelopes by the Fan Depressurization Method”. It leans heavily on the EnerGuide for Houses certification standard.

EnerGuide cites a modified version of CAN/CGSB-149.10-M86, intended to "...more accurately mimic the normal operating conditions of the house during the heating season" according to NRCan. It requires use of HOT2000 as the energy model, with blower door data to suit.

Automated testing to these standards would be valuable, but I'd like any audit equipment to be useful in future for multi-family & commercial building testing; this will no doubt require additional equipment. I'd also like to operate the blower /manometer manually for special cases.

Thoughts on blower door equipment for these future uses would also be welcome!

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