Beyond Blower Doors: Zonal Pressure Testing

Building forensics guru Corbett Lunsford demonstrates advanced air leakage testing using zonal pressure diagnostics and a pressure pan. Learn how to get more out of your blower door with no extra investment in test equipment, how to interpret the data, and what to do about it during home improvement or new construction optimization.

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Comment by Chris Dorsi on June 12, 2015 at 3:30am

Corbett Lunsford has again shown how all Home Performance professionals could benefit from seeing our industry through the eyes of our customers.

This video captures the essence of zone pressure testing better than any description I have seen in the last forty years. He will surely take some flak for attaching numerical metrics to measurements that in fact are imprecise in the field. But the main impact of his work  -- to show what we are doing to the people who matter, such as our customers -- will surely outstrip anything that the old guard of HP pros has ever accomplished. We could all learn a thing or two!

Comment by Corbett Lunsford on June 11, 2015 at 9:02pm

Hey friends- I made a clarification video for the percentage-based interpretation of zonal pressure testing.

Comment by Corbett Lunsford on May 9, 2015 at 6:20pm

Thanks, Tom and Adin- as far as linearity goes, yes, your editorial folks are absolutely right. The reason so many of us are using this percentage connection metric is that: 1) it's simple for homeowners to understand, and 2) it'll show a quantifiable improvement after work is done.  If a bedroom door is closed, shag carpet or no, there should be no pressure relief if the home is airsealed.  Every zone should either be completely INSIDE or OUTSIDE (100% or 0%).

And yes, stir-fry is delicious as well.

Comment by Tom White on April 21, 2015 at 1:29pm

Thanks for posting the video.  I asked some folks on Home Energy's editorial board about the relationship between pressure differences and air flows (or leakage).  They stated that this relationship is not linear, so one can't just use pressure ratios as shown in the video. The differences are big - factors of 2 to 3 in some cases.  They also mentioned that the leakage to outside scales with the leakage of the room to inside - so the size of the door undercut has a tremendous influence on the result.  The same house with tall shaggy carpet would have very different results. This makes claims about how leaky the rooms are misleading. Similarly, if there are forced air ducts connecting all the rooms, they will change the air leakage results also.

Here's an oldy but goody article from Home Energy magazine's archives that gives more details–Pressure Pans: New Uses and Old Fundamentals by Jeffrey Siegel and Bruce Manclark.

Comment by Adin Maynard on March 31, 2015 at 8:01pm

Great video. Your approach of simplifying the reading as X/50 = percent leaking to outside (with house at -50 pa) , is super helpful .  The braggs segment just had me thinking about stir fry though. 


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