Conducting a blower door test can help find out just how energy efficient log homes are.
To find out just how energy efficient homes are, the Residential Energy Services Network developed the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). One way to measure a HERS score on a log home is with a blower door test. During this test, a powerful fan is positioned at a sealed exterior door and pulls air out of the home, lowering the air pressure inside. An infrared camera can then be used to find areas where higher outdoor air pressure is leaking into the home.
With a log home, this test can show if caulking between logs is holding up and how well the logs have been seasoned. Leakage can often happen where walls and ceilings intersect, so caulking in these areas is critical to a weathertight home.
An energy performance assessment also looks at leakage in ducts, the effectiveness of insulation and heat loss through air leaks. The results are used to assign a HERS score.
Infrared screening, or thermographic inspection, can also be done to show variations in surface temperatures inside or outside a home. These readings can also detect areas where air is leaking or insulation is needed.
At Katahdin Cedar Log Homes, we've noted that our Northern white cedar logs outperform other wood species in blower door tests year after year. We attribute this to the species' low moisture content. Dry wood shrinks less, resulting in a tighter home with lower HERS scores. In fact, homes we built several years ago in the extreme climate of northern Maine maintain low HERS scores -- saving their owners money in annual heating costs. Our energy-envelope building system and high-quality windows also add to the homes' efficiency.
If you'd like to have your home tested, search for a blower door service provider in your area.
Published on: March 21st, 2018
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