The infiltrometry test, also known as the blower door test, which can be performed in both pressurization and depressurization, is an excellent diagnostic tool for measuring the airtightness of a building envelope and for performing backflow tests on chimneys, fireplaces and combustion appliances. The device used for the infiltrometry test is the infiltrometer (blower door).

All energy efficiency programs that use the Government of Canada’s EnerGuide rating system require a blower door test to measure the energy performance of a home, whether new or existing.

When building a new home, the infiltrometry test is particularly useful for verifying the integrity and tightness of the vapor barrier before installing drywall. The certified advisor who performs the test thus ensures that the building envelope is sufficiently sealed, not only to reduce occupant discomfort and wasted energy, but also to prevent significant moisture exfiltration into the building walls.

For consumer protection, we recommend that all new homes be subject to a blower door test before installing the gypsum panels.

Infiltrometry and thermography: a winning combination!

A good investigative technique is to perform the thermal scan with an infrared camera while the building is depressurized using an infiltrometer. With the infiltrometer and thermal imager, anomalies such as air infiltration and the presence of excessive humidity in wall cavities are detected and located with precision.