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Smoke Test

February 3, 2009

The smoke test was partially successful. The guys from CSG showed up with the blower door apparatus and their new smoke machine and proceeded to set is all up in the porch door opening.

The blower fills the doorway

The blower fills the doorway

They even used the digital readouts to confirm the amount of air the blower had to add to the building to keep the pressure up to the accepted standard.

Digital readouts measure air loss/minute

Digital readouts measure air loss/minute

Even before we had a chance to fill the gaps we knew about, and without having sealed the garage door, the house could get up to pressure and hold it.

Dave the carpenter feels the flow

Dave the carpenter feels the flow

Apparently, some older houses leak so much air that they can never attain the target pressure, so we were off to a good start.

Next the smoke machine was set up outside, next to the blower door, and fired up.

A fog machine provides the smoke

A fog machine provides the smoke

Nontoxic smoke was blown into the building and we wandered around the exterior looking for telltale wisps of smoke to show where the leaks were. There were distressingly many of them, but most could be easily addressed with the foam kit. Some, however, were out of easy reach, since they were along the roof line and others we just didn’t get to before the CSG guys had to move along to their next appointment.

We realized we needed to do more smoke testing when we had more time and when we had access to the elevated platform from which to foam the wall-roof intersections. For our purposes, we think all we need is a smoke machine and a standard box fan, rather than the expensive blower door apparatus.

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