Building Air Leakage Testing

Preventing Infiltration

Air leakage is sometimes called infiltration, which is the unintentional or accidental introduction of outside air into a building, typically through cracks in the building envelope and through the use of doors for passage. When a building is not properly pressurized through the HVAC system, infiltration can also occur.

In the summer, infiltration can bring humid outdoor air into the building. Whenever there is infiltration, there is corresponding exfiltration elsewhere in the building. In the winter, this can result in warm, moist indoor air moving into cold envelope cavities. In either case, condensation can occur in the structure, resulting in mold or rot.

When comfort is a problem for building occupants, the HVAC system is generally the first system considered as a possible cause. However, there are instances when the building envelope leaks excessively, and the HVAC system simply cannot keep up with the additional cooling/ dehumidification and heating/humidification load. Building leakage testing identifies where leakage occurs so that repairs can be made to the building envelope.

Benefits of Building Leakage Testing:

  • Makes building occupants more comfortable by reducing the infiltration of outdoor air into the building
  • Reduces energy costs by locating the points of air leakage, repairing the leaks, and making the building envelope tighter
  • Allows for the proper control of outdoor air through the building’s HVAC system, where the air can be correctly filtered and treated
  • Reduces the liability associated with air leaking into wall cavities, causing structural damage due to condensation, mold, and indoor air quality issues

EBCx Services is certified by NEBB in Building Enclosure Testing and performs testing in compliance with ASTM E779, ASTM E1827, or the Army Core of Engineers Building Pressure testing guideline. We provide a detailed Testing Plan that describes how the building is to be tested, the testing parameters, and how the building needs to be prepared for the test. EBCx Services provides a complete report that documents the test compliance to the specified standard.

A blower door fan is used to pressurize/depressurize a building, then infrared thermal imaging pinpoints the areas in a building that leaks air.