What is Air Leakage testing?
Air leakage testing is the method of measuring how much air leaks out of a building.
Why do an Air Leakage Test?
If you reduce the amount of air leakage in a building you reduce the amount of energy required to heat or cool the space because you’re not leaking the air you just paid money to condition to the outside.
If a building has a minimum leakage requirement rate the design team can more accurately specify the correct mechanical system to heat/cool that space. The lower the air leakage the smaller the mechanical system you need to maintain temperature.
How is air leakage tested?
Using a blower door fan (s) to create an artificial pressure in a space or building, we measure how much air is required to get to that specific pressure we then using specialised software to calculate how much air leaks out of that space or surface.
What is ACH50 and Permeability?
Currently in Australia the most common ways to measure air leakage is with Air Changes per hour (ACH) or Permeability. ACH is essentially the number of times the volume of a space can be cycled at a pressure of 50 pascal in one hour. Permeability is concerned with the entire envelop and measures the volume of air that passes through the envelop of the air barrier at 50 Pascal. It is measured in m3/ per m2/ in one hour, or m3/m2/hr.
What is the benefit of testing a new house if it has an EER of 6 stars?
The EER rating system currently does not consider that a minimum air leakage requirement is a benefit to the owner of a house. With no minimum air leakage requirement, a new house with a compliant EER could still leak air as much as a house built in the 70’s. Performing an air leakage test is the best way to ensure your house or building is not wasting energy through poor construction.
Is there a minimum ACH or permeability requirement in Australia?
No. Currently in Australia there is no minimum air leakage requirement. Many other countries have adopted air tight construction regulation to reduce house hold and building energy costs.