Lots of property owners want to make sure their homes are as airtight as possible to reduce their impact on the environment, cut down on energy costs and reduce waste. Airtightness testing is mandatory for all new builds, both residential and non-residential, so it’s important to know about the different levels of testing. Air tightness testing measures how much air escapes through gaps or fabrics in a dwelling. This is done by installing a blower door testing device to pressurize the building and measure the pressure differences, which can help identify areas that need fixing. So, how can you get the best airtightness test results? Well, it all starts with planning ahead and having a good understanding of what’s expected of you as a property owner. In this blog, we’ll go back to basics to give you a better understanding of airtightness testing.
What is Air Tension Testing?
Air Tension Testing (AT) is the process of measuring how much air escapes through a dwelling’s gaps or through the building’s fabrics. This is done using a blower door testing device, which is installed to pressure the building and to test pressure differences. This helps to identify areas that need fixing.
How to Get a Good Air Tension Test Result?
Getting a good air Tension test result starts with planning and preparation and a good understanding of what the property owner is looking for. In this blog, we’re going to go back to basics to give you a better understanding of what air testing is all about.
The UK government started testing air tightness in April 2002, along with the Building Regulations, to make sure homes are as airtight as possible. This was done to help reduce running costs, check materials are up to standard, stop drafts, and stop condensation. Air tightness tests measure how much air escapes through gaps or fabrics in a building. If a building is airtight, it means less heat is wasted and the owner will save money on their energy bills. All new builds, both residential and non-residential, need to be tested for air tightness, as well as other requirements outlined in Building Regulations Part L.
How does it work?
To test the air tightness of a house, air testers need to get inside an empty home. They’ll use air tightness testing equipment to blow air into an external opening, like a door. This will pressurize the building and measure the difference in pressure. The air will then flow in through cracks and openings. The fan will usually blow the house down to a pressure of -60Pa, and an anemometer will measure the pressure inside, outside, and the strength of the fan to figure out the difference.
Do you need an air tightness test?
There are a lot of building regulations out there, and it can be hard to know which one applies to you.
Since 2006, every new development in the UK has been required to carry out an air test as part of an approved document, Part L.
If you own a residential property that exceeds 500 m2, you’ll need to have your air tightness tested to meet the Building Regulations / Standards to meet your target emissions rates.
Small developments of 1 or 2 properties will need to have one of their buildings tested.
Larger developments will need to have a larger proportion of their buildings tested depending on their size and structure.