Pulse vs Blower Door

Compare the two approved Part L and PAS2035 methods of testing building airtightness.

Comparison of Pulse and Blower Door methods of airtightness testing

The blower door fan method has been around for decades and inherently measures building airtightness at a high pressure of 50Pa. This can exert unnecessary stresses on the building fabric depending on whether it is a pressurisation test or depressurisation test. Windows, doors and hatches etc will be forced closed creating a better seal but unrealistic conditions.

Pulse testing dynamically measures building air leakage at a much lower pressure differential of 4Pa. This is much more representative of "real world" conditions without exerting unnecessary pressure and stress on the fabric of a building. A Pulse test only requires a single pressurisation test that involves releasing a "pulse" of air and measuring the decay in building pressure over a few seconds.

Under the latest CIBSE TM23 guidance, a blower door fan test requires that both a pressurisation and depressurisation test are performed to mitigate the problems caused by testing at high pressure, increasing the time and cost it takes to test a building.

Pulse 2.0

An equipment setup of Pulse

Modern compressed air based testing method using the Pulse air receiver and controller unit.

Equipment
FeatureIncluded
TypeNo
ManufacturersNo
CostNo
Regulations
FeatureIncluded
Part LNo
PAS 2035No
CIBSE TM23No
Features
FeatureIncluded
Max volumeNo
Leak detectionNo
Pressurisation test onlyNo
Made in UKNo
Benefits
FeatureIncluded
Low pressureNo
Simple operationNo
Minimal disruptionNo
Results
FeatureIncluded
AP4, N4, Q4No
AP50, N50, Q50No
Online Test ReportsNo

Blower Door

A blower door fan in a doorway

Traditional fan based air tightness testing using a blower door fan installed in a doorway.

Equipment
FeatureIncluded
TypeNo
ManufacturersNo
CostNo
Regulations
FeatureIncluded
Part LNo
PAS 2035No
CIBSE TM23No
Features
FeatureIncluded
Max volumeNo
Leak detectionNo
Pressurisation test onlyNo
Made in UKNo
Benefits
FeatureIncluded
Low pressureNo
Simple operationNo
Minimal disruptionNo
Results
FeatureIncluded
AP4, N4, Q4No
AP50, N50, Q50No
Online Test ReportsNo

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