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Efficiency First CA: Air Leakage Calculator

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Overview

This tool will calculate CFM50 for any area of conditioned floor space.

SLA stands for specific leakage area and is a method of describing how much air enters or escapes from a building (building infiltration). The lower the number, the tighter (less leaky) a building is. Air Leakage is important as the air escaping from the building represents energy loss. Specific leakage area is calculated using inputs from a blower door test.

  • CFM50 = cubic feet per minute at 50 pascals – this is a direct measurement from the blower door.
  • ACH = Air changes per hour at 50 pascals – how long it takes to replace all the air in a home.
  • ELA = Effective leakage area – the size of a hole that would leak at the same rate as the building at 4 pascals.
  • SLA = Specific leakage area. Calculated by dividing the ELA by the square footage of the conditioned space. In essence, SLA represents the ratio of how big a hole the infiltration represents.

In California, the average residential building leakage is estimated to be SLA 49. Building with high SLAs are drafty, uncomfortable, and hard to heat and cool. Conversely, a building with too low of an SLA can experience problems with moisture and mold and have overall poor indoor air quality.

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