November 27, 2012 5:27:57 PM by
By Colin Genge
I can recommend Stan Harbuck’s book, “Energy Assessment and Improvement: Residential Buildings
”, to trainers and trainees alike. While numerous books exist on the market, his offering is both up to date and extremely thorough.
Based on my personal experience and Stan interviewing me regarding the digital gauge, duct testers, and blower doors, I can say that Stan was relentless in getting every detail perfect...
November 27, 2012 4:46:21 PM by
Contractors: are you looking for a way to expand your business’ reach? Steve Baden, director of RESNET, explains EnergySmart Home Performance Teams as a way home energy pros from different trades can work together as one team, to provide customers with a complete home energy solution.
November 27, 2012 4:14:50 PM by
By Joe Medosch,
Owner Energy & Environmental Consulting, Trainer
At the beginning of my energy auditor or consumer presentations, I try to put the history of residential construction into perspective. Orientating the conversation to the most experienced person in the crowd (aka- oldest), I ask them to describe what cars and airplanes were like when they were a kid.
What has changed in home construction since the 1940's, or realistically since the 1970's & 80's, is nowhere near as significant as the automobiles and aircraft in the last 30-40 years...
October 23, 2012 3:19:08 PM by
Josh has worked the product development ward and has come to alleviate your tech support woes. He knows his equipment anatomy inside-out and, along with his team of specialists, will prescribe the right solutions for whatever testing issues you encounter.
Contact our new tech support direct line: 1(888) 330-1345
October 23, 2012 1:39:41 PM by
The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC 2009 and 2012) requires HVAC ducts to be tested to prove a minimum leakage. While many states and localities will adopt this code outright, it is likely that many will also amend it to allow inspection and sealing alternatives. Many HVAC contractors are bound to breathe a sigh of relief at not having to face potential failure and the subsequent looking for the 'leak in the trunk line' that will eat up their profit margins by the minute.
Except is it really potential lost revenue? Isn't it really a potential lost opportunity? This type of thinking completely obscures one of the greatest opportunities that HVAC companies have had in decades.
September 26, 2012 6:31:34 PM by
Workplace Wellness has taken over our office! Besides participating in the Sun Run and Bike to Work Week, the Retrotec team welcomed a group of local wellness college students to plan and present a program at our office.
Here are three tips from our wellness day to help keep any office productive and content:
September 26, 2012 6:23:54 PM by
Use our handy # fan calculator to determine how many, and what type of fans you need to test larger buildings. Here's how it works.
September 26, 2012 6:03:48 PM by
From Washington State to the United Kingdom, the benefits of air leakage testing are being picked up by large building codes world-wide. As this market emerges, so do new opportunities for your business to expand.
Check out these five easy steps to get you started in large building testing.
September 25, 2012 4:36:56 PM by
• USACE leads the way with over 400 new buildings tested to 0.25 CFM/sq ft
• Blower Doors and Infrared Thermography combine for effective measurement and location of building air leaks
• Many valuable diagnostic procedures requiring Blower Doors, smoke and Infrared Thermography will identify performance problems
• HVAC must be addressed
• Audit procedures can effectively identify problems
August 22, 2012 3:13:27 PM by
Get the results you want and avoid the problems you don’t! Check out these tips and videos...
July 31, 2012 4:17:22 PM by
Guest post by Ashley Halligan, analyst at Software Advice.
Many landfills are becoming resource recovery facilities–places where waste or byproducts are reclaimed and converted into energy.
To learn more about these projects and the benefits they deliver, I spoke to several industry experts and looked at three examples of successful projects.
July 24, 2012 4:16:45 PM by
The problem of compliance and enforcement has arisen alongside the recent changes in Title 24 requirements coming up in 2013.
But how bad is it? How many contractors are pulling permits and striving to comply?
July 24, 2012 3:40:43 PM by
Guest Post by Ed Minch (Energy Services Group)
In the coming months, there will be new emphasis on ASHRAE 62.2, so let’s take a look at the basics. Even though you can get a lot of condensed versions, and even apps that do the calculations for you, it is always best to have and understand the actual standard.
July 11, 2012 1:21:04 PM by
We've made it easy to get your gauge speaking code! Check out our new guide!
June 27, 2012 4:11:48 PM by
Guest post courtesy of Ron Newport: Director, Institute of IR Thermography.
"... simply, the best method to measure air tightness in a building is with a blower door. And, the simplest way to locate the air leakages is with infrared thermography! Period! Nothing beats the teamwork of these two techniques."
June 27, 2012 4:00:31 PM by
Maryland energy auditors should soon see a spike in demand for their services with the new blower door requirement in the 2012 Maryland Building Performance Standards. According to OCEAN(Online Code Environment & Advocacy Network), the new version will make Maryland homes and offices approximately 15 % more energy efficient than the previous standard...
June 27, 2012 2:55:03 PM by
Standard procedure would have the tester calibrate the gauge every year or two, but does this really make sense? Calibration based on an arbitrary date cannot tell you when the gauge fell out of calibration: was it last week or six months ago, and how many reports are now flawed?
Take control of your equipment and manage the accuracy with this quick DIY method...
June 01, 2012 11:39:14 AM by
I switched the Range Ring, but forgot to change the Range setting on my gauge. I recorded the Flow and left the site – do I have to re-test?
Thankfully, NO, there’s an easy fix.
May 22, 2012 5:28:06 PM by
Saving energy in buildings is our products’ focus, but saving energy all around is Retrotec’s philosophy: less energy, more peace. In that spirit, our offices will be participating in Bike to Work Week: May 28th – June 3rd 2012.
May 22, 2012 5:14:15 PM by
In case you hadn't noticed, the price of natural gas in North America has been dropping a lot over the last few years. Since gas is the main space heating fuel used in both residential and commercial buildings, it begs the question "What impact will this have on energy conservation efforts in general and airtightness testing services in particular?"
May 22, 2012 5:00:21 PM by
Blower door testing is a very safe procedure, blowing the equivalent of a 20mph breeze into a home. For testers, several set up concerns can easily be addressed to make sure your test doesn’t pull ashes onto client’s carpets, or harmful debris into the air.
Remember: A poorly prepared house is a safety hazard. Let’s look at a few job site dangers and how to eliminate them.
May 18, 2012 5:32:14 PM by
On Facebook’s IPO Day: Had someone bought my company in 1980 for $100 Billion
April 24, 2012 5:39:02 PM by
In November 2011, the California Energy Commission conducted a public workshop to present proposed revisions to the building code—namely eliminating the option of non-powered flow hood devices.
April 24, 2012 10:51:10 AM by
A very common complaint about duct testing is that the covers get blown off of the registers.
Most code language leaves the choice of pressurizing or depressurizing up to the tester, but experience has shown that the positive pressure made sealing registers much more difficult, and could triple the time to perform a test.
April 23, 2012 10:56:54 AM by
The Retrotec team joined almost 50,000 participants in this year’s Vancouver Sun Run on Sunday, April 15th. The 10km race provided a chance for our staff to join the community and reach their goals including:
April 22, 2012 11:04:55 AM by
Why do we have some States that are so opposed to adopting energy efficient codes and others that manage to voluntarily sign up for Stretch codes, which have more stringent requirements?
When I started Retrotec 30 years ago, I thought tools that could increase the efficiency of a home were a no brainer.
March 21, 2012 11:22:42 AM by
What does it take to earn the Guinness World Record for the largest building ever blower door tested? 16 Fans, a 37 million cubic foot (1,000,000 m3) building to test, and a 360 Mile (600 km) drive...
March 20, 2012 11:30:19 AM by
Never blow a main breaker again!
Easily daisy chain multiple fans together.
More user-friendly features... learn more
March 20, 2012 11:26:11 AM by
Over 300 buildings from large to enormous have been tested over the past three years, yielding an average of 0.17 CFM/square foot of enclosure. This is a vast improvement of the national average for untested buildings, which is from 0.6 to 3.0 depending on location and type. However, large building air leakage testing techniques have already evolved rapidly. It came to the surprise of a few that, from an equipment perspective, we can test virtually any building’s total exterior enclosure leakage.
February 15, 2012 3:13:42 PM by
A great feature of FanTestic is its ability to show users a summary table of their results.
However, many testers don’t know that you can also use FanTestic to combine 2 tests in the same direction into a single table.
February 15, 2012 2:58:45 PM by
What to do when your Standard 87 inch cloth door panel is too small for a large doorway.
February 13, 2012 11:40:19 AM by
The @25 Pa feature on your gauge is one great way to get accurate total duct leakage results. Heck, by using that feature, you can get the ducts up to anywhere between 15 and 30 Pa and you still get the same result as you’d get by fiddling with the control to get exactly 25 Pa. Anything that speeds up the test and retains accuracy is good. Right!
February 13, 2012 11:37:18 AM by
Air leakage testing doesn’t have to be complicated. We’re on the road again, training auditors how to test ducts and houses with the new DU200 DucTester and 1000 Blower door.
January 17, 2012 3:23:26 PM by
Gusting winds – definitely not ideal testing conditions if you want repeatable, accurate results. If you find your before and after air leakage tests don’t make sense, strong baseline pressures are a likely cause. Here are four ways to get the best results!
January 17, 2012 11:44:41 AM by
Why pay when you can DIY? A quick read-through of some popular DIY energy audit lists do a great job of generating interest in building efficiency, but overlook the value of an energy auditor. Here are some of the DIY tips, and important information an auditor would add to save homeowners more money and time
January 16, 2012 11:47:09 AM by
It's always best to leave retrofitting to a professional. Check out these classic building envelope tips and some unique interpretations from true do-it-yourself-ers.
December 12, 2011 12:02:59 PM by
“You just can’t stop a good idea. If you can dream it, you can achieve it. The only thing necessary is to live with a decided heart and pursue your goals without exception.” Dan Smith, Clover Park Technical College.
In the parking lot of Clover Park Technical College, a zero energy house is showing students how to “build tight and ventilate right”. Step by step students are learning what it takes to build a completely off-grid conventional home, from products to installation.
December 12, 2011 11:55:10 AM by
Retrotec will be running its staff at full speed, again! Exercise, team shirts, and high-fives will be had in the upcoming Vancouver Sun Run. Our Vancouver, Canada office team the “retro-runners” will be going the distance in style, possibly donning neon spandex and crimped hair – required by our theme.
November 22, 2011 3:43:29 PM by
Whether you are using a soft or hard panel frame for your blower door, it’s easy to set up. If you don’t have one already, each frame has its own benefits – Find out which is right for you and how to set it up.
November 22, 2011 12:34:18 PM by
Your before-test result is 4000 CFM50. After two days of work, you measure a 21% reduction to 3150 CFM 50. Your after-test is checked using another blower door and they only get a 4% reduction to 3850 CFM50! What gives?
November 22, 2011 12:30:44 PM by
Successful training is reason to celebrate for everyone in the green building industry. Our friends at Contra Costa Community College in California – a career and technical education center – were given the “Green Curriculum Award” by Green California Colleges...
November 22, 2011 12:19:08 PM by
Retrotec wants to blow Prostate Cancer off the map this Movember (Moustache + November) that magical month of the year, when men worldwide sprout ‘staches to promote awareness and raise money for male health, and prostate cancer in particular. Several men in our office are sporting stylish lip warmers, getting sponsored to grow their “mo”.
October 26, 2011 12:42:48 PM by
Looking for a Retrotec reseller in Turkey or Eurasia? Learn more about our new distributor: Penta Automation and Industrial Products.
October 12, 2011 11:47:32 AM by
How do you meet the needs of a diverse group of trainees and generate success for your training program? Retrotec’s Colin Genge will be helping trainers discover new strategies at the first ever ACI Home Energy Trainer Conference.
September 27, 2011 12:58:41 PM by
Colin Genge brings 30 years of experience to his session at the first ever TightVent Conference in Brussels, Belgium. Infiltration and ventilation – the two words you will hear the most in the world of air tightness testing. This conference is a first for TightVent Europe and the 32nd for Air Infiltration and Ventilation Center (AIVC). AIVC conferences have been the main platform for discussing cutting-edge developments in the world of air leakage testing, since 1980.
September 26, 2011 1:02:53 PM by
The California Center for Sustainable Energy has hit the road -- driving green building education across the state.
September 26, 2011 1:00:34 PM by
What's happening in the green building industry in Eurasia? Retrotec returns from the Mega Build 2011 conference in Istanbul.
September 13, 2011 4:44:56 PM by
Want to check if your gauge is working properly? How can you notice common errors while duct or blower door testing? Check out these quick videos to help you make sure every test is done fast and well.
September 13, 2011 1:54:58 PM by
Retrotec is now supporting trainers, raters, and organizations with translated guides and manuals! See which ones are available and get them free online.
September 13, 2011 1:51:54 PM by
A must-have large building manual written by the USACE, Retrotec's own Colin Genge has contributed his expertise.
Free for download.
September 13, 2011 1:04:49 PM by
Take a look inside the Retrotec manufacturing facility in Everson, WA. We sometimes offer tours and demonstrations to schools and training organizations - as well as raspberries.
September 08, 2011 2:26:45 PM by
The SAIE conference in Bologna, Italy focuses on future planning for green building - transcending current economic conditions. Retrotec will be promoting the importance of air tightness in building envelopes, saving energy and money.
September 07, 2011 2:29:19 PM by
Here are some quick tips to help you with common large building issues. Comment at the bottom and help decide which topic/s we make into in-depth articles! What interests you?
August 31, 2011 6:26:29 PM by
This Eurasia Building Materials Fair gives green builders and manufacturers the chance to showcase the benefits of their products alongside commercial construction. This conference targets countries with priority projects in infrastructure, housing development, and of course commercial building.
August 29, 2011 6:28:29 PM by
2012 RESNET Building Performance Conference, February 27th to 29th in Austin, Texas
The RESNET Building Performance Conference provides a platform for businesses in the home energy rating, home energy efficiency improvement, and commercial building energy modeling industries to showcase their products and techniques, and take in some valuable presentations.
August 16, 2011 6:31:28 PM by
Retrotec has released a series of manuals that give the user an in-depth view of what is needed in order to run their first test. In this newsletter, we are featuring just one of these manuals: Residential and Air leakage Testing Manual, FREE and publicly available online (Click here to view).
August 16, 2011 6:29:41 PM by
Retrotec’s Colin Genge provides some entertaining stories of air leakage training gone wrong while providing insight into how much students take home from their courses. Thanks to Saturn Online for hosting this video interview.
August 16, 2011 12:45:48 PM by
Retrotec just got back from the TruTech Expo in Ohio, enjoying the intimate ambiance and launching our latest contribution to Building Pressure, a nonprofit training organization. The video exercises were a huge hit with trainers, providing them with a break from lecturing while keeping students engaged.
August 16, 2011 12:43:24 PM by
Who wouldn’t? Retrotec has contributed to Building Pressure, a nonprofit training organization, a series of free, brand-neutral training modules to supplement air leakage training programs.
August 11, 2011 12:47:54 PM by
Sustainable building manufacturers, investors, and maintenance workers got a chance to showcase and network at this year’s Consense 2011 conference in Germany. A unique aspect of this show was the trade fair set up, including a pavilion for “Sustainable Building with windows and facades” and a special show “Sustainable Building in Existing Structures.” A big thanks to DGNB (German Sustainable Building Council) for hosting this international event.
August 10, 2011 12:57:15 PM by
Just as the title says - watch a complete energy audit in just a few minutes.