1. 5 Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing A Duct Tester

    Duct leakage is a large contributor to comfort issues, indoor air quality and energy consumption in a home. Typical duct systems lose 25 to 40 percent of the heating or cooling energy generated by the central furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner*. Because of this, more states are adopting and enforcing duct tightness requirements for new construction and new system installations. Duct testers are the tools used to measure and expose air leaks in a duct system. It is a calibrated fan with a high-precision manometer that attaches to the duct system, usually at a return grille or at the air handler. The duct system is then sealed with a special grille mask tape or grille caps and pressurized or depressurized to 25 Pa of pressure. The high-precision manometer that comes with the duct testers kit conver

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  2. Historic Homes: Handle with Care


    If you’ve ever lived in a historic home, you’ve likely noticed the level of comfort can change throughout different parts of the house. This can typically change throughout different times of the year depending on your climate. This is primarily due to excessive air leaks in the home’s enclosure. When we think of improving the home’s comfort, the HVAC system and insulation are the items that usually come to mind. However, the air leaking through the building’s enclosure is equally important, if not more so for these older historic homes.

    Let’s start with some history of construction ideologies, processes and materials. The phrase “they don’t build houses like they used to” is absolutely true. Homes that were built during and before the early 1900s were built with a different mindset than mod

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  3. 5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Blower Door System

    For those looking to improve building and HVAC performance, a blower door is a must-have. This tool measures and exposes air leaks in buildings, one of the most vital contributors to high construction quality and correct HVAC equipment sizing. The blower door test removes a lot of the guesswork for builders, HVAC contractors, and insulators. It is also mandatory for HERS Raters, energy auditors, and building science consultants. If you are using a blower door, it is clear you care about the quality of your work. Therefore, you are going to want the best product available to allow you to work smarter, not harder. When shopping for a blower door system, here are some questions to consider to ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck.


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  4. Nashville Update Its Building Code to IECC 2018

    Beginning December of 2020, the Nashville Tennessee area will update its building code to the IECC 2018. This means a blower door and duct leakage test will be required for all residential new construction homes per the new code update. Are you ready to meet these new requirements?

    Luckily, Retrotec’s DucTester and blower door systems come with an online training module that provides you with a Manufacturer’s Certification that will have you testing your work in no time.

    A recent Retrotec webinar, “Duct Testing Best Practices,” walks through duct testing procedures relevant to those looking to begin testing in Tennessee. You can also see our latest blower door presentation: “Blower Door 101”, which covers the basics of setting up a blower door system and getting the results you

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  5. Due Diligence: Using Your Time Wisely While Under Contract To Buy A Home

    Article written by Sam Myers, Retrotec


    When purchasing a home, the due diligence period is a dedicated amount of time where the seller takes the home off the market so the buyer can take time to have inspections completed to make sure everything is in working order. This typically starts by bringing in a home inspector, and sometimes a general contractor or engineer if structural items need a closer look. If the home has a swimming pool, a pool inspection is common as is a chimney inspection if the home has a fireplace. The same is true with HVAC and plumbing if the home inspector thinks a further look may be needed. But what about other items that will affect the new owner on a daily basis? Items such as comfort, indoor air quality, and energ

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  6. How To Test Large Commercial HVAC Cabinets for Air Leakage

    -article by Sam Myers, Retrotec


    Reducing air leaks in duct systems plays an essential role to ensure efficient HVAC system operation. This keeps operating costs down and occupants comfortable. The duct tester equipment used to test for air leaks in duct work is made up of a calibrated fan, high precision manometer, tubing to connect the manometer to the fan, and flexible duct to connect the duct tester to the HVAC system. The technology applied to commercial duct testers has greatly improved over the past decade. What used to be a large blower bolted to a wheeled hand truck can now be easily carried by one worker in a case with a shoulder strap; all without sacrificing power. However, even with some of the most powerful duct testers out there, more fan power is needed for extremely large HVA

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  7. Should a Builder Own a Blower Door?

    Yes, according to this high-performance builder, who uses it to constantly raise the quality bar


    This is the 6th installment of a monthly column from Ben Walker, Co-CEO of Retrotec. Ben's column focuses on observations on the art and science of high-performance building and home testing. 



    Home builders are using blower doors  
    to go beyond code compliance


    With codes and high-performance construction programs requiring airtightness testing, a small but growing cadre of home builders have been purchasing t

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  8. An HVAC Industry Game Changer: HVAC 2.0

    Blower-door assisted load calculations are boosting profits and customer satisfaction and reducing risk for forward-thinking contractors.


    If you've been following the latest industry buzz you may have heard of HVAC 2.0 (formerly Home Performance 2.0). It's a real game changer that every HVAC contractor in the residential market needs to check out. Here's why. 


    The “2.0” suffix suggests an improvement to the status quo. That's certainly the case here. HVAC 2.0 is a new, consultative sales process designed to help contractors close more business at higher ticket prices, by helping customers solve their real comfort problems. And it's structured so that the initial consultation can be done effectively by an entry-level sales tech.


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  9. Healthy Home Environment Evaluations: The New Consumer Demand

    This is the 5th installment of a monthly column from Ben Walker, Co-CEO of Retrotec. Ben's column focuses on observations on the art and science of high-performance building and home testing. 


    During my recent conversations with builders, remodelers and other industry pros I've been hearing more about an increasing change in homeowner expectations when it comes to home performance. The gist of it is that they have moved past concern about energy savings.


    Industry and governments have worked hard to promote energy efficiency and people have come to expect it. Today, saying that you build an energy efficient home is like saying you build roofs that don't leak. The likely response will be "I should hope so." Howev

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  10. Adult Summer Camp

    This is the 4th installment of a monthly column from Ben Walker, Co-CEO of Retrotec. Ben's column focuses on observations on the art and science of high-performance building and home testing. 


    Mention the phrase "Summer Camp" and most people conjure images of happy kids frolicking at a lake while learning fun skills with friends. What they don't realize is that there's an adult version that's just as fun and rewarding.

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