Jack Duffy

  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. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. What If CFD Modelling Was Readily Available For Residential Duct Design

    What If CFD Modelling Was Readily Available For Residential Duct Design?

    Author: Sam Myers

    Abstract

    Within the confines of the HVAC field, airflow behavior is one aspect that can be difficult to understand when it comes to proper duct system design and airflow measurement. The challenge of providing a visual display of an issue that is invisible to the naked eye is a regularity we face when working with clients, apprentices and students. Once a duct system is installed, we can use diagnostic tools such as flow hoods and duct testers to measure and expose air flow and leakage, then record our reading. We can also use thermal imagi

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  8. Residential Duct Testing Now A Code Requirement in Virginia

    Starting in September of 2019, a duct leakage test will be required for all residential new construction homes that have ductwork outside of the conditioned space. This includes ducts located in vented crawlspaces, ventilated attics, and attached storage rooms that are not conditioned.

    In many states, a certification of some type is typically required. However, in Virginia’s case, the tester’s ability to operate the equipment is to be determined by the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction).

    Luckily, Retrotec’s DucTester systems come with an online training module that provides the user with a Manufacturer’s Certification. This can be presented to building inspectors to provide proof that the tester is knowledgeable when it comes to testing ducts for leakage. This is unique only to the Retrotec brand of testing equipment.

    A recent Retrotec webinar, “Duct Testing Best Practices,” walks through duct testin

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  9. Blower Door Testing in 1915?

    This is the 2nd 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. 

    A blower door test, along with before and after load calculations of a leaky 1915 home, show the value of these technologies for remodelers and homeowners.

    A lot has been written about making new homes energy efficient, comfortable and healthy. That's important, but as more communities with high-performance new homes become available, more owners of existing homes want the same benefits.

    Just tightening up a home isn't enough, however. Homeowners want you to quantify the improvem

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  10. Let's Talk Tubing: Pressurizing a Building with a Blower Door

    Author: Sam Myers, Retrotec

    When pressurizing a building with a blower door, did you know that extra tubing must be added to the Channel B side of your gauge if you are not using a Retrotec DM32? If this tubing connection is neglected, you will have a reading that is approximately 20% high due to the open Channel B port that is referencing the indoor pressure of 50Pa instead of the outdoor pressure. Therefore, the extra tube is needed to connect that port on Channel B to the outside so that it is referencing the outside instead of the pressure induced by the blower door.

    However, the Retrotec

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