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.
Posted: September 13, 2019|Categories: Energy|
Author: Sam Myers
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
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
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 t
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
Posted: May 30, 2019|Categories: Air Leakage Testing|
Building and HVAC performance testers around the world rely on calibrated fans and pressure gauges to determine the construction quality of building envelopes, duct systems, and other building components. These tools include blower doors and duct testers which have been used for decades to measure the air tightness of certain assemblies. For these tools to become and remain accurate, they must be calibrated by the manufacturer once they are built and re-calibrated after a certain period specified by the manufacture. With Retrotec tools, this is every five years for gauges and fans.
As building codes and owner expectations evolve, more commercial buildings across the United States are being designed to meet standards that reduce air leakage through the building enclosure. Some states are adding air tightness and testing requires to their building codes. There are also several third-party standards that require tighter building enclosures such as LEED and the Army Corps of Engineers. The presence of a tighter building enclosure allows for lower utility bills, provides the ability to size mechanicals correctly, improves indoor air quality and reduces issues due to moisture brought in by outside air. According to the Building Env
Authored By: Sam Myers
Testing ductwork in residential HVAC systems for air tightness is essential to ensure a home will be energy efficient and comfortable. Tighter ducts help homes perform better by allowing conditioned air to travel to its intended destination. They also keep newly conditioned air from escaping to the outside of the home. More states and municipal code jurisdictions are including duct sealing and testing requirements in their energy codes for residential new construction. It is also a part of the RESNET HERS Rating process as well as a function of BPI Analysts when they perform energy audits. There are two methods used for testing ducts: Total duct leakage and leakage to outside (LTO). It is best to verify with local code requirements to see which method is specified. Some state a
Posted: September 26, 2018|Categories: Energy|
By: Sam Myers, Retrotec and Kristi Brodd, Advanced Energy
Hurricane Florence brought record amounts of rainfall and devastating flooding across North Carolina, especially in the eastern part of the state. According to CNN measurements, some cities saw close to 3 feet of rain over four days, which is the highest rainfall total for any tropical system to hit the East Coast of the United States.
As flooding recedes, many people are returning to their homes and beginning the restoration process. If you are moving back into a home that was flooded, it is extremely important to become knowledgeable on moisture management and take the necessary steps to keep your house safe and healthy for you and your family. Just because the water is gone and your house looks back to normal, does not mean that there is no damage or dangerous mold behind the walls, floors and ceiling.
Many families suffered the effects of mold after flooding caused by Hurricane Floyd in 1999
We start at the highest pressure and work downward for two reasons.
- It helps the fans reach the target pressures faster. The speed control algorithm works faster going from a higher pressure to a lower pressure.
- It helps you properly select your Range Ring for the test. By starting with the largest possible range (highest flow) to test at your highest pressure you ensure the minimum possible range changes while testing. Ideally, you don't want to change ranges in mid test because it wastes time.