Air Leakage Testing

  1. 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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  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. 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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  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. 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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  6. Quality of the Highest Standard: Here’s What That Really Means

    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.

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  7. Air Tightness Testing Comes of Age

    Blower doors and duct testers have become important tools for high-performance builders. A longtime industry veteran looks a how we got here and what's next

    This is the first of what will be a monthly column with my observations on the art and science of high-performance building and home testing. In this first column, I want to introduce myself and help you understand why you should care about these topics

    My name is Ben Walker and since May of 2017, I've been co-CEO of Retrotec, the world's largest manufacturer of blower door and duct testing equipment. Our products help designers and builders reduce building energy use, which contributes to a cleaner, healthier environment. That contribution is what gets me up every day.

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  8. Commercial Building Enclosure Testing

    Authored By: Sam Myers

    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

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  9. Duct Testing Best Practices

    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

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  10. Quick Tips for Testing Ducts at Rough-Ins

    Authored By: Sam Myers

    Whether it’s for a building code, third-party home performance program, HERS rating or quality control, testing ducts on new construction homes before the drywall is installed is a good idea to easily fix issues. Once the drywall is installed, it can be difficult to access certain parts of the duct system that need air sealing, especially if there are ducts in chases or between floors. Sometimes it can be tricky to set up your duct tester at rough-in since you typically don’t have a grille to tape the flange to, especially if the return is in the ceiling. Unfortunately, duct mask doesn’t stick to wood and mastic ver

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