Air Leakage Testing

  1. Commercial Apartment Air Barrier Testing

    Published in TAB Journal Summer 2017 and written by Denny Whitzel, TBE, CxA Pacific Coast Air Balancing. View the original article here. 

    As required by Washington State Code, all commercial multi-unit residential structures are required to have air barrier testing performed to ensure they meet the state requirements for infiltration levels. During the construction process special procedures, materials and methods are utilized to ensure the airtight integrity of the inside and outside of the building are maintained. Yet even when

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  2. Making sense of leakage to the outside

    Written by Stacie Bagnasco, July 26, 2017.


    In California the California Energy Commission [CEC] aka Energy Standards, provide two basic methods for complying with low-rise residential energy budgets: the prescriptive approach and the performance approach. The mandatory measures must be installed with either of these approaches, but mandatory measures may be superseded by more stringent measures under either approach.


    The prescriptive approach, composed of a climate zone dependent prescriptive package is less flexible but simpler than the performance approach. Each energy component o

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  3. Air Infiltration Testing: 5 reasons why you should do it

    Even though blower door and duct testing has been around since the ‘80s, there’s still the occasional question about the necessity of air leakage testing versus just going through with visual inspections. This is sometimes followed with arguments about equipment expense, training time, or that homeowner money could be better spent elsewhere – the “bang for your buck” model.

    Let’s explore the reasons why how blower door and duct leakage testing actually saves auditors’ and homeowners’ time and money.


    1. Results give customers faith

      If you are selling a job, it makes sense to test the ducts to give the homeowner an appreciation

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  4. Don't inject smoke through your Model 300 DucTester...there's a better solution!

    Theatrical smoke is a very effective way to find leaks in a duct system.  A quick check will point out smoke as it spills from pressurized leak locations.  Leaks in attics and crawlspaces that can be hard-to-detect are no problem with this method. This type of detection is called theatrical for a reason - it is quite a sight to see for homeowners and builders.

    Caution: theatrical smoke injected through the Model 300 test fan inlet may cause damage and void warranty. Risk increases with frequency. Instead, inject non-toxic chemical smoke into the flex-duct then reconnect the DucTester fan so it blows that smoke into the duct system, as shown in the video above.

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  5. Is Duct Leakage To The Outdoors Always Needed?

    Duct leakage to outdoors tests are needed, even if duct work is within the conditioned space

    If ducts are installed completely within the conditioned space do we need to test them? The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) requires we only test duct work if it is outside the conditioned space, such as an un-insulated attic or basement.  If we do test them, is total duct leakage enough, or are these leaks still finding their way to the outside? These questions are always popping up on online HVAC communities.


    Looking at the surface of the issue, it might appear to be pointless to do a duct leakage to outdoors test if the ducts are completely contained within the envelope. This would be the case if the ducts themselves were on the “surface” but most are hidden in wall cavities, which often connect to the outdoors to so

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