Energy

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. Stay Safe Long after the Storm - Steps to Make Sure your House is Healthy after Hurricane Florence

    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

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  4. 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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  5. Get More From Your Blower Door

    A comprehensive guide to getting the most out of your blower door system
    Authored By: Sam Myers

    A blower door system can do much more than tell you how much your building is leaking. It can also help you determine the location and severity of the leaks in different zones. There are also cases where you can use your blower door to determine if some ventilation systems are working properly. Knowing the tightness of a home and finding leaks is helpful to HERS Raters, BPI analysts, insulators and HVAC contractors. In this article we’ll introduce the blower door system and ho

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  6. United States Home Energy Performance Averages

    This image shows how a house’s natural stack effect pulls air in from the bottom and pushes it out through the top.When it comes to home energy performance, comfort, durability and health, the United States falls short in the ranks compared to other developed countries. This is based on the 35 years of experience that Colin Genge has in testing houses from coast to coast and from selling diagnostic tools to over 10,000 technicians who have tested millions more.

    Duct leakage in existing homes can range from 12% to 35%.

    Most American houses have poor quality flex duct running outside of the envelope into attics and/or crawlspaces and typically leak an average of about 20%. Some as high as 50%! Code for new

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  7. The RESNET 380 Standard

    As you may have heard, the RESNET 380 standard will replace RESNET Ch. 8 which dictates how raters test homes for envelope leakage, duct leakage, mechanical ventilation, and duct system air flows. Any home permitted on or after July, 1 2018 must be tested in accordance to the 380 Standard. The standard currently applies to all single-family homes as well as multifamily projects that are three stories or less. There are more updates coming for multifamily so make sure you are signed up to receive email updates from RESNET.

    Definitions

    One goal of the 380 standard is to improve consistency throughout the HERS process and to reduce the need for Raters to make judgement calls when taking measurements in the field. To help achieve this, the standard includes definitions for:

    • Conditioned Space Volume
    • Unconditioned Space Volume
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  8. EPA removed 20 years of Climate Change Science from its website

    Expect to see changes that will allow oil and gas companies to sell more product even in areas where renewables and conservation are cheaper without subsidies. Hiding the science of climate change will make it easier for America to continue to avoid a movement to 21st Century technology that will leave American behind the rest of the wo

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  9. 2.2 Million jobs in energy efficiency is more than all other combined

    Renewables create almost as many jobs as fossil fuels that receive all the government attention.  More astonishing is that energy efficiency produces more jobs that both but gets zero attention from politicians.  The following article (originally posted here) outlines these details. Credit: Jim Barrett, Chief Economist. 

     

    Coal is big. Solar’s bigger. But energy efficiency is the biggest.

     

    Blog | April 28, 2017 - 10:19 am

    By Jim Barrett, Chief Economist

    The New York Times recently

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  10. Programs save energy

    One of the world’s largest projects built to save energy

     

    Trump’s proposal to eliminate popular money-saving energy efficiency programs, including the EPA’s Energy Star Program and the DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program will be a major loss for consumers, experts have warned — but also for the climate.

     

    A professor at the University of California at Los Angeles were able to analyze data on the energy use of 178,777

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