Blog

  1. 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.

    Read more »
  2. 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

    Read more »
  3. 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

    Read more »
  4. 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

    Read more »
  5. DM32 Gauge will not charge. What do I do?

    Please check Retrotec USB chargers for the marking shown in the below image.
     
    There was an issue with some past DM32 chargers that resulted in not being able to charge the gauge from a fully depleted (0%) battery level. 
     
    There will be a letter in the lower right-hand corner. If it has a “D” shown please notify support@retrotec.com so we can send a replacement at no cost.

     

    Please contact support@retrotec.com if your gauge isn't working for any other reason, as well.

    Read more »
  6. Why does FanTestic start at the highest pressure first?

    We start at the highest pressure and work downward for two reasons. 

    1. It helps the fans reach the target pressures faster. The speed control algorithm works faster going from a higher pressure to a lower pressure.
    2. 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. 
    Read more »
  7. Why does my Q4 (flow at 4 Pa) result have such high uncertainty?

    You need to consider that there is a fundamental issue of uncertainty with using 4 Pa as a reference pressure. Just imagine, if there is even a 1 Pa fluctuation, due to so many possible sources that can cause pressure fluctuations as you know, the pressure measurement already has an uncertainty of +/- 25% error. Consider that for almost all airtightness testing standards across the world, the reference pressure for Flow results are either 50 Pa or 75 Pa.

    Read more »
  8. Is using a positive duct test pressure advantageous?

    The main disadvantage to positive duct test pressure is that it blows off register seals or makes them leak. An LBL study showed a wide dispersion of results when the same duct test was repeated many times.  Depressurizing will allow the use of lower sticking masking materials that are less likely to pull off the paint. In some cases plastic food wrap will work.

    The main advantage to positive duct test pressure is that the flex duct doesn't contract as much. In cases where the flex runs to the ceiling this contraction effect might cause problems.

    Testing using depressurization will usually result in less leakage because gaps and seams will be pulled closed”

    Read more »
  9. 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

    Read more »
  10. 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

    Read more »
Banner

View All Products

Start Here




sales@retrotec.com

Request a Quote

1 (855) 738-7683

Talk with a Sales Rep