Air duct leakage can increase heating and cooling costs over 30%. The Duct Blaster is a device that uses pressure testing to find the amount and location of air leakage in a duct system. In order to perform the test, the Duct Blaster fan is connected to the duct system at the air handler, or a return grille. After temporarily sealing all remaining registers and grilles, the Duct Blaster fan is turned on to force air through all holes and cracks in the ductwork.
After the entire process is complete, estimates of efficiency losses from duct leakage can be made from the leakage measurements. This will include air that is leaking outside of the building [could be the attic or crawl space for example]. Most of us would not intentionally condition our attic or crawl space, right?
We will pressurize the house to the same level as the ducts with the Blower Door. At that point, the Duct Blaster brings the ducts up to the required pressure. None of the air will leak out of the house since it’s at the same pressure as the ducts.
In a tight air distribution system, the leakage to the outside will be five percent or less of the square footage of the house. Most new installations start at about fifteen to twenty percent, and go downhill from there. If this is true for your home, a third of your heating and cooling bills could be a direct result of duct leakage.
As you can see, when the recommended repairs are made, the result is tremendous energy and financial savings.
The Blower Door is a whole house testing system which indirectly measures duct leakage by pressurizing the entire house to a standard testing pressure. This is done with all of the home’s doors and windows closed. By comparing the whole house test before and after all registers are temporarily sealed, the Blower Door provides you with an estimate of duct leakage to the outside, estimate natural infiltration rates and gauge efficiency losses due to home air leakage by certifying construction integrity.
With the Blower Door running, duct leaks can be pinpointed by using a hand-held smoke puffer, or a leak detection tool called a pressure pan. In addition to diagnosing duct leakage problems, the Blower Door can identify building improvements that will reduce energy use and increase comfort.
Thermal imaging is one of the most effective procedures to diagnose a structure’s thermal performance and capabilities. Thermal imaging identifies temperature variations of a building’s surface. This reveals many problems with the energy conservation that are directly related to the structure of your home. Problems in your home’s structure [which includes air leakage and moisture content, which leads to mold growth] can be found through thermal imaging. This will also show areas of missing, non-existent insulation in walls and ceilings.
Knowing the energy use of one’s home can save money and give you peace of mind. An audit consists of a visual inspection of the home and appliances – blower door testing, duct blaster, and thermal imaging are included. We will analyze the energy efficiency and make recommendations to improve energy consumption. After analyzing the energy audit, we make recommendations on how to put as many of our suggestions into practice as possible.