I've read about problems with blowing smoke into duct systems to find leaks. One article said that the smoke product left some bad residue inside the system.

 

Does anyone have a good product/system/technique to recommend to find elusive duct leaks while "doing no harm?"

Thanks

Views: 772

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I would call or email the Energy Conservatory. They have some very knowledgeable folks there would will know what's current on this. Let us know what you find out.

I bought a theatrical fogging machine.  I was really jazzed about using the fogger from everything I read about it was pretty cool, non toxic, fog evaporates relatively quickly, no odor and leaves little residue by the machine.  Well opening the order I discovered the machine did not include the fogging solution!  Big bummer, I had to order the fogging solution.  I will let you know how it works  and if I wasted my money or not.  If any one of these machines  can you let me know any experiences, good or bad!

Thanks

Mike

I have not found it to be very helpful and have tried on a number of occasions with a  theatrical fog machine.  If it is a big leak or at the air handler, then you can see some smoke.  If the leaks are at fittings and connections, by the time the air moves through the insulation layer, it is scrubbed of smoke.  Limited lighting in attics and crawlspaces just adds to the difficulty.  If you were working in with uninsulated metal ducts, I can see where it might be helpful.  For the ductboard and flex ducts I typically see it has been more wasted effort than helpful.

 

I have found the hand held Wizard Stick smoke wand to much more helpful.

   Theatrical fog is the same stuff you put in kids' electric trains to make the steam engine "steam."  It's also the same "juice" we put in our Wizard Sticks (another kids' toy, and a much better choice than the titanium tetrachloride in smoke sticks if testing is being done in an occupied house).

    Two lessons about theatrical fog:  (1) put plastic bags over any activated smoke detectors  and (2) buying the fog juice online gets expensive because of the shipping.  Check local music stores.  If they sell electric guitars and amplifiers the odds are good that the sell fog juice.

I will use the fog on occasions to either impress homeowners and contractors on leaky systems. It has helped find the really big airholes. I have to admit I was stumped last time, I used the fogger on a duct system that I could not get any pressure on. I had guys in crawlspace and house, very little fog made it to registers. Did some more investigating... when the original hvac was installed, the contractor built a closet for the return where the old gas furnace had been, using existing walls, etc. HE INCLUDED THE PREEXISTING CHIMNEY, UNSEALED, into the return cabinet!  The fog was going up and out the abandoned chimney! ARRRRGH. Gotta go and find some more airholes!

RSS

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Tom White posted videos
5 hours ago
Maria Lacey replied to Linda Wigington's discussion Low-cost electricity monitoring: Accuracy & Applications in the group 1000 Home Challenge
"I attempted to use an AZTech device. I have used the Watt Stopper, Watts Up Pro, Kill-A-Watt…"
9 hours ago
Maria Lacey joined David Eggleton's group
Thumbnail

1000 Home Challenge

Linda Wigington distinguished between deep retrofits & deep energy reductions, thus expanding…See More
9 hours ago
Profile IconCynthia Sandherr, James Skeldon, Mathew Castel and 3 more joined Home Energy Pros
12 hours ago
Andy Li replied to David Parker's discussion Energy auditor equipment for sale- blower door, duct tester,combustion analyzer in the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
"Is Minneapolis Duct Blaster still available? send some photos and how much do you ask for? my…"
15 hours ago
Andy Li joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
15 hours ago
Hal Skinner replied to Richard Beyer's discussion What's your opinion on the best insulation option for your GREEN attic space?
"Mornin Richard, Maybe 'Options' might be more appropriate here?  We take the path…"
17 hours ago
Richard Beyer posted a discussion
18 hours ago

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service