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: 1438

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

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Twitter

Latest Activity

Tom White's video was featured

Robby Schwarz on Builder Collaboration

Hear Robby Schwarz, of EnergyLogic discuss the value Owens Corning brings to Thrive Home Builders.
6 minutes ago
Profile IconLights N More, John Kamas and Chuck Santeler joined Home Energy Pros
1 hour ago
Crosbey Archery liked Don Hynek's discussion Testing "Magic Pak" units??
2 hours ago
Crosbey Archery joined Norm Bourassa's group
Thumbnail

Multifamily Buildings

For too long there has been relatively little EE focus on multifamily, but some new programs have…See More
2 hours ago
Crosbey Archery liked Crosbey Archery's blog post Energy Tips - Fresh Look at Heating and Cooling the Home
2 hours ago
tedkidd liked Luis Hernandez's discussion Airsealing an old basement ceiling
9 hours ago
Ryan T De La Rosa posted a blog post

The Clean Power Plan and What You Can Do

Last month, Jessica Hardcastle at Environment Leader described an especially non-polarizing…See More
10 hours ago
Ed Minch replied to Luis Hernandez's discussion Airsealing an old basement ceiling
"Luis Think of it as a part of the house that is not being used, but part of the house none the…"
14 hours ago

© 2016   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service