I am building three houses in eastern Alabama and using the Earth cents program. I wanted to go with energy star but could not find a heat and air contractor to do it. My first house is about ready for testing and I think I have it sealed pretty good but am curious as to what I may have missed. Is there any classic areas of leakage that I am not aware of. I have looked online and can find no checklists or anything. I am from central Fl. so I have a good handle on the obvious for HVAC been using mastic for years.

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Your rater should have gone over this with you before the drywall went up (better yet at the design phase), but here is the Energy Star one...


Based on the pics I have seen - slab to frame connection and you are going to have some fun with the roof & tray area - you don't have a crawl so that eliminates a bunch

As an FYI, last I checked there are 3 contractors in Alabama which doesn't include those in Georgia that do ES HVAC

For your reading pleasure - air sealing & insulation articles / ducts only

Yes the rater that Alabama power suggested I go with has done all that and did a pre-drywall inspection.I was just wondering about little trade secrets things I should watch for. As for ES contractors I called all on the list and none were even interested in even bidding guess Annisiton is to far to drive. I am sure I could make it worth someones while but I still have to compete with traditional builders here. Until the appraisers start adding value to this it is going to be a tough sell.

Smoke and blow.

After you clear your mind of whatever mental image that conjures, find an energy auditor with a blower door kit and a theatrical smoke (fog) machine (you may have to rent, beg, borrow or steal the fogger)

Subs whose scope encompasses air sealing activity may yawn and shrug at flickering digits on a blower door computer...thinking "what me worry?"

When those same clowns see smoke pouring from whatever assembly they "sealed", they'll spit out their chew, step up and git 'er done.

It is not that bad around here no one I know chews. We have been using a halogen light at night inside with someone in the attic it has been illuminating to say the least. The air tight fixtures were not so air tight after all. I glued all the drywall at top plate and that seemed to work and going to silicone base to slab and so forth. What was funny is Ac guy used mastic but without mesh tape and wondered who pulled the insulation off when it slipped down. Going to be a long winter.   I will see if party store has smoke machine.

go to a dj store for a smoke machine they have better one than the party store

Beware cheap smoke machines - may leave an oily film. That may not be a concern for rough-in testing, but our work involves retrofits to occupied homes, so we use a Hollywood-grade glycol-fueled machine by Rosco.

Look for a Rosco or similar unit for rental.


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