What do energy auditors want to learn about air leakage?

 

Retrotec is getting ready to host more information packed webinars over the next few months and I'd love to know what energy auditors want to see/hear from Retrotec's technical crew.

 

Any and all comments are welcome.  Thanks again.

 

 

Sincerely, Silvie Votrubova
Lead Project Coordinator
silvie@retrotec.com www.retrotec.com

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I'll bite if no one else wants to - while following the Bldg Scnc Camp last week they mentioned some of the different standard by our military, Israel, and our residential testing, where it was also mentioned that the best result is received at 25 Pa not 50 - I think it might be cool if we had one on the different specs out there, maybe why they are used, pros, cons, etc... Along the same lines, I understand some in this country test the ducts @ 50 not 25 - same deal as above

One item that has bugged me for awhile - multifamily units (1 to 2 story condo units / duplex to quads) why do many try to treat it as one unit instead of 2 to 4 or maybe more different units? (Please note this isn't for places with a single shared entrance, but units with their own entrance directly outside - sometimes with their own garage) Also some of the same info as above - who uses what standard, pros,cons, etc... 

Sean,

Thanks so much for you input.  I'll take this idea to the team and see what they can do with it. 

Much appreciated.

I think it's always helpful to learn and refresh the topic of how to find specific air leakage pathways and how to demonstrate that effectively to customers.

The common culprits like dropped soffits, overhangs and recessed lighting are usually assumed (correctly) that they have issues. I'd just like to have some more guidance on the methods we can use for those more difficult houses that don't have the typical issues we can point to. Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced level diagnostics webinars would be a huge plus.

On the customer side, it'd be great to share best practices on the methods we can use to show customers the issues. A blower door test is already a great demonstrative tool for a customer, but how to show these deficiencies and get a "let's get it fixed" reaction would be great.

 

Thanks for coming up with these webinars. I'm sure they'll be informative...

 

Helder Cristovao

The Green Standard

Hillsborough, NJ

Another super helpful topic would be multi-family testing. From most of what I've seen, the how-to information is not readily accessible and it can make folks shy away from doing multi-family work that's desperately needed.


Thanks again,

 

Helder Cristovao

The Green Standard

Hillsborough, NJ

Good morning, I wanted to bring up a spot that hasn't really been addressed on older homes.Sash weight pockets. Here in Chicago we have an older housing stock. When windows are replaced many contractors either cut the sash cords and let the weights fall in or pull the weights out, stuff insulation in and slap the new window in, doing nothing about air sealing the cavity which contributes to air leakage and wind washing. A huge amount of air infiltration would be stopped with this small but effective measure.

Hi Silvie and thanks for asking,

In addition to the suggestions listed, there is an area of leakage in many older homes that cannot be easily seen with a simple CFM50 blower door test.  It occurs in homes with board sheathing and a poor air barrier on the outside.  Plastered walls and many years of paint on the inside can yield a well air sealed interior wall, but the leakage from outside to the wall cavity can render any insulation present almost useless.  Advanced diagnostics can test cavity pressures and help identify when this is occurring, but incorporating those results into an overall evaluation is difficult.  It's another area where an improvement may be made, but not accounted for, ie blowing in cellulose will reduce the effects and improve the performance of the home, but the original extra loss was not calculated and thus the gain not credited.

 

Bud

I hope Silvie won't mind if I pop in on a few of these...

 

Sean, the idea behind treating low-rise buildings as one unit because the objective (in existing buildings) is usually to get the pressure boundary aligned with the thermal boundary. That suggests that air sealing the party walls won't have a lot of energy impact, but will take time and add to cost.

 

Helder, as the tools become better the info is getting out there. I just did a class on testing MFBs in Illinois (we spent a day in a 38-unit building with eight fans.) Colin G. with Retrotec was a huge help in that project. Right now, plans are in play to do another class October 11 to 13 in Wisconsin, and a repeat in Illinios in early November. As we get better information that air sealing MFBs actually saves money, the goal of testing and delivering measured performance will become more and more significant.

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