Information

Tools of the Trade

A hammer and a saw used to be the key tools for home contractors. Today, the best-in-breed also use high-tech equipment while performing a professional energy audit or verifying that construction has been done correctly.

Members: 101
Latest Activity: Aug 4

Add Tools to the Tools of the Trade Page

Add tools to the Tools of the Trade page by starting a new discussion. Click + Start Discussion in the Discussion Forum below to post.

Discussion Forum

Affordable Manometers?

Started by Isaac Savage. Last reply by Pete Stoermer Feb 15. 3 Replies

Looking For A Retrotech Duct Tester ?

Started by Chris Schiewer. Last reply by Jamie Kaye Dec 16, 2015. 1 Reply

Buying Used Equipment

Started by Nick Semon May 18, 2015. 0 Replies

Used Blower Doors?

Started by Isaac Savage. Last reply by Cameron Millard Jan 16, 2014. 3 Replies

Instant read thermometers

Started by Ryan Moore. Last reply by David Meiland Apr 29, 2013. 3 Replies

Good Place to Compare Appliances?

Started by Donna Sanders Jan 12, 2013. 0 Replies

Smoke puffers

Started by Paul Raymer. Last reply by Jim Gunshinan Mar 15, 2012. 8 Replies

CO Testing for BPI

Started by Paul Raymer. Last reply by Chris Stratton Mar 2, 2012. 6 Replies

Refrigerator and Freezer kWh/y Database

Started by Classic Residential, Inc.. Last reply by Paul Scheckel Oct 28, 2011. 5 Replies

Comment Wall

Comment

You need to be a member of Tools of the Trade to add comments!

Comment by A. Tamasin Sterner on February 10, 2011 at 7:33pm
Ladies and Gentlemen, I have to tell ya, I'm a HUGE fan of flexible probes!  Love my flexible probe for my Testo 327 - NO more drilling!! and, the flexible, lighted probe on my video boroscope is awesome!  Today, I saw what was happening under a dryer - solved a combustion air issue by cleaning!
Comment by Graeme Nix on December 28, 2010 at 2:03pm

Ron, Paul,

First, the flow rings are always attached on the inlet side of the fan, regardless of whether you pressurizing or depressurizing. Admittedly, this does make it less convenient to change the rings if that becomes needed, since you'll have to remove the flex duct first.

The ability to test in either direction, however, is a key feature of the Retrotec DucTester. It is true, Ron, that if the grill mask holds tight, there should be very little difference in the results between depressurization and pressurization, however, the possibility does exist that if it's not properly secured, the grill mask can be pushed off a register, leading to faulty results, or a repeated test. Hence our recommendation. However, it must be clearly said that if there's a risk of polluted, dusty, or mouldy air being pulled into the house, the ducts do not need to be depressurized.

Comment by A. Tamasin Sterner on December 24, 2010 at 11:39am
We are using flexible probes for our combustion analyzers.  Great solution for checking undiluted flue gasses for CO content.  Instead of drilling holes in draft diverters in order to get the probe into the undiluted gasses, we use flexible probe.  Check out the photos I've uploaded.
Comment by Evan Mills on December 16, 2010 at 11:41pm

Some discussion over here on choosing IR cameras and blower doors.

Comment by Ron Jones on December 12, 2010 at 6:02pm

Thanks for that.  I've been curios since you raised the topic if there would be a difference.  I'll try it some time with my Energy Conservatory Duct Blaster and if I see anything funny I'll let you know.

Comment by Paul Raymer on December 11, 2010 at 8:05am

Ron -  As far as running the Retrotec duct tester either way, after your question, I was teaching a class yesterday, and we ran the duct tester both ways and got exactly the same result.  It was extremely handy to be able to leave the blower door installed to quickly do the Total Pressure and then the Pressure to outside.  (The ducts in the building I was testing were awful to say the least.  Even the theatrical smoke was diluted to the extent that it was hard to see.)

Comment by Paul Raymer on December 11, 2010 at 8:02am

Tamasin -

I have been using a Motion Computing J3500 for auditing.  It's built for field work with "Gorilla" glass and a solid state drive.  It is not cheap, but it's incredibly fast and extremely bright even in direct sunlight.  It takes a little getting used to - carrying this amazing machine in an attic or crawl space.  It takes pictures and even can serve as a telephone.

I have been playing with HomeGauge software.  It is designed primarily for Home Inspectors, but it does have an energy template.  I am working with them to refine the output, but it has a spreadsheet for BPI combustion safety testing, etc.  I like the idea that it is on my computer and I don't have to pay annual fees or individual use fees or any other fees.  I haven't done it yet, but they can take your data on-line so that your clients can download it.  It's really easy to add pictures and they have an enormous bucket full of pre-written comments like warnings about windows not being the first step in saving energy.  It does figure area weighted R values and the BAS as well.

The first report I did was about 35 pages long, which is very fancy, but too much information for the average homeowner.

Comment by A. Tamasin Sterner on December 10, 2010 at 5:28pm

Is anyone using Tablets for auditing? If so, what are you using and what software?  Do you like it?

Comment by Ron Jones on December 8, 2010 at 6:33pm
I don't think Retrotec's argument holds much water. Have they tested a hundred house systems both ways, pressurized and then depressurized, and measured the difference? I can't imagine it would be enough to impact my recommendations to a homeowner. I'm not giving you a hard time, it's just that this is the first time I've heard depressurizing ducts suggested, so the possibilities are intriguing. Have you done it?
Comment by Paul Raymer on December 8, 2010 at 6:53am
That certainly may happen. Retrotec advises depressurizing so that the duct masks are pulled more tightly against the grilles rather than being pushed off. Also, if a "Leakage to Outside" test is going to be done using the blower door, the blower door fan doesn't have to be turned around to blow air into the house. And if it is a cold winter day, blowing 25 Pa of outside air into the house may be more detrimental than some leakage from the crawl space.
 

Members (101)

 
 
 

Videos

  • Add Videos
  • View All

Twitter

Latest Activity

Michael Wenzel is now a member of Home Energy Pros
6 hours ago
Stan Harbuck added a discussion to the group Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase
Thumbnail

4 Fans, Doors, Gauges, etc. for Sale - 4 Q4E 3300 Retrotec Fans, Doors, Drivers, etc.

4 Rarely used Q4E 3300 Retrotec fan sets (2010/2011) and all related equipment for sale, including…See More
9 hours ago
Stan Harbuck 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
10 hours ago
Amber Vignieri posted a blog post
yesterday
Barbara Smith's video was featured

Weatherization: Crawl Spaces

Crawl Spaces - Training for Weatherization Installers. Re-posted from Seventhwave.org
yesterday
Kelly replied to Colin Genge's discussion What is the value of using a pressure pan to test outlets?
"Hi Colin, I like using the pressure pans at outlets to guide my inspections once I'm in the…"
Thursday
Leo Klisch commented on Home Energy Magazine's blog post Natural Gas is Becoming Less Attractive
"It seems a bit wasteful to use NG for such a low temperature application as space heat. If a heat…"
Thursday
HomeWiz posted photos
Thursday

© 2016   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service