The candle has been around the cave and the realm of weatherization and energy efficiency for some time now, but here’s an app which few have ever conceptualized.

 

In the early days of weatherization, before the thermagraph, even before the blower door, the trusty candle provided us several enlightening concepts. It would flicker when breezes brushed against its flame as a clear indicator of infiltration. Before the fancy schmancy digital manometers, a few old timers would mount a box fan in a window and measure the flame distortion sideways to gather crude data about the amount of flow under a known pressure, an indication of how leaky the house was.

 

But today I am introducing you to a new concept – tracer deposits! I came across this by accident in an architect’s home, an architect whose wife burned candles and then he noticed the blackened outline of his cooled joists near the walls where the condensation of PARAFIN had deposited.

 

In a few places between the joists it was possible to also see the path of windwashing of heat on the other side of the sheetrock where soffit vents were poorly baffled and allowed the cooling that marked the area as a place to add both insulation and correctly placed baffles. The paraffin deposits were ‘air-brushed’ in a gentle sweep, reflecting the path of outside air passing too close to the sheetrock and marking what needed to be retrofitted.

 

Photos tomorrow. You'll witness air-brushed thermograhs (in Black and White) created by cave-dwellers in a modern home where the wind-washing gave the carbon black a tell-tale story of how things are on the other side!

Views: 34

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Joseph Lamy on July 28, 2011 at 10:56am

Last week I posted a thing about Black and White 'thermography' where a lady burned candles in her home. The soot stuck to where the condensation had formed (under the ceiling joists near/against the sidewalls and a few 'air-brushed' paths between them where a missing baffle had allowed wind-washing of heat from out of the insulation).

 

What gets me is how COOL this recognition was, that it was done with a candle and it absolutely identified a thermal anomaly that weatherization gurus like us should have reveled in discovering. BUTT, nobody gave a hoot. Am I nuts, or is this candle app particlarly (!!:)) extraordinary?? It was a Black and White thermograph - old-timey yes, but as accurate as any $10,000 infrared camera, it was in plain sight for us who have the eyes to see, and it clearly told the truth about the thermal failures occurring the other side of the sheetrock!

 

I am actually quite surprised that nobody responded yet. Maybe it was the humble candle introducing the topic. Perhaps with a money-saving down-grade approach, I could have enLIGHTened our readership. "Get great results with Black/White Thermograph...for only One Dollar. Light here! Soot there!"

 

PS. Photos didn't come out and I didn't want to pester the nice folks for a second round. I did give them LED flashlights to compensate for the hassle the first time. That was enough, and enough is enough, if you get my drift!

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

Hal Skinner replied to Hal Skinner's discussion 'YGRENE' super fund for energy upgrade financing
"I think it would be best to keep the questions and answers on this open forum for all to see. Cali…"
1 hour ago
Susan E. Buchan posted an event

Houses That Work in Grand Rapids, MI at Watermark Country Club

March 26, 2015 from 8am to 4:30pm
The premier building science education event for professionals is coming to Grand Rapids MI next…See More
2 hours ago
John Meniatis replied to Hal Skinner's discussion 'YGRENE' super fund for energy upgrade financing
"I have also posted 2 videos that you may want to watch regarding Ygrene Energy Fund. "
14 hours ago
John Meniatis replied to Hal Skinner's discussion 'YGRENE' super fund for energy upgrade financing
"Hello Everyone! Hal, thank you for the great overview on Ygrene Energy Fund. Ygrene Energy…"
14 hours ago
Mary Desilva posted a blog post

How People in San Diego Are Facing The Energy Crisis

One of the biggest issues with living in large cities like San Diego is the sheer amount of energy…See More
yesterday
Jan Stensland replied to Linda Wigington's discussion Congrats Ceniceros Household! 26th Project to Officially Meet 1000 Home Challenge in the group 1000 Home Challenge
"You might consider installing Roxul's acoustic batts, which are not for thermal insulation and…"
yesterday
Jan Stensland joined David Eggleton's group
Thumbnail

1000 Home Challenge

Linda Wigington distinguished between deep retrofits & deep energy reductions, thus expanding…See More
yesterday
Lauren McFeeley posted events
Tuesday

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service