Diagnostic Equipment We Deploy
All of Accu-spec Home Inspection, PC energy audits and home energy ratings employ the use of air-infiltration testing (via Blower Door test equipment and duct leakage testing (via Duct Blaster® equipment).
Blower Door Testing
The most practical way of estimating air infiltration or air leakage within a building’s shell locating the largest and most costly air leaks in a home is through the use of Blower Door testing. Air leakage in a home can account for up to 40% of a home’s cost of heating and cooling.
In addition to estimating the rate of air-infiltration within a structure, the blower door test is an effective way of locating the largest and most costly leaks in a home, determining whether there is an adequate supply of fresh air in older homes and whether mechanical ventilation is required in new homes
The Duct Blaster® is used for testing ductwork of forced hot air heating systems and central air conditioning distribution systems for builders, HVAC contractors, homeowners and energy efficiency programs. It is used to test for duct leakage in houses and light commercial buildings.
Leaking duct systems are a major source of heat loss in existing and new homes, and can account for as much as 30% of a home’s total heat loss. In addition to reducing the effectiveness of heating and cooling systems, resulting in some rooms that are too hot and others that are too cold, duct leakage can be unhealthy. Leaks in return ducts can draw in pollutants and other irritants creating indoor air quality problems. When used in conjunction with the blower door, the Duct Blaster® can be used to determine total duct-leakage to unheated areas; or, how much costly conditioned air is being lost to the outside.
Infrared (IR) Thermal Imaging
Using infrared technology inspectors can diagnose insulation and moisture problems using technology to investigate building components by a less invasive means. We typically perform this test in conjunction with a blower door when trying to determine the location of air leaks and missing insulation during an Energy Audit. This technology is also useful in finding Roof and Plumbing leaks. An Infrared Scan for water intrusion and leaks is included with every Home Inspection. Please see our Blog on the Benefits of Infrared in Home and Building Inspections.
This technology also helps us to pinpoint improvement areas for homeowners, contractors or their sub-contractors. The images to the right were images taken of new homes less than 1 year old. Areas shaded blue in the upper photo indicate colder areas due to lack of insulation and improper insulation installation. Areas shaded in blue in the lower photo show cold air infiltration. Note: Both pictures were taken while the blower door running.