Practical Tests/Inspections to Effective Remodeling of Your Home
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Visual Energy Inspection
Although there is nothing that can replace the visual energy audit or inspection of two experienced eyes, there are tests that are sometimes recommended before remodeling a home. They are the Blower Door and Duct Blaster Tests. The infrared camera is used when needed.
Blower Door/Door Rater
The blower door or door rater test is best done after you have caulked and weather-proofed your home to see what you missed. It pressurizes your home to show how "leaky" your home is and to allow the operator to find leaks that are not easily discernable. In truth, it rarely shows much more than your home is leaking, which you already knew, so tighten it up first.
Of course, all windows and doors have air infiltration eventually. Doors and windows should be recaulked and weatherstripped every 5-10 years. That is not the reason to have a blower door test.
The blower door test sometimes discovers the location of the unexpected leaks. The primary purpose, though is to measures the extent of the leaks.
Although the duct blaster test is often used to check new construction, it is also useful in checking existing homes.
All ducts leak eventually so it is a given that ducts in an older home will be leaking. If you condition the attic (that is what most building physicists recommend as a solution for Texas attics), it will not matter that the ducts leak in a few places. Multiple leaks, however, should be located and repaired.
It also gives the remodeler information about the effectiveness of return air ducts.
A infrared camera may be needed to show places of heat loss and/or leakage such as those in the walls. It is not always needed.
Again, start with caulking and weatherizing your home. If you still ahve high utility bills after you have taken care of the attic and have the sun off the windows, then have the blower-door test accompanied by the duct blaster test and the infrared if and where needed..
Contact Terry Jensen at 972 251-1532 or 817 545-0140.
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