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Weatherization
& Conservation
Yes we can!
Francis Rodrigue
Maine Certified Energy Auditor & Weatherization Tech.
Certified Home Inspector
Leasing Agent (homes & Apartments )
Realtor

Special Thanks to Maine Housing & instructor Tony Gill


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EVERYONE COMPLAINS
ABOUT THE WEATHER,
BUT NOBODY DOES ANYTHING
ABOUT IT ! MARK TWAIN

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Insulation Zone Map
• Blue, Zone # 6 , Hard to Heat Zone

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House Thermal View
• Blue is cold, Red is hot (Winter Photo)

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Air Conditioner Left in Window

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Seal the Air Conditioner

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HOUSE AS A SYSTEM
Buildings are systems…Period.
Everything in a building has the
potential to interact with everything
else.
The tighter a building is, the stronger
the interaction will be.
Codes that control trades practices
were, for the most part, written when
this potential was essentially
insignificant.
YOU need to understand your house, a
House as a System Science! 7
….
HOUSE AS A SYSTEM

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*Questions we’ll (try to) answer !

• Why weatherize?
• What is weatherization?
• What is the owners role?
• How are specific air sealing and
insulation done?
• How do I know if it’s done right?

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More Thermal Images
Useful in finding “hot spots” or “heat loss”

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Weatherization goals
• Create Safe Indoor Environment
• Extend Dwelling Life
• Increase Comfort
• Save Money/Energy

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*CONSERVATION
• Conservation is the low
hanging fruit and easy to do
• Every dollar you save
prevents $3 in building
expensive new power plants

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Electric Power Generation
• What can we do?

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Home Electrical Usage

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Light Bulbs
Which one uses more power?

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Light Bulbs
Now, which one uses more power?

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Energy Star Appliances
Save on power and water!

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POWER STRIPS
• When not in use, cut it loose!

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Wrapped Hot Water Tank
• Flow check and timer

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Other Energy Savers
Low hanging fruit

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* INDOOR AIR QUALITY
• Indoor air can be more
polluted than outside
air !
• Name examples of pollution!

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INDOOR POLUTANTS
• Asbestos
• Biological Pollutants
• Carbon Monoxide
• Formaldehyde/Pressed Wood Products
• Household Cleaning and Maintenance, Personal Care, or Hobbies
• Lead Paint
• Mercury ?
• Nitrogen Dioxide
• Pesticides
• Radon
• Resparable Particles
• Secondhand Smoke/Environmental Tobacco Smoke
• Stoves, Heaters, Fireplaces, and Chimneys
• Un-vented combustion appliances
• VOC Volatile Organic Compounds

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Moisture Pollution

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IAQ venting requirements
• Moisture is considered a pollutant in buildings
• Install carbon monoxide detectors on all
levels
• All combustion appliances must vent properly.
• Driers must be vented to the exterior.
• Garages must be cut off from the living space.
• All existing bathroom & kitchen fans must be
vented to the exterior.
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Catch that lint !

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Off Gassing
• Everything in the building off gasses
• Carpets and upholstery
• Paint and stains
• Wood and vinyl flooring
• Cleaning chemicals
• Items stored in the garage & basement
• Never store flammables inside !!!

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Paints And Other Compounds

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Weaker draft heating appliances:
Houses have: If your house is very tight, the
house vents could cause back-
drafting of exhaust gases and
a potential carbon monoxide
hazard. (CO2 detectors a must)

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* BUILDING
CONSTRUCTION STYLES

• Post and Beam


• Balloon Framing
• Platform Framing
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Structural details (that matter!)
• Post & beam buildings can have irregular
nailing & hurricane bracing that create strangely
shaped wall cavities.
• Balloon buildings have interconnected wall &
ceiling cavities everywhere. Gable end stud
patterns can be quite irregular.
• Platform buildings will have a band joist at
each level.
• Split level buildings can have open wall cavities
into unheated areas similar to balloon framing.
• Both balloon and platform framed buildings can
have irregular fire stopping. 30
Post & Beam

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Balloon
framing

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Platform Framing

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*SINGLE FAMILY HOME
WEATHERIZATION
• Air seal (everything) 1st

• Insulate attic

• Insulate walls

• Insulate basements

• Typical savings 20%-30%


• Net Zero homes ?
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Structural Detail

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HOUSE AS A SYSTEM
in the Attic and basement…

•Small holes in the attic and basement


floor – at pipes, wires, the chimney
chase - allow heated air from the living
space to enter the attic.
•The entering air will be relatively
warm & wet.
•Moisture from the warm-wet air
condenses on the first cold surface it
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contacts - typically the most northerly
Air Leakage In & Out

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Thermal Envelope

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Building Thermal Envelope
• Consists of:
– Air barrier (pressure barrier)
- Vapor (re-tarder) barrier
- Insulation barrier.
– All at the same surface & in contact with each other.
• Should be as simple as possible:
– Least area of heat exposed to the cold.
– Smallest volume of heated space.
– Fewest & least difficult joints.
• Weigh your options: i.e. build hatch at top of attic
stair as opposed to addressing stairwell walls &
stair treads.
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Where to Insulate
How Much?

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Why in contact?
12” Air-tight plaster
insulation ceiling
No
Porous
insulation
By convection (stack - warm block tile
air rising), room air freely
moves through the block tile ceiling
& insulation, warming the This configuration
area between the ceilings to slows heat
the same temperature as the
room below.
transfer, but,
The heat then
given enough
radiates/conducts
time, the same
through the un-insulated
amount of heat 41
is
ceiling to the attic.
*AIR LEAKAGE
REDUCTION
• Intended to:
– Stop moisture (99% of moisture air carried)
– The average air change of a house (1 hour)
– Allows insulation – particularly fiberglass – to function
as rated
– Makes home less drafty
– Saves energy
• Very detail specific (very nook & cranny)
• Most easily done during construction
Insulation alone will not reduce air leakage! 42
Air Sealed Windows

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In the real world

Everything happens at once !

Stack effect, wind and


fans all pump air into
& out of a house.
Some number of holes
will leak in, while some
number may continue
to leak out, depending
on driving
Controlling force air
unwanted
strengths.
movement by plugging the
holes is key to saving energy
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Soil
Air leakage* AKA: Convective heat loss
There are three major air leakage “drivers”
(1) Warm air rising (stack effect)

(2) Wind

(3) Mechanical – fans & blowers (dryer, kitchen


and bath vents, heating system)

In Maine, over the winter, stack is the most influential.


Fans generally overpower both stack & wind. 45
What drives air leakage ?
Wind !
(the arrows indicate air
movement)
Wind blowing against
the building pushes
air in the windward
side and sucks it out
the leeward side.
Neutral pressure 46
plane
Air Tightening Chart
Where is the BEST place to insulate?

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Three Atrium Doors
• R=2, Hugh heat loss! What can we do?

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Where to look !

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Air Sealing Task

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Attic
Note heavy mold
& water

Attic “super”
connected to living &
very wet crawl space
below. Soaked insulation
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• Why:
More Air Sealing
– Control unwanted air movement
– Save energy
– Reduce future structural damage
• When & Where:
– Always! At heating envelope.
• How:
– Non-degrading products sealed in place
• What surface:
– Crawl: at perimeter & ground
– Attic: at top of heated space
– Both: in contact with the insulation 52
Breaker Box/ Wire Seal

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Foam Seal Wires & Plumbing

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Fresh Air Vent to Boiler

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Recess Light Above Shower

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* INSULATION
• Fiberglass Batts
• Cellulose Blown-in
• Foam board or sprayed
• Denim batts
• Asbestos, rock wool,
vermiculite
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R value per inch
• Cellulose: 3.0 (dense-pack) to 2.5 (loose
fill)
• Fiberglass: 3.5/in. (regular density)
• Foam boards (i.e. Styrofoam™): 5/in.
• Two part foam: 5 to 7/in
• Foam board with reflective coating: 7/in.
• Glass: R= 1 per layer
• Concrete: R=1 per 8” thickness
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Fiberglass Insulation Samples

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New Green Insulation
• Recycled Denim

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Why do we insulate? Does it work?
• Save energy • Yes
• Remove moisture • No
• Prevent condensation • No
• Dries up mold • No
• Prevent rot • No
• Extend shingle life • Probably
• Satisfy code officers • Usually

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Other insulations

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Two Part Spray Foam

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Insulation requirements
• Completely air-seal attics before installing any
insulation.
• Fill all closed cavities (walls & floored, attics).
• Insulate open attics to R-38/49.
• Cellulose: dense pack all closed cavities to
3.5 lb/cu ft.
• Dam all insulation away from chimneys &
recessed lights.
• Dam the attic entry to prevent insulation from
falling into the living space. 64
•Either ascertain that “buried” Knob &Tube
electrical circuits are not - & can not be –
overloaded, eliminate them or dam insulation away
from them.
•“Tag” any buried electrical junction boxes.
•Never know what you’ll find.

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Installing fiberglass
• Friction fit batts are preferable to the foil or
paper backed product.
– Slightly higher “R” per inch
– Faster installation
– Backing contributes nothing
• Must be in contact with winter-warm surface.
• Poor choice for open floor attics:
– Expensive per “R”
– Allows wind-washing
– Takes longer to blow same area.
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Today’s terms* !
1. Air intrusion =

3. Infiltration =

5. Ex-filtration =

7. Wind-washing =

* So we all speak the same 67


Dense pack cellulose
• Drill 3” hole about 2 feet from bottom of cavity.
• Insert hose in wall to top of cavity.
• “Tune” machine settings to cavity by watching
inside wall and running maximum allowable air
pressure. Set product just below hose blockage.
• “Snow” cellulose into cavity until loosely filled.
• Dense pack cellulose by slowly pulling hose
from wall. Set removal speed by sound & feel.
• Push hose to bottom of cavity & dense pack.
• Insulation should achieve 3.5 lbs per cubic foot.
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Dense pack Blown-in insulation
• dense pack cavities to 3.5 lb/cu ft.
• Just as hard as when it came out of the bag!

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Fiberglass vs. cellulose
• Fiberglass does not absorb water, cellulose
does.
• Fiberglass is lighter than cellulose.
• Fiberglass does not react with metal, cellulose
can. (galvanic reaction)
• Fiberglass allows air movement, cellulose
(properly installed) prevents it.
• Fiberglass may be carcinogenic, cellulose isn’t.
• Fiberglass can’t be dense-packed, cellulose can.

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*HARD TO REACH AREAS
• Band Joist between floors
• Knee walls
• Chimney and utility chases
• Built-ins and pocket doors
• Fuel tank fill pipes

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Garage Attic/Living Space Below

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•Pay attention to details !

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Upper story band joist (platform)
• Same exposure/area as in basement.
• Greater ∆T (temp. diff) so greater heat loss.
• Harder to access (in retrofit).
• Air seal & insulate by:
– Removing trim (inside or outside).
– Unzipping vinyl siding.
– Blowing cellulose or foam into cavity.

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Band Joist

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Typical gable end details – Eve side similar
Band Joist (bag Trick)

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Knee walls
& side
attics

Blue arrows show


intended air movement.
Red arrows show typical
unintended air movement. 77
Knee walls
& side
attics

Install rigid blocking sealed


in place at both points.
Seal must be made to lower
floor drywall in both places. 78
Chimney Chase

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Another consideration

Built-ins can make you 80


Pocket doors, false walls, pipe
chase. What’s the fix?
Blo ck th e top !
The blocking should
be a hard material
– drywall, scrap
plywood, foam
board, etc. - cut to
fit & caulked in
place.
Fiberglass jammed in
and sealed over
with two-part foam
works as well. 81
Plumbing Chase

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Plumbing To Bath Tub

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Fuel Tank Fill Pipes

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* HOUSE ATTICS
• Attic Hatches

• Looping and wind washing

• Attic ventilation and air-


sealing
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Blown-in Cellulose

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Roof Construction Terms

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Attic insulation
• Cellulose is preferred;
– Reduces looping & wind washing
– Recycled “green” product (ground up newspaper)
– Generally less expensive per effective “R”
• Requires careful preparation:
– AIRSEAL EVERYTHING!
– Dam insulation from chimney & recessed lights
– Check K&T for overloads & isolate or eliminate
– Dam attic hatch
– Prevents Wind washing & looping 88
Looping
House Attic

Warm air rising constantly “loops”


through the insulation, picking up heat Dust 2 or 3 inches of
& bringing it up to where it can exit cellulose over the batt
through the ridge venting. insulation to reduce air
intrusion & looping
89
Wind-washing
Blowing thru sofits

Wind will also blow through


insulation, picking up heat as
it goes. Install solid blocks foamed or
caulked to sides of ceiling
stringers & top of ceiling below
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to block air from insulation.
Windwashing (for real!)

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Condensation, roof leak: problem solved !!

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Drop Down Attic Hatch, Sealed

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Why do we vent attics? Does it work?
• Remove moisture • Rarely
• Prevent condensation • No
• Extend shingle life • No
• Save energy • No
• Prevent Ice Dams • Sometimes
• Satisfy code officers • Usually
• Is a hot roof better • Sometimes

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Hot Roof or Hot Ceiling
• Air sealed and Insulated

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Attic ventilation
• Very arbitrary; based on a 3 house
study done in the Midwest prior to
WW II.
• Does not cool roof deck.
– Roof temp more dependent on
shingle color & sun exposure than
ventilation.
See: www.buildingscience.com
• .
96
Ridge vent air source ?

1” x 4” matched 97
Ceilings are no different !

If the attic is floored over, air circulates inside the


closed cavity, carrying heat from the bottom to the
top where it conducts/radiates to the attic.
If it isn’t covered, the heated air will rise out of the
insulation & into the attic where it escapes through
the attic venting.
Insulation type is critical. 98
Attic Stair Well

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Attics revisited (One last time!)
The vast majority of air moving through Maine houses
during the heating season is driven by stack effect.
This can account for as much as 60% of heat loss!!
Insulating an attic without air-sealing it will not reduce
the volume of air moved into the attic by stack effect.
Insulating the attic will lower the attic temperature
causing condensation on surfaces which previously
remained above the dew point.
Adding attic venting will most likely cause even more
condensation in the attic as the “relief” at the top will
pull harder on the house, moving more house air up.
The ONLY reliable “fix” is air sealing and e
. 100
*BASEMENT FOUNDATIONS
• Rubble Stone and granite
• Crawl Spaces (post & pier)
• Brick and blocks
• Pressure treated
• Poured concrete
• New- Foam blocks
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Pick your house site wisely
Why are Basements in Maine wet ?

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Ground Pitches Towards
the Foundation

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Why Is My Basement Wet?

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Rubble Stone and Granite
• Common From 1800 to 1920

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Post and Pier
• Crawl Space

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Brick and blocks

• The Foundation Cracks,


• Leans, Bulges, Settlement:
• Insulation challenges

107
New Construction
Complete foundation insulation . . . $5400.00
24’ x 48 ’ (1152sf)
Estimated energy savings... $450.00/year
Estimated dehumidification saving… $300.00/year
Professional mold remediation... $2000.00
Dry, warm, healthy basement... priceless

108
Pressure treated wood foundation
• Not Common

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New- Foam blocks

• You can build the entire house

110
Basement box sill (band joist)
• Insulation the basement (as important as attic)
• Sill plate must be sealed to the foundation:
– Exterior or interior ok – do whichever is easiest.
– One or two part foam.
– Silicone caulk.
• Caulk or foam all penetrations.
• Insulate sill cavities with 2” foam board. Air-
seal edges to framing. (preferred method)
• 6” Fiberglass batts with backing caulked or
foamed to framing is acceptable.. 111
Septic Drain Pipe

112
The ultimate crawl retrofit !

113
*MOBILE HOMES
Have their own unique
challenges.

114
Mobile home weatherization
• Long fiber (Insulsafe III) fiberglass preferred:
– Lighter per cubic foot.
– Won’t absorb water.
– No galvanic reaction.
• Duct sealing a priority:
– Ducts are outside the air barrier.
– Typically either poorly installed or damaged in transit.
– All joints important.
• Eliminate factory floor return systems:
– Plug all return floor register openings.
– Undercut interior doors for free return air flow.
– Install louver door on furnace closet. 115
Is The Leak Vent or Sky Light

116
Manufactured housing

Stack effect moves air from the basement


or crawl space to the attic, carrying
moisture from below which will condense
on the underside of the roof deck resulting
in mold & rot. 117
HUD Zone II requirements
(Three E-W zones: NC North = Zone II)
• Min. of R-8 in all exterior surfaces.
• Ceiling vapor barrier.
• Rodent barrier.
• 2”x4” wall studs.
• Heating ducts inside envelope or insulated.
• Single hung or sliders with inside storms.
Units designated for a particular zone don’t
necessarily remain there.
Lots of room for improvement! 118
Rodent & Thermal Barrier

119
Mobile Home • Blown-in fiberglass in
the attic.
Weatherization

120
*ENERGY AUDIT TOOLS
Blower Door
Infrared Camera
Smoke stick
Vent and Duct Testers

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* Why do an Energy Audit ?
Extend building
life:
The same conditions
that lower IAQ can
reduce building
durability.

What’s bad for you is


usually bad for your 122
The blower door
• The blower door measures the volume
of air moved out of the house
under a known pressure.
• Only way to accurately quantify house
“leakiness.”
• Feeling for moving air will locate leaks.
• Blower door testing is usually done by
depressurizing the building to 50
PASCAL's (PA).

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Manometer
Blower Door Computer

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Infrared (IR)
• Sees surface temperature only
• Very powerful when used with the blower
door
– IR alone followed by IR with BD.
– First IR establishes normal cond-
ition air leakage pattern, second
IR with blower door shows what
happens under artificial air pressure.
– Interpretation is key
– Does not see thru walls
125
Smoke stick
• Makes smoke to help find
drafts around walls

• Regin® Smoke Emitters


• Persistent white tracer smoke--
great for checking air flow
patterns and performing leak
tests.

• http://metermall.com/product%20pages/Smo
ke/Smoke%20Emitters.htm

126
Vent and Duct Testers

Most homes average a


28-40% leakage in their
heating and cooling duct
system, and some
systems are drastically
worse. This can result
in an energy waste of
30-70% from you
heating and cooling duct
system.

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Infrared Gun
Finds temperature at one location.

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Think and be
safe !

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Mars Hill !

130
REVIEW
• HOUSE AS A SYSTEM 7
• CONSERVATION 12
• INDOOR AIR QUALITY 21
• BUILDING CONSTRUCTION STYLES 29
• SINGLE FAMILY HOME WEATHERIZATION 34
• AIR LEAKAGE REDUCTION 40
• INSULATION 54
• HARD TO REACH AREAS 68
• HOUSE ATTICS 82
• BASEMENT FOUNDATIONS 97
• MOBILE HOMES 110
• ENERGY AUDIT TOOLS 117
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ENERGY AUDIT CLASS
• Next Class
• Wednesday : February 25th 2009
• Same time, same location
• Cost $ 7.00

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QUESTIONS

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