Contact us at 916.416.0676
CA Lic. # 745881
Based on field testing conducted statewide over a number of years, the California Energy Commission estimates the average duct leakage in California homes to be 30%. This means, of course, some homes have more efficient ductwork and some have leakier systems and all points in between. This translates into an increase in heating and cooling costs of approximately 20% for the average home.
Two of the major contributors to this is poor system design and installation. Many times when homeowners complain of their energy bills being too high, yet their homes are still colder or hotter than they’d like, a contractor may install a more efficient (and expensive) piece of equipment. Or the contractor may just take the "bigger is always better" approach to system design and install a more powerful unit. This often leads to short cycling of the AC equipment and increased static pressure in the ducts which causes greater leakage, all the while not addressing the fundamental customer concerns of high energy bills and reduced comfort.
Replacing the heating and air conditioning equipment without testing and upgrading the ductwork is like pouring water into a leaky bucket. Not a very efficient decision. Many existing duct systems are under insulated or not insulated at all, and were originally sealed with duct tape. Standard duct tape is great for miscellaneous home repairs but terrible at sealing ducts.
The Duct Blaster® is a diagnostic device comprised of a calibrated fan/flex duct assembly that accurately measures airflow in ductwork and registers, exhaust fans and air handling equipment such as furnaces.
All registers in the system with the exception of one return air grille are sealed off with masking. The duct blaster fan is attached to the open return grille and pressurizes the ducts to 25 Pascals (a unit of pressure measurement). Linked to a digital manometer (a device that measures pressure) an accurate assessment of a home’s duct system performance can be reached.
Along with a visual inspection of the ductwork and other diagnostic testing of the HVAC equipment, an informed recommendation for repair or replacement can be provided based on empirical evidence, not rules of thumb. Upon completion of the work a post-remediation test is conducted to verify the performance of the system.
Call Sacramento Building Performance at 916-416-0676, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, to schedule a free consultation to discuss solutions to improve your homes comfort and energy performance.