Everyone seems to have something good to accomplish on Earth Day this year. Twitter and Facebook have had regular comments all day. Energy Star had a Tweet Up going online with people from all over the country. GE donated some LED lamps for a give away. So to get in the spirit, here is what I accomplished.
Wichita Habitat for Humanity builds Energy Star new homes. One of the requirements is to limit duct leakage, by strictly following Wichita City Code and all manufacturers instructions for materials. The professional standard established by the Air Conditioning Contractors nationwide is 6% of system air flow. Energy Star requires 6 cfm (or less) of leakage with a duct pressure test for each 100 square feet of floor area. This home tested at 50% of the Energy Star Requirement. The system tested at 5% of system airflow. Great work! The mechanical contractor on this house is Cook’s HVAC of Wichita.
This afternoon, I did a Blower Door Test. This test measures the energy loss due to infiltration. This again, was new construction and the first HERS Rated Home in Wichita for the season. Wichita / Sedgwick County have not adopted the Energy code. If they were enforcing the 2009 version, this home would have exceeded the requirement by almost 50%. It is 20% above the requirement for an Energy Star New home. Great Work! This shout out goes to a number of contractors.
Air Sealing has many pieces. Framers, electricians, plumbers can all cause many problems for this test. So when they cooperate to help achieve the end result, it is a good thing. Fibrous insulation (Rockwood, Fiberglas, Cellulose), by itself does not effect infiltration. Air will move through all of them. The insulators must install the insulation correctly. They must caulk many places. I observed much of this during my pre-drywall inspection.
I am sure Wade will pipe in here for a comment and a shout out for these subcontractors. Wade Wilkinson is principal of GJ Gardner Homes of Wichita. This home will be their entry in the Wichita Area Builders Association’s Spring Parade of Homes. You can read my Post on the WABA Parade of Homes
Verifying good workmanship by builders and contractors is a great part of being a HERS Rater. What did you do for Earth Day?