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Duct Testing

Ductwork Testing

If you are primarily concerned with your furnace and you are trying to improve your comfort levels, save money on fuel bills, or you are concerned with the overall operation of your furnace, you might consider upgrading your energy audit to an Advanced Heating System Energy Audit which includes the following tests:

  • Duct Blaster Testing

    • Total duct leakage
    • Total duct leakage to outside
    • Duct supply line leakage
    • Duct return line leakage
  • Temperature Rise Testing

    • Temperature rise across the heat exchanger
    • Temperature rise from the plenum to the supply registers
  • Pressure Testing

    • Pressure drop across the blower fan
    • Pressure testing at the supply registers
    • Room by room pressure testing with the air handler on
  • Volumetric Flow Testing

    • Measuring volumetric airflow through the supply lines
  • Standard Combustion Testing

    • This comes with your basic Home Performance Energy Audit, and it provides you with combustion safety and combustion efficiency data; this is also included in with the upgraded Advanced Heating System Energy Audit

Ductwork Issues

The following problems reduce your heating system's efficiency and its ability to work properly:

  • Poor insulating levels
  • Pressure drops in the system that result in reductions in air flow
  • Lower supply temperatures than desired
  • Lower return temperatures than desired
  • Temperature rises that are undesirable
  • Pressure drops across the blower fan that are undesirable

The tests listed above will determine if your heating distribution system is doing its job and what needs to be improved.  These tests are an extension of the services we offer for our Home Energy Audits, and they will provide you with detailed information regarding the effectiveness of your heating distibution system as well as problems that are in need of solutions.

Ductwork Recommendations

Ductwork that is installed in 2014 by a BPI Certified Heating Professional is required to have a duct blaster test run to determine the leakiness of the system and to compare the leakiness of the ducts inside the building envelope to the leakage outside the building envelope.  The leakage to outdoors must only be a small percentage of the total leakage.  Additionally, too much duct leakage reduces the pressure inside the system and creates unbalanced heat distribution throughout the home.  

Insulating your ductwork can be important, however, it is not necessary all of the time.  Any ductwork in unconditioned space should be insulated to a minimun of R8 according to BPI, however, the more insulation the better.  Insulating ductwork in attics, crawlspaces, and some basements can also help to ensure that your home will be more comfortable.

Many homes have leaky ductwork and poor air flow and the results are typically stuffy and uncomfortable rooms regardless of the thermostat setting. We may recommend sealing your ducts with mastic, metal tape or spray-on sealant, and balancing the duct system to optimize air flow to all rooms after testing is complete.  Are you ready to have your home energy audit with advanced ductwork testing?!