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Air Leakage Testing - Maryland Energy Code Compliance


 

Blower Door Testing
Certified analyst - proper training & knowledge.
Data interpretation for accurate results
Data record keeping and reporting for compliance

Meet new residential energy codes for Maryland
 


Duct Blaster Diagnostics
Proper testing equipment
Knowledge of testing procedure
Data record keeping and reporting for compliance
Meet new residential energy codes for Maryland



 

IECC Air Leakage

IECC Air Leakage

Air leakage control in new residential homes is an enormous opportunity that the Department of Energy recognizes as a clear way to improve energy efficiency, comfort and safety. The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) added air sealing as a key provision to meet. Understanding the guidelines and knowing best practices to achieve results are important to the overall success of your new, energy efficient home.  Reducing air leakage can improve summer indoor conditions (less humidity) and winter month energy loss can be greatly reduced with proper air sealing.

IECC Compliance Testing Contractor Maryland

Proper sealing around windows & framing

Blower Door Test IECC Compliance Maryland

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Duct Blaster Test IECC Compliance Maryland

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Air Leakage Basics

Air Leakage Basics

Air sealing a house is often times misunderstood.  Using caulking and other sealant (foam, weatherstripping) can greatly improve the overall "tightness" of a home and the benefits from taking such actions include:


*Lower heating bills
*Fewer drafts
*Reduce chances for mold
*Better indoor air quality
*Less energy consumption to heat/cool

Building Analyst to conduct energy conservation code tests

Open cell spray foam seals & insulates

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Testing Requirements

Testing Requirements

The whole house air leakage test is conducted using a blower door system and the conditions of the home must be set up properly for the test to be considered valid.  Proper set-up includes setting interior and exterior doors in the proper position, dampers and other gateways shall be closed, but not sealed beyond their intended infiltration control measures (flap, louver) and all appliances must be in the off position.  Having the test run by a certified BPI Building Analyst ensures accurate results. A building analyst is trained to identify air leakage in your home and find the right solutions to fix the issues.

Maryland blower door & duct blaster testing

Sealing & insulating ducts greatly improves efficiency

Building thermal envelope specialist

Owner, Building Analyst
Eric Gans

Need a Partner to Provide Third Party Testing?

As a licensed Maryland contractor and a certified Building Analysts through the Building Performance Institute (BPI) I can evaluate uncontrolled air leakage into and out of a home and identify heating and cooling problems that lead to high bills and uncomfortable living spaces.  

The IECC does not specify who should perform the required air leakage tests, however they do strongly suggest that the person conducting the test be knowledgeable and have experience using the equipment.

Over the past three years I have completed over 3000 hours of relevant work in the field including:BPI Certified Blower Door Test Professional

  • Blower door air leakage testing
  • Combustion safety testing
  • Examinations of thermal boundary effectiveness
  • Pressure boundary evaluations 
  • HVAC duct system efficiency
  • Duct blaster diagnostic equipment
R402.4.1.2 Blower Door Testing

Building a New House in Maryland?

 

Read this:
 

FROM the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY: Sealing the building thermal envelope has been required by the energy code for many years (editions of the IECC). However, in years past the provisions were somewhat vague and only required that areas of potential air leakage such as joints, seams, and utility penetrations be sealed with a durable material such as caulking, gasketing, or weather stripping.

The 2009 IECC required verification of air sealing by either a visual inspection against a detailed checklist or a whole-house pressure test. The 2012 IECC NOW requires all new construction and additions be both visually inspected and pressure tested as mandatory requirements.

There have been some slight changes to the visual inspection checklist and ratcheting down of the testing parameters, requiring houses to be much tighter than the previous edition of the code (see Figure 2 and Table 1). (Source: DOE - Air Leakage Guide | Building Technologies Program)

 

The majority of the Maryland region falls in climate zone 4 which is now required to test out at equal to or less than 3 ACH (Air Changes per Hour).  Air changes per hour can be defined in the following way: the number of times that the complete volume of a home is exchanged for outside air each hour. 

The less times this happens, the tighter the home and as a result, the more efficient the home. (please be sure to learn about mechanical ventilation for good indoor air quality).

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We will contact you and quote pricing based on the square footage of your home.
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Maryland Energy Code R402.4.1.1 - Air Barrier and Insulation Installation
The blower door test will reveal whether these measures were properly taken during the construction of the home.

COMPONENT

CRITERIA

Air barrier and thermal barrier

A continuous air barrier/pressure boundary must be installed in the building envelope.
Exterior thermal envelope contains a continuous air barrier.
Breaks or seams/joints in the air barrier must be sealed.
Air-permeable insulation (fiberglass batts) should not be used as sealing material.

Ceiling/attic The air barrier/pressure boundary in any dropped ceiling/bulkhead/soffit should be aligned
with the insulation and any gaps need to be sealed.
Access opening, drop down stairs or knee wall doors to unconditioned space should be sealed.
Walls

Corners and headers should be insulated and the junction of the foundation and sill plate must be sealed.
The junction at the top plate and top of exterior walls should be sealed.
Wall insulation should be in continuous alignment/contact with the air barrier
Kneewalls should be sealed.

Windows, skylight and doors The space between window and door jambs and framing as well as skylights and framing should be properly sealed.
Rim Joists Rim joists should be air sealed (air barrier) and insulated.
Floors (above garage/cantilever) Insulation must be installed and affixed to the underside of the subfloor plywood.
The air barrier must be installed at any exposed edge of the insulation.
Crawl Space Walls Encapsulation is recommended including installing vapor barrier at the floor, sealing and insulating the walls and disconnecting the space from the outside.
Shafts, penetrations Utility penetrations, shafts for ducts, conduits for wiring, and flue chases that open to the outside or unconditioned space should be sealed.
Narrow Cavities The proper insulation solution should be used to block and seal any irregular voids.
Garage Separation Air sealing should be done between the garage and conditioned spaces.
Recessed Lighting Recessed light fixtures installed in the thermal/pressure boundary should be air tight, IC rated and sealed to the drywall.
Plumbing and wiring Batt insulation should be cut neatly to conform to any wiring and plumbing located in exterior walls.
Shower/tub on exterior wall Outside walls connected to showers and tubs shall be insulated and the air barrier installed separating them from the shower and tub.
Electrical/phone box on exterior walls The air barrier must be installed behind electrical and communication panels/boxes or air sealed boxes should be installed.
HVAC register boots HVAC register boots that go through the thermal boundary shall be sealed to the sub floor or drywall to eliminate leakage/waste.
Fireplace An air barrier should be installed on fireplace walls and the doors on a fireplace should be gasketed.

 

    Specialized Maryland Contractor
    • MHIC Licensed
    • Building Analyst Certified
    • Envelope Professional Certification
    • EPA Lead Renovator Certified

    Hometrust Remodeling is a licensed contractor specializing in a whole-house approach to home remodeling with an emphasis on educating our customers, providing energy efficient solutions, maintaining a network of high caliber technicians and using building science principles.  As a result, we can effectively guide Maryland homeowners towards projects that satisfy comfort needs, aesthetics and value.

    Service Areas

    Calvert County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George's County

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    North Laurel, MD 20723
    301.957.6532
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