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Video: Duct Sealing and Leak Testing

Duct sealing and duct leakage testing: Two experts from Conservation Services Group, Eric Wilder and Will D’Arrigo, explain how to seal duct seams with mastic and how to use a Duct Blaster to test duct tightness

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Keeping Ducts Indoors

Five ways to bring ducts inside a home’s conditioned space

Posted on Oct 14 2011 by Martin Holladay

If you live in New England, you know that furnaces are installed in basements. But any New Englander who moves to Oregon soon learns that furnaces are installed in garages. And anyone who retires to Texas discovers that furnaces are installed in unconditioned attics.

Of course, there are many other examples of similar regional differences in construction practices. But this is one regional difference that matters. New Englanders have it right: furnaces and ductwork belong inside a home’s conditioned spaceInsulated, air-sealed part of a building that is actively heated and/or cooled for occupant comfort. , not in the great outdoors.


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Image Credits:

  1. Image #1: California Energy Commission
  2. Image #2: Whatley & Sons - www.whatleytruss.com
  3. Image #3: Steven Winter Associates
  4. Image #4: California Energy Commission

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What Were They Thinking?

A selection of scary building stories and photos from the field

Posted on Sep 27 2011 by Carl Seville

I’ve been doing HERS ratings and green building certifications for several years now, and I have run across some pretty scary things during inspections that sometimes make me wonder what everyone was thinking.

Now, I was a contractor for a long time, and I understand the challenges of getting things done on time, correctly, and within the budget, and by no means am I trying to minimize those challenges. What does amaze me is how little attention some contractors and trade contractors pay to the details as their projects are underway.


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An AC Sizing Benchmark for High-Performance Homes

Fighting air-conditioner rules of thumb with a new rule of thumb

Posted on Sep 21 2011 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD

One of the most frustrating parts of my job as a Home Energy Rating (HERSIndex or scoring system for energy efficiency established by the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) that compares a given home to a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Reference Home based on the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code. A home matching the reference home has a HERS Index of 100. The lower a home’s HERS Index, the more energy efficient it is. A typical existing home has a HERS Index of 130; a net zero energy home has a HERS Index of 0. Older versions of the HERS index were based on a scale that was largely just the opposite in structure--a HERS rating of 100 represented a net zero energy home, while the reference home had a score of 80. There are issues that complicate converting old to new or new to old scores, but the basic formula is: New HERS index = (100 - Old HERS score) * 5.) provider is dealing with the size of air conditioners installed in Energy Star homesA U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program to promote the construction of new homes that are at least 15% more energy-efficient than homes that minimally comply with the 2004 International Residential Code. Energy Star Home requirements vary by climate..


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