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Is testing the air barrier with scented water vapor as effective as traditional fog test?

Amanda_M | Posted in Energy Efficiency and Durability on


My townhouse (so chosen engineering firm and details being out of my control) is doing an air barrier test using scented water vapor. From what I’ve read fog tests are ususally done using a mix of water and either using glycerin or glycol. Is scented water vapor the new thing? I googled it but couldn’t find anything relevant. I’m assuming that they can’t actually see the fog but can only smell it? (unless i’m wrong on that). I find it hard to believe that they’ll be able to smell where it comes out quick enough to identify the specific areas, versus being able to see the fog coming out.
(by the way, this is not to test a new build to make sure that it’s done right, it’s to test a stacked townhouse/terrace home to find the spots where air from the lower unit is getting into the upper unit).


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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    This is the first time I have ever heard of that technique.

    GBA readers?

  2. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #2

    Are they using Chanel #5, indolebutyric acid, or something in-between? :-)

  3. charlie_sullivan | | #3

    I wonder why it's scented water vapor instead of just a scent--what's the purpose of the water? Can they find the water vapor with a fast-reading, or is that just a carrier for the scent?

    Obviously, the engineering firm doing this is knows more about this than we do!

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