Q: What is a door fan test?
A: A way to measure the leakage of an enclosure using a large calibrated fan temporarily installed in a doorway of the room or building to be tested and a pressure sensing device to measure the pressure created by the fan flow.
Q: Who needs to have a door fan test?
A: If you live in the State of Louisiana, any house built after January 1, 2015 requires a door fan test to be conducted before residence may be taken up in that house. Also, if a house is being remodeled and the value of the remodel is over 50% of the overall value of the home, it will need to have a door fan test the same as if it were new construction.
Q: What statute covers door fan tests in the State of Louisiana?
A: The uniform Construction code of the State of Louisiana, §107. International Residential Code, 2015 Edition.
Q: What is a passing score on a door fan test?
A: Less than 7 ACH (Air Changes per Hour) at 50 PA. Should a house score less than 3 ACH it is necessary to install mechanical air to ensure sufficient fresh air is present for breathing.
Q: What is an Attic Tent, and why should I have one?
A: According to the manufacturer,
"The Attic Tent ® is the ultimate attic access insulation cover ever invented (attic stairs, scuttle holes, knee-wall doors, and full-size doors.) Its primary design is to stop air infiltration between the home and attic, the most common medium for wasting costly residential energy, during both hot and cold seasons. The HVAC systems in homes are designed for a closed envelope making air balancing with supply and return air, very critical. Every time these systems are operating they create a positive or negative pressure, thus forcing conditioned air out or drawing outside air in the home. It also keeps out unhealthy insulation and dust particles from the attic."
Attic Tent was given an R-Value of 6.6 by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in November 2014.
Q: What is a duct leakage test?
A: A duct leakage test is a method of measuring the airtightness of forced air heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) ductwork. A duct leakage tester consists of a calibrated fan installed at the return air entrance for measuring an air flow rate and a pressure sensing device to measure the pressure created by the fan flow.
Q: Who needs to have a duct leakage test?
A: If you live in the State of Louisiana, any house built after January 1, 2015 requires a duct leakage test to be conducted before residence may be taken up in that house. Also, if a house is being remodeled and the value of the remodel is over 50% of the overall value of the home, it will need to have a door fan test the same as if it were new construction.
Q: Who can perform door fan and duct leakage tests?
A: These tests may only be performed by individuals certified to perform door fan and/or duct leakage tests by a nationally recognized organization that trains and provides certification exams for the proper procedures to perform them.
Q: What does it mean to seal air leakages in your house?
A: The boundary between conditioned and unconditioned air in a house is called the envelope. When air passes through the envelope it becomes compromised and we say that we have a leak. If the leak is to the inside from outdoors, it lacks conditioning (normally a difference in humidity and temperature). When air passes through the envelope to the outside from indoors, conditioned (or treated) air is lost and therefore wasted.
To remediate this problem sealing of the leak is required. Sealing air leakages means reducing or eliminating the movement of air across the envelope boundary. This is done by any number of methods and using various materials. Commonly, a foam or caulk is used seal cracks in the envelope although larger penetrations may require foam board or the installation of other barriers. The door fan applies pressure allowing the technician to locate leaks using smoke to trace the movement of air through the envelope.
The best time to seal a house is during its construction. But existing houses can benefit greatly from air sealing as well.