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Energy Audit Tests

The tests Sensible Energy Solutions conducts in your home during a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR home energy audit will depend partly on the configuration of your home and how you heat it. Sensible Energy Solutions performs a wide range of tests:

Blower Door Testing
Duct Leakage Testing
Infrared Camera Diagnostics
Combustion Appliance Testing
Ventilation Evaluation

Blower Door Testing

Blower-door.jpgMost Sensible Energy Solutions energy upgrades begin and end with a blower door test, which measures how much air leaks in and out of your home. This test helps us diagnose a variety of energy and comfort problems and ensure that your house has adequate ventilation. It also helps us identify leakage locations.

During a blower door test, an expandable frame and vinyl shroud installs in an exterior doorway, and a large fan installs in the vinyl shroud. A meter and control attached to the fan allows us to create a standardized pressure difference between the inside and outside of your house and measures air leakage at that pressure.

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Duct Leakage Testing

Duct_testing_Digi.jpgWe generally recommend duct leakage testing when at least half your ducts pass through unconditioned spaces such as a ventilated crawlspace or attic. If all ducting is enclosed within the thermal barrier of your home, then duct losses are much less important.

Duct leakage testing measures how much conditioned air you lose to the outdoors through leaky ducts. The Duct Blaster® system works much like the Blower Door Test but connects directly to your duct system.

Duct leakage testing must be done before and after duct sealing to take advantage of the Oregon Residential Energy Tax Credit.  

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Infrared Camera Diagnostics

IR2b.jpgAn infrared camera cannot actually "see into your walls" or "see through your walls," but it shows detailed heat transfer patterns that can indicate problems such as missing insulation, air leakage, or moisture accumulation.

When adding wall insulation to your home, we also use infrared imaging as a quality control measure to ensure that we get the job done right.

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Combustion Appliance Testing

001D_Combustion.jpgSensible Energy Solutions Home Performance with ENERGY STAR energy audits identify current or potential safety problems with combustion appliances, such as a gas- or oil-burning furnace, boiler, or water heater. Tests on each combustion appliance include: 

  • Combust Appliance Zone (CAZ) worst-case depressurization
  • Flue-gas spillage
  • Flue vent draft pressure
  • Ambient carbon monoxide level
  • Flue-gas carbon-monoxide level

We also perform these tests as a final step in your Home Performance project to ensure that your combustion appliances are still operating safely.

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Ventilation Evaluation

Each Home Performance with ENERGY STAR home energy audit includes an evaluation of natural and mechanical ventilation. Too little ventilation can lead to poor indoor air quality (IAQ) and high moisture levels. Too much ventilation wastes energy and can cause comfort problems.

Ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens is crucial to controlling indoor moisture, which can cause condensation in adjacent walls and attic spaces. 

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