STEP 3: Test-Out Verification

Test-Out Verification – The importance of final verification testing

Step 1: Energy Assessment

Step 2: Home Performance Work

Step 3: Test-Out Verification

 

What does Eco Performance Builders do to confirm and show results?

Duct Blaster used to measure duct leakage

Quantitative and visual evidence of progress and results are always necessary. The fact that homeowners report a higher level of comfort and energy savings to us is great, but tested proof needs to be provided as well that the exact targeted amount of progress was made. If the targets were exceeded, then by how much? For the industry to grow, all contractors need to supply quantitative post work results to the homeowner. This is done by conducting a Test-Out Verification.

 

Air Leakage and Duct Leakage:

Duct Blaster Manometer reading extremely low leakage

Duct Blaster Manometer: Very low leakage tested

A Test-Out Verification is very similar to an Energy Assessment. A Blower Door test is continually done while air sealing the home to gauge progress towards and often past the target leakage reduction number. Similarly, a Duct Blaster test is performed to test the new duct leakage. The difference is, the goal for a Duct Blaster should always be as low as possible (0-2% leakage for new ducts and ~5-6% target when sealing existing ducts). The Building Leakage (aka air leakage), as tested by the Blower Door, should always stay above what’s called the Building Airflow Standard (BAS). It is a number that is calculated for each specific home that’s based off the volume and/or number of occupants. Below this number a homeowner is encouraged to install an energy efficient form of fresh air supply ventilation. We are careful to stay just above the BAS.

 

 

Room to Room Air Flow Balancing:

flow hood for energy audits

flow hood for balancing a system

If duct work (new or the sealing of existing) was involved in the scope of work then this will always include Air Flow Balancing as part of the Test-Out Verification process. After the initial energy assessment in the beginning of the project, an energy model was made that calculates how much air each individual room requires in order to stay comfortable. In other words, how many cubic feet per minute should be coming out of the supply vents for that specific room based on it’s measured/calculated heating and cooling needs. Air Flow Balancing is a method to achieve this at the end of any given duct work project. Mechanical dampers are installed in every accessible duct line. They are then finely adjusted until a Flow Hood (balometer) measures the exact cubic feet per minute needed coming out of that specific room’s supply vent. This is done for all rooms and dampers until the system is “Balanced”.

 

Final Combustion Safety Testing:

On the initial assessment, a combustion safety test was performed on all combustion appliances. If any problems were found then the solution would have been included in the scope of work and the problem fixed. However, the home’s pressure (or depressurization) situation has changed after having work done. The more a home/duct system is tightened up, the more easily a kitchen range hood (for example) can cause the home to have a negative pressure. This has the potential (very uncommon) to cause carbon monoxide being produced at the water heater (for example) to back-draft into the house. on Test-Out, combustion safety is all retested. If an additional combustion safety problem is found then it is then fixed before the job is considered complete.

 

Final Rebate Submission:

After the final Test-Out Verification, we revisit the initial energy model (EnergyPro). This is the California Energy Commission approved software for residential modeling that was created for the homeowner after the Energy Assessment. It is used to calculate Energy Upgrade California rebate size ($1000 to $4500). It is never the case that we don’t reach our target numbers and do not get the initially proposed rebate (as listed on contract). In fact, we frequently exceed the target numbers and the homeowner is surprised to receive an additional $500 in rebate money.

 

What are our qualifications?

Eco Performance Builders is a licensed General and HVAC contractor. We are certified with Home Performance with Energy Star, Building Performance Institute (BPI), and we are a Build it Green “Green Builder” A.K.A. Green Point Rated. We are an approved and highly active Participating Contractor in the Energy Upgrade California program. Our technicians are BPI certified as well and are regularly sent to further PG&E energy upgrade trainings. We have delivered performance-based solutions with a green building approach to hundreds of homes in the bay area.

 

What areas do we serve?

 
Get in contact:
For more information about Residential Energy, call (925) 363-4498 to speak to a technician or schedule an Energy Assessment. You can also e-mail:  info@epbuilders.com