Tag: duct leakage


2016 Energy Code Field Awareness

We would like to bring to our builder and subcontractor’s attention some issues that could occur in the field regarding HERS Verification.  The 2016 Energy Code has implemented more and/or tighter regulations when it comes to compliance.  Subcontractors need to pay even more attention to the detail of the field installation team.  Here are a few suggested items you may want to address with your team:

  • Air Flow Testing: Subcontractors may have issues passing which sometimes is because of the zone system not being adjusted properly. Please make sure your team is pre-testing.
  • Refrigeration Charge (RCM): Make sure the subcontractors are testing the system prior to the third-party inspectors coming out to verify.
  • Equipment Installation: Make sure the correct equipment is being installed in the correct units and matches the CF1R per plan type.
  • High Quality Insulation Installation: It is becoming common for projects under the 2016 Code to now have a QII verification on the project’s mandatory compliance. The installation must have no voids or gaps and fill the cavity side-to-side, top-to-bottom, and front-to-back. The inspection requires two site visits from the HERS Verification company. One verification is prior to drywall (rough stage) and the other is near final (during all the other verification measures).  Please make sure your team is calling us out prior to drywall and following the QII checklist.
  • Signing off on the CF Forms: DuctTesters is a hands-on Energy Consulting Company. We work with, help, train, and follow up with the subcontractors filling out and signing off on the paperwork.  Installers are responsible for 100% (each and every home) of respective CF2R documents. There are some areas where trades cross over and issues arise as to who will sign off for what.  Please note that a builder can always sign off if there are subcontractors refusing to comply.  There are items such as a whole house fan where one company supplies it and another installs it. There are also areas where QII crosses into drywall and/or framing.  Please try to address items prior to work starting by holding a pre-construction meeting and/or list subcontractor cross over area items in scopes of work. The forms in the mandatory provider database sometimes only allow one company to sign off on the install.  Here are some suggestions of who should sign what form:

Below will have both CF2R & CF3R to complete and sign off:

Subcontractor Responsible HERS Measure Form
HVAC Duct Leakage MECH 20a
HVAC Air Flow MECH 23
HVAC Fan Watt MECH 22
HVAC or Electrician Indoor Air Quality MECH 27
HVAC Refrigerant Verification MECH 25
HVAC Low Leakage Air Handler (LLAH) MECH 20c
Insulation Quality Insulation Inspection (QII) ENV 21, 22, 23


Below will only have CF2R to complete and sign off:

Subcontractor Responsible Form
Window ENV 01
Insulation ENV 02, 03
Roofer / Framer

(for attic eave vents & radiant barrier)

ENV 04
Plumbing PLB 02
Electrician or Lighting LGT 01

Builders back charge subcontractors for not passing HERS inspections the first time which requires a HERS Verification return trip to pass the second time.  It also can hold up a builder’s project to reschedule the subcontractor to fix the mistake and to reschedule the HERS Verification return trip.  HERS Inspections are contracted with the builder under sampling protocol. Although we spot check, we process sample groups and provide CF3R documents for each and every home. Our hands are tied if non-compliance is not resolved and/or if installer CF2R documents are not completed.

CF1R:  Certificate of Compliance (Permit Application)

  • The Project’s Energy Code Design Requirements / Permit Application
  • Provided with Plans or Equipment Schedule
  • Submitted to Building Department for Permit
  • Must be Signed by All Parties Responsible for Building Design & Registered with Approved HERS Provider
  • Submitted to Enforcement Agency

CF2R:  Certificate of Installation (Installation & Installer Inspection)

  • Construction and Installer Verification Testing
  • Forms Signed and Submitted by Installing Subcontractor or Builder During Construction Verifying Installations and Installation Testing
  • Posted at Building Site
  • Reviewed by Building Inspector
  • Mandatory Measures Found within these Forms

CF3R:  Certificate of Verification – HERS (HERS Verification)

  • The Third-Party Verification (HERS) Sign Off After All of the Above Are Completed
  • Verification Provided by a Certified HERS Rater
  • Field Inspections

We know everyone takes pride in their work and we are here to conduct “QUALITY ENERGY CONSULTING WITH THE TESTING TO PROVE IT.”  We are part of your team and are here to help you get the job done right.

Below are free materials to help your team:

***DuctTesters put together “the above suggestions”.  Please note that DuctTesters is not an attorney nor responsible for verbiage written in outside company scopes of work and/or contracts.  Please consult with your company’s attorney and/or contract/scope writer.  Above is merely suggested and in no way pointing out one or any current companies doing anything wrong.


National Energy Awareness Month

October is National Energy Awareness Month.  This month is dedicated to a national effort to emphasize how central energy is important to our national prosperity, security, and environmental well-being. The Obama Administration is also participating this month by sharing and showcasing clean energy events and activities.

DuctTesters has compiled a list of 10 suggested ways you can participate in Energy Awareness Month and save energy at home:

  • Programmable Thermostat: if you already have one, in the winter, maintain a temperature of “68°F while you’re awake and setting it lower while you’re asleep or away from home. By turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill — a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.“ (energy.gov) In the summer, “you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away, and setting the thermostat to 78°F (26°C) only when you are at home and need cooling.” (energy.gov) If you do not have a programmable thermostat, install one to lower utility bills and efficiently manage your heating and cooling systems.
  • Put it in a Power Strip: Plug home electronics, computers, printers, TVs, Bluerays, and DVD players, into power strips. Turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use.
  • Hot Water Heater Temperature:  Lower the hot water heater thermostat to 120°F.  This will help conserve energy and work just as effectively.
  • Upgrade to ENERGY STAR ProductsENERGY STAR labeled light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, and any other possible products.  ENERGY STAR products meet higher efficiency guidelines set by the US EPA and the US DoE.
  • Wash Laundry in Cold Water:  Always wash your laundry in cold water.  Laundry detergent works just as well and you will save energy and money by not heating the water.
  • Clean Fridge Coils: Dust your refrigerator, especially the coils behind the fridge.  Be sure to use the right tools to clean them.  By doing so, your refrigerator will run more effectively and not have to use more energy to work properly.
  • Outdoor Motion-Detector Lights:  replace outdoor lighting with motion-detector censored lighting.
  • Change HVAC filters:  If you change or clean your HVAC’s air filters at least once a month, your system should run at top energy performance.  All HVAC units are different so be sure to read the proper upkeep and maintenance for your specific HVAC unit.
  • Upgrade Windows:  Check your home’s window sealing, air leakage, and quality.  Today’s energy efficient windows are labeled and certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council.  The new windows have stickers on them labeling and certifying the window’s performance.

Not sure where to start but want to make some changes to your home?  Call us and we can perform an Energy Assessment on your home and compile a budget that fits your actual needs and desires. We do not perform the work but can help you find qualified contractors.