The Duct Blaster is an air flow measurement system used to test and document the air tightness of forced air duct systems in both houses and light commercial buildings. The Duct Blaster fan is directly connected to the duct system, typically at a central return, or at the air handler cabinet. With the remaining registers and grills temporarily taped off,
duct air tightness is measured by either pressurizing or depressurizing the duct system and precisely measuring the fan flow and duct pressure.
Most homes in the US have heating and cooling systems that rely on forced air distribution. Most of those heating and cooling systems are inefficient. If areas in your home are uncomfortably cold in the winter and/or hot in the summer, no matter what the thermostat setting, it should come as little surprise. There are various reasons, but a few bullet points would include:
- Oversized equipment
- Improperly sized ductwork
- Inadequate air flow
- Inadequate duct insulation
- Excessive air leakage
The National Comfort Institute (NCI) has conducted research showing the average home's heating and cooling system performs at only 57% of equipment rated capacity A duct renovation with testing, sealing, adjusting, and balancing can increase system performance by an average of 35%. That's a lot of saved energy.
Of the bullet points listed above, the last, excessive air leakage has the greatest impact on indoor air quality. Installed ductwork across the US has an annual average leakage rate of 30%.
As part of our whole house approach, we utilize a Duct Blaster to determine the amount of duct air leakage in your home's system. With that essential knowledge, we can prescribe measures to increase efficiency, and improve Indoor Air Quality. Here are a few examples of problems we commonly find in ductwork installations, as well as solutions to help improve your comfort, health, and safety.
We perform duct blaster tests as part of our home energy assessments and can also check them as a separate service.