These diagnostic tools are useful to have in your home performance toolbox. Such visual ways to present information can also help you make an effective presentation right in the home to convince homeowners of the need for energy retrofit work.
Retrotec. A tremendous amount of leakage can occur in a home’s ductwork, and can easily go undetected. The Q32 Duc-Tester consists of a Duc-Tester module, a DM-2A digital gauge, and a 12-foot flex duct with flanges for mounting on the return register. Specifically designed to measure residential duct leakage, the automated system can measure and locate air leakage in ducts and can measure the results of duct sealing. The system creates 600 cfm, which is five times more flow than necessary to pass California standards, the maker says. Special software for the system ensures accuracy within 2.5%. 604.732.0142. www.retrotec.com.
General Tools & Instruments.Seeker Series Video Inspection Systems are designed to be highly versatile for inspecting otherwise inaccessible areas. The scopes allow users to see inside, around, behind, underneath, and between walls, machinery, and other objects. The lightweight, handheld units are ideal for locating leaks, corrosion, mold, and infestations in walls before initating demolition. They can also be used for inspecting electrical, gas, and HVAC systems. Various diameters and lengths of camera-tipped probes feature adjustable lighting, and are interchangeable between all four models in the product line. Models DSC400 and DSC495 also feature a wireless, detachable, high-resolution video screen and offer data-logging capabilities. 212.431.6100. www.generaltools.com.
The Energy Conservatory. The Minneapolis Blower Door features a lightweight, rugged, injection-molded housing for fans that offer stable flow measurements without the need for gauge dampening. The standard Model 3 system includes an adjustable aluminum frame and nylon panel for doorway installation, a Model 3 fan to measure flow from 300 cfm to 6,000 cfm, as well as a DG-700 pressure and flow gauge with Cruise Control. The Cruise Control feature lets users keep the fan running during air-sealing to measure the change in the home’s tightness. Both 110-volt and 220-volt models are available, and customers can also choose two- or three-fan systems. 612.827.1117. www.energyconservatory.com.
DAP. Identifying air leaks is just one part of improving home performance — those leaks must be sealed, too. For proper air-tight window and door installation, the maker offers DAPtex Plus Window & Door Foam Sealant. Formulated with CoVinyl-X9000 for weather resistance, toughness, and durability, the expanding foam effectively seals large cracks, gaps, and voids. The material also helps homes resist moisture and pest infiltration around windows and doors. Paintable and toolable, DAPtex Plus won’t overexpand, the maker says, and is easy to clean up with water. The interior/exterior formula can also be used in other sealing projects around the home. 800.543.3840. www.dap.com.
Gorell. The window and door manufacturer recently introduced Radiaflect energy-saving reflective insulation products. Installed as retrofit attic insulation, as a housewrap under replacement siding, or under joists in crawlspaces, Radiaflect is ideal for the remodeling market and is eligible for federal energy-efficiency tax credits. The product line replaces the R-Comfort line of products. Radiaflect insulation features a highly reflective aluminum facing fused to both sides of a sheet of closed-cell polyurethane foam. The sheet material provides the benefits of traditional radiant barrier product and traditional mass insulation, combined, by stopping radiant, convection, and conduction heat transfer. 724.465.1800. www.radiaflect.com.
Convenience Products.Touch ’n Seal Gun Foam II Insulating Sealant offers an air-sealing solution for often unnoticed sources of energy loss. For use at the juncture of the sill and slab or foundation, and any penetration through floors or ceilings, such as electrical lines, HVAC ducting, or pipes, Gun Foam II also fills cracks and holes in exterior sheeting, at corner and tee joints in framing, and any other place where air might penetrate the exterior envelope. The gun-applied sealant is a one-component polyurethane foam. The bright orange color indicates fire protection properties. Though the material is not a fireblock, Gun Foam II withstands flaming more than twice as long as competitive products, the maker says. www.touch-n-seal.com.