Home Energy Diagnostic & Performance Testing
A complete and accurate analysis of home performance should include diagnostic and performance testing. Performance testing gives you a number that you can use to see how one house compares to others or to some program criterion. For example, a performance test indicates that the duct leakage on a home is 5%, which is below the 6% maximum duct leakage allowed by the ENERGY STAR new homes program.
Diagnostic testing usually involves coming up with numerical results, too, though it's relative numbers that matter. In pressure pan testing, for example, you want to measure the pressure in all the duct runs and then look more closely at the ones with the biggest numbers since they're likely to be leakier than the others.
Here are some of the types of testing commonly done in homes to gauge their performance level, with the tools commonly used for each test in parentheses:
- Airtightness (Blower Door)
- Zone pressure testing (Manometer)
- Duct leakage (Duct Blaster, Blower Door, Pressure Pan, Flow Hood)
- Duct airflow (Flow Hood)