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Duct insulation and envelope tightness testing, also known as DET Testing, is required in the state of Georgia. According to state building codes, all duct insulation systems outside of conditioned spaces, as well as the building envelope, must be verified for proper sealing by a pressure test.
Call Arbor Insulation Solutions at (404) 728-0001 today for a free estimate for testing for your duct insulation system.
Blower Door Testing
Blower door testing for new construction is accomplished by mounting a blower door in one of the doorways of new residential construction. The blower door measures the amount of air moving through leaks while the house is slightly depressurized. The more air, the more leaks in the insulation. See below for leakage specifications. The IEEC code calls this a Building Envelope Tightness Test.
Duct Insulation Leakage Testing
Duct leakage testing is accomplished using a duct blaster (blower). Duct leakage testing is usually performed as soon the HVAC system is installed (typically prior to framing inspection). The prerequisite for testing your duct leakage is simply that the ducts, plenum, and air handler are air tight. This usually happens as soon as the HVAC installers complete their rough-in. A smaller blower similar to the blower door is attached to a return duct and the remainder of supply and return openings are sealed to be air tight. The duct blower pressurizes the ducts and measures the amount of air leaking out of the duct and insulation system. See below for duct leakage specifications. The IECC code calls this a Duct Tightness Test.
The following is from the GA amendments to the 2009 IECC and addresses testing of the house envelope for tightness:
402.4.2.1 Testing required. Building envelope tightness and insulation installation shall be considered acceptable when tested air leakage is less than seven air changes per hour (ACH50) when tested with a blower door at a pressure of 50 Pascals (1.04 psf). The formula for calculating ACH50 and testing protocol is listed in Appendix B ‘Building Envelope and Duct Tightness Testing Protocol’. Testing shall occur after rough in and after installation of penetrations of the building envelope, including penetrations for utilities, plumbing, electrical, ventilation and combustion appliances.
The following is from the Georgia amendments to the 2009 IECC and addresses testing of HVAC ducts and insulation for tightness:
- Post-construction test: Leakage to outdoors for each system shall be less than or equal to 8 cfm (226.5 L/min) per 100 ft2 (9.29 m2) of conditioned floor area assigned to that system or a total leakage for each system with the air handler installed of less than or equal to 12 cfm (339.8 L/min) per 100 ft2 (9.29 m2) of conditioned floor area assigned to that system when tested at a pressure differential of 0.1 inches w.g. (25 Pa) across the entire system, including the manufacturer’s air handler enclosure. Conditioned floor area should be calculated using ANSI Z765, and should include all directly conditioned square footage, whether finished or not, that meets building code requirements for living space.
- Rough-in test: Total leakage for each system with the air handler installed shall be less than or equal to 6 cfm (169.9 L/min) per 100 ft2 (9.29 m2) of conditioned floor area assigned to that system when tested at a pressure differential of 0.1 inches w.g. (25 Pa) across the roughed in system. All register boots shall be taped or otherwise sealed during testing.