HERS 1 TESTING AND REGISTRATION (DUCT TESTS)

We perform state required HERS 1 Testing and registration for alterations such as new HVAC as well as additions and new construction. These include the following:

DUCT TESTING

We pressurize your ducts to 25 pascals and measure the air leakage. New system are required to have less than 6 percent leakage and existing duct systems with new furnaces or air conditioners must have less than 15 percent. The percentage is calculated as air leakage divided by the total airflow of the air handler per system ton or BTU. Air tight ducts keep conditioned air to where it is supposed to get to, hence energy efficiency.

COOLING COIL AIRFLOW

We measure the amount of air that an air conditioner pumps through a duct system. Air conditioners work better when they blow around 400 cubic feet per ton or 12,000 btus. In a dry area like Mediterranean climate like California, even higher air flows per ton are desirable. Unlike Florida or New York, there is little moisture in our air, we want that moisture. Higher flows allow you to pay only to cool the air, not waste money dehumidifying it.

FAN WATT DRAW

Fan Watt Draw takes the watts used by the motor and divides it by total airflow. The system must use less than 0.58 watts per cubic foot. This is an excellent performance measurement because it shows how much energy the system uses to pump a basketball size cube of air through a set of pipes. Well designed duct systems have less resistance to airflow than thoughtlessly constructed systems.  The systematic test incorporates duct leakage, duct design and motor/fan efficiency. This is the test to do. If your system fails this test, it will need to be examined leaks, kinks, excessive runs, bends or a poorly functioning fan motor.

REFRIGERANT CHARGE VERIFICATION

Air conditioners are heat pumps that expel heat energy, excited molecules, from one place to another in a continuous system. Here a refrigerant, pumped and compressed from vapor to liquid under precise pressures and temperatures expels the heat out of the house through the compressor unit.

The system need to operate within  a narrow temperature/pressure band to function properly and efficiently. The code requires that subcool and superheat be within a narrow range as specified by the manufacturer. This is what we verify.

System Damage can be caught by testing. Incorrect pressure/temperatures can cause liquid refrigerant to get into the compressor. Since liquid is incompressible, compressors can experience extreme pressures that damage bearings,  seals and the mechanical operating system. This type of damage can ruin a system and require replacement. This is a mission critical test for air conditioners, its importance to system function, service life and performance can’t be ignored.

QUALITY INSULATION INSTALLATION

Insulation works best when it is properly installed, QII is a HERS measure that documents the installation process of the insulation installer so that we know the complete insulation system works as specified ed by the manufacturer.

QII is the systematic documentation of every aspect of air sealing and placement of the insulation installed.  The HERS rater inspects the system at Framing, sealing and completion. We  look  for gaps, voids or compressions.

HERE IS A COMPLETE LIST OF TEST WE PERFORM FOR HERS 1:

  • Duct Leakage Test
  • Commercial duct leakage test
  • Blower Door Test
  • Total Airflow Test
  • Room by Room airflow test
  • Exhaust Fan airflow test
  • Kitchen fan airflow test
  • Fan/Watt draw test
  • Refrigerant Charge Test
  • Static Pressure Test
  • Quality Insulation Installation Test
  • Watts/Meter squared test for solar PV verification
  • Solmetric Suneye test
  • Infrared imaging test
  • Combustion Safety Tests

Go here for a complete description of all these tests.