Blower Door Prices

Jason,

I don’t understand where the Minneapolis door can only do 50 or 25 Pa.?

This manometer has many different modes of operation.

One is pressure/pressure.
Two is pressure/flow rate.
Three is pressure/flow rate at 50 Pascal.
Four is pressure/flow rate at 25 Pascal.
Six is pressure/feet per minute.

(I don’t remember what number five is)

From what I can see, option number three and number four are automatic settings that complete the calculations automatically for you, to include controlling fan speed to maintain the 50 or 25 Pascal pressure.

This manometer will automatically calculate air leakage rates that can not reach the target pressure. So if you’re trying to hit 50 Pascal and you can only do 40, the CFM display is the calculated CFM at that reduced pressure.

Selecting option three (at 50 Pascal) must be selected if you want to determine automatically the “can’t reach 50 factor” when you can’t reach the 50 Pascal level. These factors are automatically programmed in the manometer (a different set of factors would be utilized for “can’t reach 25”).

You do not have to drop down to 25 Pascal and do external calculations.

Also, when utilizing the “cruise control” option, setting the manometer to CFM/50 Pascal tells the fan the pressure to maintain.

You should also be able to use option number two which is basically a “manual mode”.

As to subtracting baseline pressures of the building from the tests equations, there is a baseline function that you run with all the door equipment installed, but the fan opening is blocked off 100%. This gives you the natural pressure of the building and the time average to determine this pressure and removes this variance from the automatic calculations in the other automatic manometer modes.

All this has to do with a “one-point test”, where CFM is determined at 50 Pascal.

A second and more accurate test procedure is to perform a “multi-point test”. This test is conducted from as high as a recommended 60 Pa (or more), down to the lowest CFM the fan can calculate. Multiple readings at 5-10 Pascal step reductions are recorded and plotted on a graph or computer software. This provides information as to leakage rates across the potential pressure differentials of the building. There is a potential that you’re building will not leak excessively until it reaches extremely high pressure differentials (which may not be normal conditions for your location). This information can also be utilized to determine where the leakage is actually occurring and when.

I believe that the 75 Pascal criteria may be associated with this “multi-point test”.
There will be no requirement to reach 50 Pa in order to perform the tasks, rather a reference point to attempt to achieve to increase the accuracy of testing.

This is simply a perspective from past HVAC training 30 years ago. I am not trained or certified in today’s standards or equipment.

JJ,

Again, I’m NOT conducting Energy Performance Surveys on Army Barracks!! You found a document that describes the 75pa standard, but it has no barring on what I do as a Home Energy Performance Auditor.

I’m not going to apologize for offering my opinion. Actually, the sales Rep at The Energy Conservatory was extremely helpful. He actually encouraged me to take my time and investigate both doors.

This was your comment to me after I informed you of buying the MBD:

“By the way you really should double check about the 50pa requirement that may be coming down the pipeline. A blower door that is not expandable might be one you put on ebay after the first of the year for \$100. If they make it so you have to get to 50pa and will not be able to use a conversion chart that door will become obsolete.”

Thanks for the advice, I feel like I made the right decision for me and my business. I can’t speak for anyone else

All the best,

Kevin

Wow Kevin, that’s a big difference in pricing. I am registered for the BPI Building Analyst Course on Jan.18th in Chicago. I got 3 calls today regarding IR energy surveys and decided to go ahead and take the BPI Course. Any suggestions? I think I know where I’ll be buying my blower door.
www.home-energy-audit.com
www.chicago-energy-audit.com

Good luck, Linas.

Study the Residential Energy Book before your class and know the BPI Standards.

Kevin

Linus, the energy auditor field guide is another good one from Saturn.

Book is enroute. Thanks Peter.

You might also be interested in this video. It helped me out a great deal when preparing for the field test. I think I’ve watched it over 20 times.

One of the Instructors in the video, Glenn Dickey, was my field mentor. He really knows his stuff.

http://www.buildingsciencetech.com/

Kevin

Ordered. Thanks Kevin.

Peter,

Yes your door is fine, and will probably be fine for considerable to come. Even if the 75pa standard did come down, I would assume TEC would have some sort of update unless they just wanted to get out of the business for some reason or another. Which is unlikely. If for some reason mandatory 50pa or 75pa did actually become a residential standard, you could also simply switch to the Retrotec DM-2A guage as it will control the Retrotec, TEC door and Infiltec systems.

David,

Yes you can use conversions, currently. That is yet another standard that “could” hurt some current blower door designs/setups. I have heard rumors through various BPI trainers and Hers raters that the mandatory (meaning no conversions used) 50pa is a very likely next step. Once again these are rumors, but they are basically from the same people that rumored a year ago that infrared would become a standard for a HERS rating, which it is today.

My opinion on doors has always remained the same. If you want to take the path that lowers your risk to future standards, and are not on a tight budget, you start with a Retrotec Q5E. The Q4E will save you money up front with the same performance, but if you go to two or three fans in the future it would cost you more in the long run. If you know for a fact you will be doing structures of 3000 sq ft or less consistantly (age of structures lowers or raises that sq ft number) then go with an Infiltec. The Infiltec is only \$1995.

I just didn’t appreciate Kevin’s post (attack) in reguards to what I told him, when what I told him is the absolute truth. He did his research and decided that the TEC door was the best for his business, needs and budget. I find nothing wrong with that, I just did not see the need to come up with some conspiracy theory and put it in a public forum about what I said or the company that I work for.

JJ

Jason,

In the RetroTec…What’s the costs of upgrading from the standard cloth panel to the rapid set-up hard panels?

David,

The list price on a complete set up for the modular panels (4 panels, 4 filler sheets, 2 safety straps, and case for all of it) is \$3195.00. Once again that is list price and not what I would consider selling price. Also that does not include a 3rd panel for a furture 3rd fan if the customer would want one, that would be an additional \$900 (ballpark) price.

Now here is the issue with the Q4E that I was referring to. If you buy a Q4E (cloth panel) and decide at a later point that you want to upgrade to a 2 or 3 fan system you cannot do it. The 3300 fan is so powerful that it will literally suck the 2nd fan out of the frame in the cloth 2 fan set configuration. That is why you have to have modular panels on a multiple fan (3300 fan) set up. So in the long run it is much cheaper to just start with a Q5E in the first place.

As far as performance, there is zero performance gain by going with the modular panel set ups (Q56, Q4E and QMG). The panels are much faster to set up, and look a heck of a lot better (engineering firms or equal normally go for the look of the modular panels).

The are some other cost considerations associated with blower doors that the end user is not always aware of. First you need a fan cover to do your baseline test. All manufactures sell these, and it is included with the Retrotec doors. I am not sure about the Infiltec or TEC door. They are not expensive, just make sure you get one or else you will be using cardboard and duct tape (not professional looking). The other big consideration that is usually overlooked is the ability to expand the frame size, which in turn leads to needing a larger cloth. Any cloth blower door system falls to this future potential cost. Then add in the fact you might want to add a 2nd or 3rd fan to your cloth system. Now you will need a 2 hole cloth in both expanded and normal size, as well as two different 3 hole cloths (potentially 5 more cloths at approx \$200 a pop). Finally is software. All manufactures have their own software, but you might want to get ahold of Home Guage to check out their new energy auditing software. Kevin Richardson linked it in another thread. It has the ability to intergrate your CAZ testing numbers, which is super useful. It does not do modeling, currently you can use RemRate for that. I talked to the owner of Home Guage and he told me he is trying to work out something with RemRate to intergrate the RemRate modeling into the Home Guage software. I would imaging many of you guys already use this software for your HI business, so I would think it would be a natural progression to use it for your energy auditing business.

Other considerations in the cost of a blower door:

-Depending if you are doing BPI / Resnet / something else, the blower door is never the only piece of equipment you will need to purchase. Take your BPI/Resnet/something else training first to know what you need. The “something else” is the monkey wrench in the equation. Every state is doing something different, and then the cities/counties in those states sometimes differ from what the state is doing (Austin TX and Houston TX are great examples of that).

-Calibration expenses. When figuring out what this will cost you, and how often also consider the freight involved. We ship blower doors all over the country and have a pretty large UPS account, and it still costs us upwards of \$75 to ship a blower door (one way).

-More training and/or certifications.

-Future cost of expanding the system. Extra fan(s), cloth(s), modular panel(s) extra cables, hoses etc.

-Make sure you do not work in an area that requires some type of crazy standard. Here are some examples:

Enclosure integrity tests using NFPA 2001, ISO 14520
Energy Loss Tests using: ATTMA: TS1, British CIBSE TM23, Canadian CGSB 149.10, American ASTM E779, Europe CEN/TC, Japanese standard, Dutch NEN 2686, SuperE, EN13829 and California Title 24 and current RESNET standards (in California there is CalHERS)
Smoke and Refuge using: PFEER, 1994 Uniform Building Code Section 905 (fire supression testing standards)

JJ

Our R43 door (basically discontinued) comes with a free upgrade to a Q46. Cost \$2872. That is cheaper than the Trutech link you gave.

http://www.aikencolon.com/Retrotec-R43-Air-Blower-Door_p_1635.html

Our Q46 door comes with free BPI training. Same thing, if you do the math that is cheaper than \$2899 as well.

http://www.aikencolon.com/Retrotec-Q46-Air-Blower-Door_p_1636.html

Not to mention if you shop every other piece of test and measurement equipment involved in the audit we are cheaper than anyone. And that is not throwing in the fact we do a free listing for both energy auditors and/or infrared guys in their respective directories for one year.

JJ

Jason,

What’s a DU-220?

It is the fan (with on board auto control) for the Retrotec Q32 duct blaster.

JJ

Thank you.

A DU-220 is Retrotec’s automated Duct Testing System. This system consists (in general) of a DU200-series fan, DM-2A digital gauge with automatic control, a flexible duct, bag etc.

The DG-700 is TEC’s digital gauge

Tim

Here if you guys want to really check out all the Retrotec products check these out:

if you click the uploads link (semi upper right of their profile page) all their videos come up. There are several videos on the DM2-A. And the Q56 setup as well as the 2 part video on the modular panel set up explaining how those work.

JJ

"Jason,

I don’t understand where the Minneapolis door can only do 50 or 25 Pa.?