Divide the leakage in cfm’s by 1000 and you get a good estimate of the amount of leakage in square footage. For example, 3500cfm / 1000 = approximately 3 ½ sf of air leaks.
Notice the static is 1.04.
Manufacturers are now starting to send out factory tech’s to measure static pressure before replacing motors.
See one of our HVAC designs
This shows the advantages of locating the ducts inside of the conditioned space and the efficiency loss due to ducts
It is similar to testing R-value in a laboratory setting
Energy audits by Synergy
7 Steps of Building a Synergy Home
(click on the screen to watch our video)
The Importance of Energy Audits
There are essentially 7 Steps to Achieving a
• Airtight Construction
• Fresh Air Ventilation
• Improved Thermal Systems
• Properly Sized, Designed, Installed, and
Commissioned HVAC System
• Pressure Balanced
• Moisture Managed
• Combustion Safety
An energy audit is a
comprehensive examination of
your home and its systems using
diagnostic tools and equipment.
Why an energy audit?
• High utility bills.
• Identifying and correcting unresolved issues.
• It helps to determine if energy efficient upgrades are
needed and the return on investment of those
• Comfort issues such as rooms that are too hot, too
cold, or too drafty.
• Indoor air quality issues.
• Moisture issues in your home or crawlspace.
• Durability issues.
• General knowledge of your home and its systems.
• Commissioning / Synergizing a new home and its
Don’t assume your brand new
home is performing properly just
because it is new and built to code.
Building codes require bare
minimums and do not address the
system as a whole.
We oftentimes test new homes and
find fatal flaws that can easily be
corrected that would have otherwise
• Are a prerequisite for buying a home.
• Are not energy audits
• Are rarely performed using complex diagnostic tools.
• Typically involve only visual inspections and visual inspections rarely
confirm that the HVAC system is operating properly.
• Many times issues in hard to inspect areas such as the crawlspace are
• Are performed by inspectors that are recommended by the real estate
agent. Conflict of interests can happen.
• Home inspectors generate much of their work from referrals and referrals
are generated by making sales easier to close.
• Deserve a 2nd opinion.
• Buyers expect the costs to repair items that are found to be deducted
from the sales price.
• Home inspection companies are not liable for anything in excess of their
Why you should use Synergy Home
Performance LLC as your auditor
• We have 4 Building Performance Institute Certified (BPI)
Auditors on staff and we have performed over 2000 energy
• We have a HERS rater on staff.
• Our energy audits are very detailed and generally take 3 to 6
• We have a State of Alabama HVAC license.
• We have a State of Alabama Homebuilders license.
• We offer energy audits, spray foam installation, air sealing
packages, traditional insulation, closed crawlspace
construction installation, HVAC Design Services, and energy
efficient building consulting.
We prefer that you follow us
around during your audit and ask
plenty of questions. We want you
to have a good understanding of
your home and its systems
because more than likely, its the
biggest investment you will ever
Within a few days, we provide you
with a detailed Energy
Performance Score (EPS) report
prioritizing the issues we find in
your home. Pictures are included.
The tools of an energy auditor
• Extensive knowledge, training, and experience.
• Building Performance Institute Certified.
• Blower door.
• Infrared camera.
• Flow hood or hot wire anemometer.
• Moisture meter.
• Duct blaster.
• Carbon monoxide detectors.
• Graph paper and tape measure.
• Digital camera.
We start the audit by interviewing
you and addressing any questions
Next, we perform a blower door test.
A blower door pulls air out of your
home and helps us identify the specific
We measure and draw out your
home on graph paper. We then
calculate the volume of your home
and by using the cubic feet per
minute of air leakage we are able
to calculate the air changes per
Many auditors, in an effort to save
time, and due to their inability to
locate the thermal barrier, only
report the air leakage in cubic feet
per minute. Leakage of 1000 cfm
in a 2000 sf home with 8ft ceilings
is much different than a 10,000 sf
home with 10 ft ceilings and the
same amount of leakage in cfm’s.
Notice the sheetrock dust pulled in
under the sill plates on this spray
foamed, slab home when blower
door testing was performed.
Without testing and with only a
visual inspection, how do you
locate air leakage sites? Our
energy auditing helps us to
eliminate air leakage sites in new
Common air leakage sites
• Attic pull-down stairs and attic access doors
located inside of the conditioned space.
• Recessed cans and exhaust fans.
• Framing shafts.
• HVAC systems.
• Sill plates.
• Windows and doors.
• Interior door latches.
The infrared camera is used in
conjunction with the blower door to
help locate air leaks, un-insulated
areas, and moisture issues hidden in
the walls, attic, crawlspace, basement,
and slab foundations.
We also use the manometer in
conjunction with the blower door
to determine the connectivity
between the house and the attic
and the house and the crawlspace.
We visually inspect your
crawlspace and attic. How many
other energy auditing companies
provide this service?
We use a manometer to confirm that there
is a 3 Pascal or less pressure differential
between a bedroom and the main body of
the home when bedroom doors are closed.
Providing proper return airflow is one of the best and
least expensive ways to improve a home’s comfort and
performance. Returns should never be located in
closets even with a louvered door. Use the most
inexpensive, non-restrictive filters possible!
Installing returns, jumper ducts, or transfer
grilles in all bedrooms so that the air has a
return path if the doors are closed is mandatory.
See Step 5 – Pressure Balancing for more info!
We use the flow hood to measure bathroom fan
exhausts. We often get readings of “0” although the
fan appears to be working correctly. Improper exhaust
fan operation allows high interior moisture levels and
indoor air quality issues.
We are yet to test a home without at
least one bathroom exhaust fan
This exhaust duct was completely
disconnected. Without testing, how
would you know?
We visually inspect to make sure
clothes dryer and kitchen exhausts
are working and exhausting
For every cubic foot of air that exits
a home through exhaust fans,
chimneys, and air leaks, a cubic foot
of air must be pulled in to replace
it. Typically, it enters from the
nearest, biggest hole and it brings
contaminants with it. We are able
to locate the holes and seal them.
We are then able to provide you
with cost-effective fresh air
We also use the manometer to
static pressure test HVAC systems
on all of our energy audits. The
static pressure of your HVAC
system is the equivalent to your
High static pressure is the
equivalent of high blood pressure
and it indicates low airflow.
71.8 + 234 = 305.8 / 250 = 1.22
1.22 IWC should be 0.5 IWC
This unit is having a stroke!
Smart systems display the static
pressure on the thermostat as well
as the cubic feet per minute of
We double check the return side
airflow with a flowhood or hotwire
We compare the actual airflow to
the rated airflow of the HVAC
A typical HVAC system requires
approximately 400 cubic feet per
minute of airflow per 1 ton of
heating and cooling. For example,
5 tons of heating and cooling
requires approximately 5 tons x
400 cfm = 2000 cfm.
In units with high static pressure,
the rated 2000 cfm of airflow is
often found to be 1000 - 1200 cfm.
Where is the other air?
We actually started out offering airflow
diagnostics and air balancing but most
times the total system airflow was in need
of correction. Keep in mind that proper
airflow is required before refrigerant can
In the earlier picture of the
“smart” thermostat, notice that
the delivered cfm was 1957cfm.
Smart systems attempt to
overcome high static pressure but
the watt draw is excessive and
eventually the motor will burn out.
Note that when the work of the
HVAC fan motor is decreased, the
amp draw is reduced by a factor of
3. Similarly, when the work is
increased, the watt draw is
increased by a factor of 3.
We open up your HVAC unit and
inspect it thoroughly.
We check your speed taps or dip
switches to make sure they are
Energy efficiency programs are
paying for duct blaster testing and
duct sealing while failing to require
static pressure testing and airflow
Many high static systems with
extremely low airflow pass duct
blaster tests with flying colors.
Duct sealing properly sized and
designed HVAC systems provide
Duct sealing improperly sized,
designed, and installed HVAC
systems cause increased static
pressure which leads to low
airflow, comfort issues, and
premature compressor and fan
We offer duct-blaster testing but we
do not believe it provides much useful
information. However, it is required
by the 2009 IRC unless ducts are
installed in the conditioned space.
We use Right-Suite Universal to size
and design Heating, Ventilation, and
Air Conditioning systems.
“The HVAC Design Customer
Questionnaire” and our full size
HVAC Design example.
We measure temperature drops
across the “system” along with
airflow to determine “system
Measuring temperature drops
across the equipment doesn’t tell
us much, especially if the airflow is
low and the ducts are located in
It is all about “system efficiency”
and delivered Btu’s. “Equipment
efficiency” measured in a
laboratory under ideal conditions
is unrealistic to field conditions.
So why is low airflow bad?
• Comfort requires proper airflow in order to
supply and return the right amount of air at
the right temperature to the right room.
• Premature compressor failure – frozen coils
often result from low airflow.
• Premature motor failure.
• Cracked heat exchangers – Carbon Monoxide
Don’t waste your time on an
energy audit that doesn’t measure
airflow and static pressure.
The problem with “free energy
audits” offered by local utilities
• A clipboard and a checklist are not diagnostic tools –
keep in mind “We Test, Others Guess”.
• How can you recommend air sealing when you don’t
know exactly where the leaks are?
• Attic insulation is oftentimes recommended without
• Traditional floor insulation is often recommended
though it has been proven that it rarely works.
• Changing out light bulbs is obvious.
• You are actually paying for other’s “free” audits on
your utility bill.
Notice the worthless electrical
outlet covers that TVA sends out to
Local utility companies don’t have
incentives to reduce your energy
usage despite what their
marketing department tells you!
Motorized attic fans are one of the
biggest problems in homes. Unless
the home is perfectly sealed,
motorized attic fans pull
conditioned air out of your home
while consuming energy.
Beware of “free energy audit
offers” by unscrupulous companies
attempting to sell you products
such as radiant barriers or HVAC
We offer combustion testing and
carbon monoxide testing and we sell
high grade carbon monoxide monitors.
Notice the CO detector purchased at a
“Big box” retailer is showing “0” while
ours is showing “17”.
We offer moisture meter measurements
and we sell hygrothermometers with
remote sensors that display both the
humidity and temperature in the
crawlspace as well as the home.
Call us at (256) 616-2264 for more
info on energy audits. TVA rebates