Tools and Technology

These resources are from sessions presented by Habitat X moderators over the years. We don’t expect that these printed resources can take the place of participating in the live sessions, but they do capture some of the ideas.

Advanced Diagnostics: Hard Won Lessons from the Field

This paper describes a systematic and science-based approach to analysis, testing, and decision-making in the world of home performance. We describe how a well-grounded knowledge of building science principles can help you do better work, especially in complicated homes or when you’re faced with a new procedure.

This session presented by Chris Dorsi at Energy OutWest Phoenix.

Download the PDF resource: Hard Won Lessons.

Brain Training for Building Scientists

J West

Energy Auditor J West

This paper addresses the likelihood that the diagnostic tests you perform may not be as accurate as you expect. In this session, we navigated through a set of home-analysis scenarios in which participants needed to rely on wit, and not just tools, to understand and measure the operation of the building. We also showed how to examine typical home-performance diagnostic measurements for lurking errors, taking a fresh look at the classic struggle of man versus machine.

This session presented by Chris Dorsi and J West.

Download the PDF resource: Diagnostic Tools: Summary


Investigative Analysis of Difficult Homes

Joe Kuonen

Radio Host Joe Kuonen

In this session we presented a logical and streamlined approach to evaluating homes with complex problems. We considered how to sort through the synergistic effects of air pressure, moisture migration, and thermal zoning to identify the telltale signs of hard-to-diagnose issues. We also performed hands-on exercises to learn how to develop structured work orders that layer tasks according to their real priority. This advanced session was intended to help participants fix problems others had failed to solve.

This session presented by Chris Dorsi and Joe Kuonen.

Download the PDF resource: Investigative Analysis: Summary

Add-a-Hole Zone Leakage Measurement

If you are unsure of the location and severity of air leaks after the simpler diagnostic tests, you can use the add-a-hole procedure to estimate the actual airflow in CFM50 between the house and attic.

To do this test, you’ll need an accessible attic hatch that you can slide to the side to create a rectangular opening that you can effectively measure. If the hatch is not configured so you can create a measurable opening, you can set the hatch aside and use a piece of cardboard. This cheat sheet shows you how to configure the test.

Download the PDF resource: Add-a_Hole Cheat Sheet.


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