‘Attaboy’ to the mechanical contractor: Sealed ductwork saves a bundle
According to the US Department of Energy, Energy Star, The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and numerous energy nerds, leaky ducts waste about one third of the conditioned air that they are supposed to deliver. That translates into higher energy bills for your customers and a big obstacle to the HERS score you need for an Energy Star rating.
Leaky ducts can also sabotage indoor air quality by sucking in air and blowing it out in places they are not supposed to suck air from and blow air to (hot attics, moist crawl spaces, dusty framing cavities).
Don't use duct tape on ducts
The mechanical contractor gets a little bit of a ding here for using (sloppily installed) tape rather than mastic to seal the seams in the mechanical equipment, but at least (s)he did not use duct tape, which, according to Dr. Max Sherman of LBNL, “works for everything except ducts.”
In general, most of the subs seem to be on the right page in this premier Mystery Inspector series, so we’ll give one additional attaboy to the project manager, who ran a pretty tight ship for this production home builder.
See something that we missed? Make a note of it in the comments.
Have you got some photos that will work for our Mystery Inspector game? Post them to our Facebook page with the caption "Mystery Inspector Candidate" and a summary of what is right and wrong in the photos. We’ll take it from there.
See other Mystery Inspections:
Mystery Inspector 4: How to Spot a Good Window Install
Mystery Inspector 3: Fiberglass Batts Done Wrong
Mystery Inspector 2: Air Sealed Electrical Boxes
Mystery Inspector 1: Wasteful Wall Framing
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