Friday, March 20, 2009

Green MLA puts home to the test

ACT Greens MLA, Caroline Le Couteur, bravely invited Energy Imaging and The Canberra Times into her home to assess the quality of her insulation and measure the rate (and locate the areas) of air leakage. A story was published in the Canberra Times Earth Hour Supplement on March 18.

Insulation results were good - a thorough and even job with few gaps. This means the insulation can actually work to its quoted R value. Air leakage, however, was at the rate of17.7 air changes per hour at the test pressure of 50 Pa (modern North American and European homes aim for 1.5 - 3.0 at 50 Pa). At normal pressures, this equates to leaving a 35cm square window permanently open, or having the entire volume of air change 3 times per hour. Imagine that in the Canberra winter - whoosh goes your heated air (and money and green house gas emissions) every 20 minutes!

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