Material Installation Standards Manual

Material Installation Standards Manual
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
www.tdhca.state.tx.us
BOARD MEMBERS
J. Paul Oxer, Chair
Tom H. Gann, Vice Chair
Leslie Bingham-Escareño
Lowell A. Keig
Juan S. Muñoz, PhD
J. Mark McWatters
Rick Perry
GOVERNOR
September 28, 2012
Weatherization Assistance Program
Material Installation Standards Manual
About this Publication
This Weatherization Assistance Program Materials Installation Standards Manual (WAP Manual) is a
compilation of TDHCA’s June 1998 Materials Installation Standards Manual, TDHCA’s Weatherization
Field Guide & Mechanical Field Guide, excerpts from building science experts around the country,
Weatherization Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center (WAPTAC), Code of Federal
Regulations (CFRs), Best Practices, Texas Administrative Code (TAC), and general energy saving tips
from the US Department of Energy (DOE).
Purpose
The purpose of this WAP Manual is to serve as a guide for TDHCA WAP contractors, crews, and
installers.
Objective
The objective of this Manual is explain how to perform weatherization measures to properly obtain the
best results. The Standards and Nonfeasible Criteria boxes provide an overall explanation of TDHCA’s
WAP expectations for weatherization contractors and crews. Additional information includes, but is not
limited to, how the Texas climate impacts certain measures, how and why we perform certain measures,
and health and safety issues.
Questions
For more information, please contact a TDHCA Community Affairs Team member. Please note that
many Weatherization questions can be answered by reviewing TDHCA’s “Weatherization Best
Practices” page online at http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/community-affairs/wap/wap-best-practices.htm.
We trust you will find this information useful for your weatherization visits.
Best Regards,
The TDHCA Community Affairs Division
221 East 11th Street
P.O. Box 13941
Austin, Texas 78711-3941
(800) 525-0657
(512) 475-3800
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Chapter 1: Thermal Boundary
Table of Contents
Thermal Boundary .......................................................................................................................................2
Types of Air Barriers....................................................................................................................................2
Air Barrier...................................................................................................................................................2
Insulation ....................................................................................................................................................3
Insulation and Air Sealing ...........................................................................................................................3
1-1 Thermal Boundary
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Thermal Boundary
The thermal boundary, or thermal envelope, restricts or slows the flow of heat from conditioned and
unconditioned spaces. Conditioned spaces are the indoor areas that are heated and cooled, such as the
living room, kitchen, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Unconditioned spaces are the outdoors or any areas in a
residence that are not heated or cooled, such as the attic, crawl space, unfinished basement, and garage.
Defining the thermal boundary may seem simple, but when you begin to look at the many points where the
boundary may be breached, it can become a challenge. The thermal boundary consists of two components,
an air barrier and insulation, when fully aligned.
Air barriers block random air movement through building cavities. As a result, they help prevent air
leakage in your home, which can account for 30% or more of a home's heating and cooling costs. Air
barriers also help control moisture in a home. While they stop most air movement, air barriers also allow
any water vapor that does enter the home to diffuse back out again.
Types of Air Barriers
Air Barrier
Air travels into and out of homes through three main pathways:
1. Bypasses, which are significant flaws in the home’s air barrier;
2. Seams between building materials; and
3. The building materials themselves.
Material that is impermeable to airflow creates an air barrier. An air barrier is continuous and sealed at the
seams.
Many of the materials used in a house for structural purposes and finished surfaces also act as air barriers.
For many homes, these materials include sheet goods that form the ceilings, walls, and floors, such as
drywall, foil faced foam board, sheathing, and decking. [1]
To create a continuous air barrier throughout a home for maximum energy efficiency, seal all holes and
seams between sheet goods with durable caulk, gaskets, and/or foam sealants.
1-2 Thermal Boundary
June 2012
Material Installation Standards Manual
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Insulation
Insulation reduces heat transmission by slowing conduction, convection, and radiation through the
building shell. [2]
Properly insulating a home will not only help reduce heating and cooling costs but also make a home more
comfortable. Insulation is, in most cases, not an air barrier; it is little more than a filter. Only spray in place
foam, oriented strand board (OSB)/plywood, drywall, rigid foam boards, dense packed cellulose at 3.5
pounds/cubic foot, metal, and T-ply qualify as air barriers. [8]
Table 1.1 Building Components and Their Air Permeance
Good
Air Barriers
(<2 CFM₅₀ per 100 ft²)




5/8” oriented strand board
1/2” drywall
4-mil air barrier paper
Asphalt shingles over perorated felt
over 1/2” plywood
 1/8” tempered hardboard
 Painted uncracked lath and plaster
Fair
Air Barriers
(2-10 CFM₅₀ per 100 ft²)






15# perforated felt
Concrete block
Rubble masonry
7/16” asphalt-coated fiberboard
1” expanded polystyrene
Brick veneer
Poor
Air Barriers
(10-1000 CFM₅₀ per 100 ft²)
 5/8” tongue-and-groove wood
sheathing
 6” fiberglass batt
 1.5” wet-spray cellulose
 Wood siding over plank sheathing
 Wood shingles over plank sheathing
 Blown fibrous insulation
Measurements taken at 50 Pascals pressure.
Based on information from “Air Permeance of Building Materials”, by Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation, and estimates of
comparable assemblies by the author. [2]
Sealing air leaks improves the pressure boundary of a house - the
building shell surface that limits air flow. Adding insulation improves the
thermal boundary - the building shell surface that limits heat flow. For
maximum energy efficiency and comfort, the pressure boundary should
be aligned with the thermal boundary. The blower door exaggerates the
pressure difference between the house and the outdoors - making it easier
to locate and quantify air leakage. [18]
TDHCA
Perform air sealing work while
running the blower door to find
the leaks and assure reaching
target CFMs.
Insulation and Air Sealing
A home's heating and cooling costs can be reduced through proper insulation and air sealing techniques.
These techniques will also make a home more comfortable.
Any air sealing efforts will complement insulation efforts, and vice versa. Proper moisture control and
ventilation strategies will improve the effectiveness of air sealing and insulation, and vice versa.
1-3 Thermal Boundary
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
A home's energy efficiency depends on a balance between air sealing, insulation, moisture control, and
ventilation. A proper balance between all of these elements will also result in a more comfortable,
healthier home environment. [7]
 GOOD TO KNOW
HOT-HUMID CLIMATE
Hot and humid climates face several challenges for weatherization. The intense solar radiation in our southern climate imposes a
large thermal load on houses that can increase cooling costs, affect comfort, and damage home furnishings.
Moisture, in the form of both high humidity and high rainfall, is a significant problem in our Texas climate. The ambient air has
significant levels of moisture most of the year. Since air conditioning is often a necessity, cold surfaces are present where
condensation can occur. Controlling the infiltration of this moisture-laden air into the building envelope and keeping moisture away
from cold surfaces are major goals in our climate zone.
Air infiltration can contribute to problems with moisture, noise, dust, and the entry of pollutants, insects, and rodents. Controlling air
movement through the building envelope requires sealing both the “big” holes and the “little” holes. The big holes occur behind
bathtubs and showers on exterior walls, behind fireplaces, and where soffits or utility walls (double wall with chase) meet exterior
walls or ceilings. Recessed lights collectively can be a really big hole in the ceiling assembly. These big holes are responsible for
wasted energy (high utility bills) and condensation that can cause mold and wood decay. The little holes occur between framing
members, such as band joist to sill plate, around electrical boxes, and where plumbing or wiring penetrate the envelope. All
penetrations leading to unconditioned spaces should be sealed with foam or caulk. Another area needing special attention for
occupant health and safety is sealing shared walls and ceilings between attached garages and living spaces. Carefully seal any
penetrations, block air pathways through the attic, and weatherstrip any doors. [15]
The thermal boundary is the first step at reducing moisture and lowering cooling bills.
Diagram 1.1 House as a System Supply Leaks
1-4 Thermal Boundary
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Diagram 1.2 House as a System Return Leaks
Air and duct sealing are crucial measures in weatherization. They affect the energy use, the comfort, and
the durability of a home. For these reasons, the blower door is used at the initial assessment, during airsealing activities, and at the final inspection. The blower door data sheet records the initial CFM at 50
Pascals reading, the minimum reduction value, and the building tightness limit.
Weatherization crews are to attempt to reach the building tightness limit. The minimum reduction value is
a guide toward that goal; it is not the goal. The final blower door reading is to verify that we achieved
adequate CFM reduction and that the home has not become too tight.
A house is a system, as the prior illustrations demonstrate. One weatherization measure can positively or
negatively affect another. For example, air sealing may result in an appliance not receiving sufficient
combustion air causing carbon monoxide to be produced. This is why we conduct final tests to verify that
we are leaving our clients in a safe and healthy home.
Air sealing is the first step to defining the thermal boundary.
1-5 Thermal Boundary
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Chapter 2: Air Sealing
Table of Contents
Sealing Major Air Leaks and Bypasses ......................................................................................................2
Minor Air Sealing .........................................................................................................................................6
Air Sealing Tips ..........................................................................................................................................6
Finish Bead .................................................................................................................................................8
Attic Air Sealing............................................................................................................................................9
Top Plates .................................................................................................................................................10
Heat Sources .............................................................................................................................................10
Chases/Bypasses .......................................................................................................................................11
Attic Hatches ............................................................................................................................................12
Garage to House Connections ..................................................................................................................13
Walls ............................................................................................................................................................15
Air Sealing Walls......................................................................................................................................15
Weatherstripping ........................................................................................................................................17
Windows ......................................................................................................................................................18
Window Repair and Air Leakage Reduction ............................................................................................18
Common Weatherstripping.......................................................................................................................19
Window Weatherstripping ........................................................................................................................21
Window Glass Replacement .....................................................................................................................22
Storm Windows ........................................................................................................................................23
Doors ............................................................................................................................................................25
Door Weatherstrip, Thresholds, and Sweeps ............................................................................................25
Door Repair ..............................................................................................................................................26
Floor/Foundation ........................................................................................................................................27
Stopping the Chimney Effect....................................................................................................................27
Seal All Gaps and Cracks around Rim Joists ...........................................................................................27
Areas to Foam or Caulk ............................................................................................................................28
2-1 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Sealing Major Air Leaks and Bypasses
Air travels into and out of the building by three main pathways:
1.
Major air leaks, or bypasses, which are significant flaws in
the home’s air barrier
2.
Minor air leaks, which are often seams between building
materials
3.
Through the building materials themselves [2]
Major air sealing involves finding and sealing large openings that
admit outdoor air into the conditioned space. Sealing major air
leaks is a key energy saving measure.
Major air sealing activities are generally completed prior to other
shell measure activities, and should result in a significant drop in
the blower door reading and/or changes in pressure diagnostics
readings.
Bypasses are conduits for air travel within building cavities.
Bypasses don’t always allow outdoor air into the home, but may
allow outdoor air to circulate within building cavities. They can
contribute to significant energy loss when they are adjacent to
interior surfaces of the home that can conduct heat into or out of
the home. Bypasses and major air leaks are often found in
combination with one another; with some air leaking through the
air barrier and some staying within the building cavities.
 GOOD TO KNOW
HOT, HUMID CLIMATE
In humid cooling climate zones, moisture
tends to move from outside to inside
through the building shell. Air sealing
penetration points throughout the shell is
the best way to eliminate these pathways
for moisture. In addition, air conditioners
must work harder to remove moisture from
the conditioned air. Think of the air
conditioner as a huge sponge. It soaks up
the moisture in the air throughout the
house and then squeezes it to the outside.
By removing the moisture, the house
becomes cooler. Consequently, air sealing
also keeps the air conditioner from frequent
cycling, which results in energy savings.
Stains like this in insulation strongly indicate
air bypass movement – insulation is acting like
a filter.
Bypasses that do not penetrate the air barrier won’t have an
impact on pressure diagnostic tests, but they should still be sealed
to reduce conductive losses (through interior surfaces) and to limit the condensation that can take place on
cold interior surfaces.
Major air leaks will often be found between the conditioned space and intermediate zones such as floor
cavities, attics, crawl spaces, attached garages, and porch roofs. The time and effort spent to seal major air
leaks should depend on the size of the intermediate zone(s).
Major air leaks are not always easily accessible. When they are hard to reach, technicians sometimes blow
dense-packed insulation into surrounding cavities, hoping that the insulation will resist airflow and plug
cracks between building materials. [2]
2-2 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Diagram 2.1 Whole House Air Sealing Key Points
Disclaimer: This image is intended solely to help graphically demonstrate the air leakage
provisions of section 402.4 of the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). It
does not cover all air sealing locations or techniques. Other code provisions may be
applicable as well.
2-3 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Diagram 2.2 Plumbing and Electrical Air Sealing Key Points
Disclaimer: This image is intended solely to help graphically demonstrate the air leakage
provisions of section 402.4 of the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). It
does not cover all air sealing locations or techniques. Other code provisions may be
applicable as well.
2-4 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Diagram 2.3 Heating and Air Conditioning Air Sealing Key Points
Disclaimer: This image is intended solely to help graphically demonstrate the air leakage
provisions of section 402.4 of the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). It
does not cover all air sealing locations or techniques. Other code provisions may be
applicable as well.
2-5 Air Sealing
June 2012
Material Installation Standards Manual
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Minor Air Sealing
Minor air sealing includes sealing small openings with materials
such as caulk, weather stripping, or sash locks. These measures
tend to please the home’s occupants by reducing perceived drafts,
slowing the entry of dirt, or making the interior paint look better.
However, they rarely result in significant blower door reductions
or changes in pressure diagnostic readings. [2]
Air Sealing Tips
Air barriers must be able to resist severe wind pressures. It is
always preferable to use strong air barrier materials like plywood,
drywall, or foamboard to seal air leaks, particularly in regions
with strong winds. These materials should be attached with
mechanical and/or adhesive bonds; never use plastic in Texas!
Caulk should only be used for sealing very small cracks. Use
filler material under caulk when sealing cracks larger than 1/4”.
Seal all air leaks and bypasses prior to insulating except where
dense-packed insulation is also being used for sealing.
If ducts are located in attic, crawl space, attached garage, or in
the floor cavity above garage, caulk or foam the joint between the
boot and the ceiling, wall, or floor. [2]
10 CFR § 440.21 Weatherization materials standards and
energy audit procedures
 NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
WHEN NOT TO AIR SEAL
Air sealing reduces the exchange of fresh
air in the home, and can alter the pressure
balance within the home. Before air
sealing, survey the home to identify both
air-pollutants that may be concentrated by
air sealing efforts, and combustion
appliances that may be affected by
changes in house pressure.
Don’t perform air-sealing when there are
obvious threats to the occupants’ health,
the installers’ health, or the building’s
durability. If any of the following
circumstances are present, do not perform
air sealing until they are corrected.

Moisture that has caused structural
damage such as rot, mold, or mildew

Sanitary issues are present

Fire hazards

Measured carbon monoxide levels that
exceed the suggested action level and
can’t be corrected

The building is already at or below its
building tightness limit, and no
mechanical ventilation exists or is
planned

Combustion appliances whose chimneys
don’t meet minimum standards
(b) Only weatherization materials which are listed in appendix A to this part and which meet or exceed
standards prescribed in appendix A to this part may be purchased with funds provided under this part.
However, DOE may approve an unlisted material upon application from any State.
(d) Except for materials to eliminate health and safety hazards allowable under §440.18(c)(15), each
individual weatherization material and package of weatherization materials installed in an eligible
dwelling unit must be cost-effective. These materials must result in energy cost savings over the lifetime
of the measure(s), discounted to present value, that equal or exceed the cost of materials, installation, and
on-site supervisory personnel as defined by the Department. States have the option of requiring additional
related costs to be included in the determination of cost-effectiveness. The cost of incidental repairs must
be included in the cost of the package of measures installed in a dwelling. [2]
2-6 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
See 10 CFR 440: Appendix A.
 STANDARDS
CAULKING and SPRAY FOAM STANDARDS
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Acceptable Materials
Acrylic latex plus silicone
sealing compounds *
Conforms to 10 CFR 440 Appendix A
Polyurethane foam
Conforms to 10 CFR 440 Appendix A
Elastomeric sealants
(including polysulfide,
polyurethane, and silicone) *
Conforms to 10 CFR 440 Appendix A
Masonry compounds
Commercially available
* Caulk shall be clear when dry, and paintable.
NOTE: All caulking is to be installed as
directed by blower door tests, work order air
sealing directives, and must have a savings
to investment ratio (SIR) of 1.0 or better in
the audit.
Air leakage in homes accounts for 5% to
40% of annual heating and cooling costs.
Air leakage reduction is one of
weatherization’s most important functions,
and often the most difficult.
Gaps ≤ 1/4”: Use caulk
Gaps 1/4” – 3”: Use spray foam
Reducing air leakage accomplishes several
tasks:

Saves energy by protecting the thermal
resistance of the shell insulation;

Increases comfort by reducing drafts and
moderating the radiant temperature of
interior surfaces; and

Reduces moisture migration into building cavities.
2-7 Air Sealing
Other: Use foam board,
fiberglass, etc.
Special areas: Use high-temp
caulk, flashing, etc.
June 2012
Material Installation Standards Manual
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Common Air Leakage Pathways [8]
Air sealing guided by using the blower door can save you time and
money. You can achieve this by air-sealing while the blower door is
operating. This technique can help you reach your air sealing goal.

Between interior wall top plates and drywall

Attic hatchways

Through cracks in recessed fixtures

Short circuits through attic insulation

Between exterior wall top plates and drywall

Through gaps in siding and sheathing

Through holes in electrical boxes

Between bottom plate and drywall

Between bottom plate and subfloor

Between rim joist and subfloor

Between rim joist and top plate

Between top plates and drywall

Around window and door jambs

Poorly weatherstripped windows and doors

Between window rough framing and drywall

Between bottom plate and drywall

Between bottom plate and subfloor

Between rim joist and subfloor

Between rim joist and sill plate

Between sill plate and foundation wall

Through cracks in foundation wall

Between floor slab and foundation wall

Through cracks in floor slab
Air sealing reduces the exchange of fresh air in the home, and can alter the pressure balance within the
home. Before air sealing, survey the home to identify both air pollutants that may be concentrated by air
sealing efforts, and combustion appliances that may be affected by changes in house pressure.
Don’t perform air sealing when there are obvious threats to the occupants’ health, the installers’ health, or
the building’s durability. If any of the above circumstances are present, do not perform air sealing until
they are corrected.
Finish Bead (All types of caulk)

Beads must be continuous, free of voids and effective in eliminating the air infiltration

All excess caulk should be removed so that a neat appearance is achieved

All caulk shall be troweled or finger wiped after application [2]
2-8 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
 NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
INTERIOR CAULK APPLICATION
Do Not Install:
1. When the common infiltration points (as listed) are inaccessible due to crowded, cluttered or other extremely adverse conditions;
2. Where interior sheathing is improperly applied so that interior sealing is not economically feasible;
3. When client refuses interior sealing (must be documented in client file folder);
4. When conditions exist in the interior of the unit which would pose a threat to the health or safety of the work crew; and/or
5. When not justified by a blower door test or the Audit with an SIR of 1.0 or greater.
These conditions must be well documented with pictures when possible. Documentation must be maintained in the client file.
Note: “Controlled” ventilation is essential to client health and safety. Refer to blower door standards and ASHRAE 62.2.2010
 STANDARDS
ALL TYPES OF CAULK
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Cracks
All types of caulk





Filler Material
All types of caulk
Surface Preparation
Requirements
All types of caulk
Application Requirements
All types of caulk






Interior cracks larger than 1/16” should be sealed
Cracks larger than 1/4” should be filled before caulking
Exterior cracks which allow moisture penetration should be
addressed as referenced in “Interior cracks” above
Note: Units which must be sealed solely from the outside shall use
the standards referenced above for 1/16”, 1/4” and 1” cracks
All cracks must be sealed completely
Spaces wider than 1/4” but not wider than 1” should be filled to within
at least 1/4” of the surface with one of the following:
- closed cell foam tape
- oakum
- closed cell polyethylene rod
- twine
- flexible fiberglass
- polyurethane foam
Filler material must be covered with caulk
Surface must be reasonably free of loose or cracked caulk
Surface must be free of dirt and debris so that applied caulk will
adhere to surface
Surface must be free of moisture unless allowed by specifications
Follow manufacturer’s instructions in all cases, with careful attention
to:
- application temperature limits
- primer requirements for masonry surfaces
Attic Air Sealing
Other than obvious large holes in a structure, the attic consistently nets the largest cubic foot per minute
(CFM) reduction for your time. Yes, attics are hot, dirty, and not a pleasant space in which to work;
however, a few well spent hours of air sealing in the attic is worth the effort for the increase in energy
savings and indoor air quality.
2-9 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Diagram 2.4 Top Down Approach to Air Sealing
Infiltration points - Typical sources of air leakage in the home. [8]
Top Plates
Top plates
Plumbing penetrations and electrical penetrations:

Seal all electrical wiring, plumbing, and heating, ventilation, and air
conditioning (HVAC) penetrations between conditioned and unconditioned
spaces with spray foam or caulk.
Heat Sources

Protect heat-producing fixtures such as recessed lights and exhaust fans that
have lights or heaters. Install an airtight box if air leakage is suspected, or a
metal collar if they are airtight.

N1102.4.5 Recessed Lighting
Recessed lights installed in the building thermal envelope shall be sealed to
limit air leakage between conditioned and unconditioned spaces. All
recessed lights shall be sealed with a gasket or caulk between the housing
and the interior wall or ceiling covering. [6]

Be sure to caulk joints where exhaust fan and recessed light housings come in contact with the ceiling
with high-temperature silicone sealant.

Install insulation blocking around unlined masonry chimneys, B-vent chimneys, and manufactured
chimneys.

Install insulation shields around all-fuel wood-stove chimneys with 6” of space between the chimney
and insulation. Seal any bypasses around chimneys with metal and high-temperature caulk.
2-10 Air Sealing
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Material Installation Standards Manual
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS

If shields are used as a barrier around heat producing devices or masonry chimneys, fasten them
securely to the ceiling joist so they maintain 3” of clearance and don’t collapse.
- Don’t allow metal shields to contact wiring.
- Cover the tops of shields while installing insulation, and uncover and clean them out
afterwards.
Recess Light Fixtures
Prove 3” of air space between
recessed lights and insulation or
other flammables.
A fabricated airtight drywall box
meets electrical code
requirements and provides a
good seal.



Insulation Contact (IC) Rated fixtures can be
covered in insulation
Non-IC rated fixtures cannot.
Covering non-IC rated fixtures leads to heat
buildup, reduces bulb life, and is a fire hazard.
Chases/Bypasses

Duct chases: If chase opening is large, seal with a rigid barrier
such as fire-rated foam board, plywood or drywall, and seal the
new barrier to ducts with caulk or foam. Smaller cracks between
the barrier and surrounding materials may be foamed or caulked.

Masonry chimneys: Seal chimney and fireplace bypasses with
sheet metal (minimum 28 gauge thickness). Seal chimney or flue
to ceiling structure with a high temperature sealant or chimney
cement.

A properly sealed bypass
Tops and bottoms of balloon-framed interior partition wall
cavities, missing top plates: Seal with a fiberglass batt insulation
plug covered with a 2-part foam air seal.
-

Seal All Bypasses
Seal with rigid barrier, such as 1/4” plywood or 1” foam board sealed to surrounding materials
with caulk or liquid foam.
Joist cavities under knee walls in finished attic areas: Connect knee wall with the plaster ceiling of
the floor below by creating a rigid seal under the knee wall.
2-11 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual

Two-level attics in split-level houses: Seal the wall cavity with a rigid material fastened to studs and
wall material.

Kitchen or bathroom interior soffits: Seal the top of the soffit with fire-rated foil-faced foam board,
plywood or drywall, fastened and sealed to ceiling joists and soffit framing.[2]
Attic Hatches

The attic hatch is the most important door in the house to seal. A 1/4” gap around the perimeter of an
attic access can potentially leak the same amount of air supplied by a typical bedroom heating duct.[4]

Attic hatches and stairwell drops: Weatherstrip around doors and hatches. Caulk around frame
perimeter. Seal penetration with caulk or foam.
Diagram 2.5 Attic Access Air Sealing Key Points
Attic Pull-Down Stairs
Scuttle Hole Cover
2-12 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Diagram 2.6 Knee Wall Air Sealing Key Points
Disclaimer: This image is intended solely to help graphically demonstrate the air leakage
provisions of section 402.4 of the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). It
does not cover all air sealing locations or techniques. Other code provisions may be
applicable as well.
Garage to House Connections
Car exhaust, toxic chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are present in most garages. These
health dangers can find their way into the house through poorly sealed doors, ducts, electrical and
plumbing penetrations, and other wall and ceiling penetrations.
2-13 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
VOCs are widely used as ingredients in household products, such as paints, varnishes, wax, fuels, and
many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing, and hobby products. These compounds vaporize at
normal room temperatures, sometimes causing adverse health effects. These products can release organic
compounds while in use and, to some degree, when they are stored. [5]
Make sure the door leading from the garage into the house closes tightly and is proper weatherstripped.
Seal all penetrations between the garage and house. It is important to air seal the garage ceiling, if there is
conditioned space above the garage or the attic space above it is connected to the main house.
Diagram 2.7 Garage to Home Air Sealing Key Points
Disclaimer: This image is intended solely to help graphically demonstrate the air leakage provisions of
section 402.4 of the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). It does not cover all air
sealing locations or techniques. Other code provisions may be applicable as well.
2-14 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Walls
 STANDARDS
WALL REPAIR
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Wall Repair
All materials

Entry Holes
All materials






Interior and exterior walls shall be repaired prior to insulating the wall
cavity
All repairs shall be durable and permanent
Exterior hole in wood siding shall be sealed with plastic or wood
plugs and primed and/or painted to match siding
Exterior holes in masonry or stucco siding shall be sealed with a
mortar or a material specifically manufactured to repair stucco or
masonry
Mortar shall completely seal the opening and be textured to match
surrounding surface
Interior holes in drywall shall be plugged and taped or sealed with a
material specifically manufactured to repair drywall or plaster. Holes
shall be made ready for paint.
Interior holes in plywood, chipboard or hardboard shall be plugged
and sealed with caulk
Air Sealing Walls
Air leakage, or infiltration, occurs when outside air enters a house
uncontrollably through cracks and openings. Properly air sealing such
cracks and openings in the home can significantly reduce heating and
cooling costs, improve building durability, and create a healthier indoor
environment. [5]

Holes and cracks in masonry surfaces: Best sealed with a cementpatching compound or mortar mix.

Exterior walls. There are a multitude of holes in a building shell
from vents, flues, wiring, and plumbing.

Vent stacks, plumbing vents, open plumbing walls: Seal joints with
expanding foam or caulk. If joint is too large, stuff with fiberglass
batt insulation, and spray foam over the top to seal the surface of the
plug.

Interior walls: may have some of the same holes. In addition, there
may be drywall sections that need either sealing of cracks or holes.
Often sections of drywall need to be added or replaced.

Large holes and other openings in the air barrier: Seal with rigid
material, caulk, spray foam, or expanding foam depending upon size and nature of opening. Work
from largest to smallest when sealing.

Interior joints: These can be caulked if blower door testing indicates substantial leakage. These joints
include where baseboard, crown molding and/or casing meet the wall/ceiling/floor surfaces. Gaps
2-15 Air Sealing
Sometimes air sealing requires
repairing damaged drywall.
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
around surface-mounted or recessed light fixtures and ventilation fans can be caulked if needed, using
high temperature caulk.

Pocket door cavities: Cap the top of the entire wall cavity in the attic with rigid board, caulked and
stapled. Where wall cavities containing the retracted pocket door halves connect with exterior framed
walls, stuff narrow strips of unfaced fiberglass batts into the door opening with a broom handle far
enough to allow for complete opening of the door. [2]
Diagram 2.8 Wall Air Sealing Key Points
Disclaimer: This image is intended solely to help graphically demonstrate the air leakage provisions of
section 402.4 of the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). It does not cover all air
sealing locations or techniques. Other code provisions may be applicable as well.
2-16 Air Sealing
June 2012
Material Installation Standards Manual
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Air Sealing Tools and Materials
Air Sealing and Attic Prep
1.
Urethane foam (spray foam)
2.
Foam board
3.
Sheet metal/foil
4.
Mastic and gloves
5.
High-temperature caulk
6.
Utility flags
7.
Insulation rulers
8.
Tin snips and zip ties
9.
Stapler
10. Weatherstripping
11. Zip tie tightening
12. Utility knife
Weatherstripping
 STANDARDS
WEATHERSTRIPPING STANDARDS
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Acceptable Materials
Foam tape



Vinyl v-strip
Must be closed cell
Must be UV resistant
Must have adhesive backing

May only be applied to surfaces thoroughly cleaned with alcohol or
other cleaning solvent
Must be affixed with siliconized sealant
Pile

May replace existing material only
Spring and cushion metal

Must be made from bronze
Jamb up

Install top section first
Bulb side touching door
Must be attached with screws 9” apart and within 2” of each end; do
not over-tighten screws
Cut a 1/4” notch out of the bulb on the top of the two side pieces to fit
nicely against the top piece




Q-lon

Must be attached (nailed) every 4”
Warranty
All types

Must have a minimum of 1 year warranty
Where Installed
All types

Must be placed at movable joints (i.e. doors and attic hatches)
separating conditioned spaces from unconditioned spaces
2-17 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Windows
Window Repair and Air Leakage Reduction
With the exception of broken glass or missing window panes, windows
are rarely the major source of air leakage in a home.
Window Repairs
Window weatherstripping is typically not cost effective but may be
installed to solve a comfort problem. Avoid expensive or time consuming
window repair measures that are implemented to solve minor comfort
complaints.
Re-glazing window sashes is time consuming, and is best accomplished
as part of a comprehensive window rehabilitation project. Re-glazing
wood windows may not be a durable repair without thorough scraping,
priming and painting.
Window Repair Measures

Replace missing or broken glass. Use glazing compound and glazier
points when replacing glass in older windows. Glass cracks that are
not noticeably separated and less than 6” long can be left.

Caulk interior and exterior window frame to prevent air leakage.

Condensation and rain leakage. Use sealants with rated adhesion
and joint-movement characteristics appropriate for both the
window frame and the building materials surrounding the
window.

Replace missing or severely deteriorated window frame
components. Extremely damaged wood should be filled with a
marine epoxy, primed, and painted.

Adjust window stops if large gaps exist between stop and jamb.
Ensure that window operates smoothly following stop
adjustment.
Where applicable:
- Replace broken glass
- Replace broken sash locks
- Weather strip meeting rails
and sliding surfaces
- Install pulley seals
- Caulk interior trim
Glass Replacement Tools
• Remove broken pane
• Measure opening and cut new pane
from glass sheet
• Install, point and glaze replacement
pane

Weatherstrip large gaps between the sash and the sill or stops.
Weatherstrip the meeting rails if needed.

Replace or repair missing or non-functional top and side sash locks, hinges or other hardware if such
action will significantly reduce air leakage.

Use lead-safe weatherization practices when working on windows. [2]
2-18 Air Sealing
June 2012
Material Installation Standards Manual
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Common Weatherstripping [24]
Weatherstripping
Best Uses
Cost
Advantages
TENSION SEAL
 Self-stick plastic
(vinyl) folded along
length in a V-shape
or a springy bronze
strip (also copper,
aluminum, and
stainless steel)
shaped to bridge a
gap
 The shape of the
material creates a
seal by pressing
against the sides of
a crack to block
drafts
Inside the track of a
double-hung or sliding
window, top and sides of
door
Moderate;
varies with
material
used

FELT
 Plain or reinforced
with a flexible metal
strip; sold in rolls
 Must be stapled,
glued, or tacked
into place
 Seals best if staples
are parallel to
length of the strip

REINFORCED FOAM
Closed-cell foam
attached to wood or
metal strips












TAPE
Nonporous, closedcell foam, open-cell
foam, or Ethylene
Propylene Diene
Monomer (EDPM)
rubber

ROLLED OR
REINFORCED VINYL
Pliable or rigid strip
gasket (attached to
wood or metal strips)

Around a door or
window (reinforced
felt)
Fitted into a door
jamb so the door
presses against it
Low
Door or window stops
Bottom or top of
window sash
Bottom of door
Moderately
low












Top and bottom of
window sash
Door frames
Attic hatches
Inoperable windows
Good for blocking
corners and irregular
cracks
Low
Door or window stops
Top or bottom of
window sash
Bottom of a door
(rigid strip only)
Low to
moderate
Bottom of interior side of
in-swinging door; bottom
of exterior side of
exterior-swinging door
Easy to install
Inexpensive








2-19 Air Sealing



DOOR SWEEP
Aluminum or stainless
steel with brush of
plastic, vinyl, sponge,
or felt
Durable
Invisible when in place
Very effective
Vinyl is fairly easy to
install
Look of bronze works
well for older homes
Disadvantages
Moderate
to high


Surfaces must be flat and
smooth for vinyl
Can be difficult to install, as
corners must be snug
Bronze must be nailed in
place (every 3” or so) so as
not to bend or wrinkle
Can increase resistance in
opening/closing doors or
windows
Self-adhesive vinyl available
Some manufacturers include
extra strip for door striker plate
Low durability; least effective
preventing airflow
Do not use where exposed to
moisture or where there is
friction or abrasion
All-wool felt is more durable
and more expensive Very
visible
Closed-cell foam an
effective sealer
Scored well in wind
tests
Rigid

Extremely easy to install
Works well when
compressed
Inexpensive
Can be reinforced with
staples

Easy installation
Low to moderate cost
Self-adhesive on pliable
vinyl may not adhere to
metal; some types of
rigid strip gaskets
provide slot holes to
adjust height, increasing
durability
Comes in varying colors
to help with visibility
Visible
Relatively easy to
install; many types are
adjustable for uneven
threshold
Automatically retracting
seeps also available,
which reduce drag on
carpet and increase
durability







Can be difficult to install; must
be sawed, nailed, and painted
Very visible
Manufacturing process
produces greenhouse gas
emissions
Durability varies with material
used, but not especially high
for all
Use where little wear is
expected
Visible
Visible
Can drag on carpet
Automatic sweeps are more
expensive and can require a
small pause once door is
unlatched before retracting
June 2012
Material Installation Standards Manual
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Weatherstripping
Best Uses
Cost
Advantages
MAGNETIC
Works similarly to
refrigerator gaskets
Top and sides of doors,
double-hung and sliding
window channels
High
Very effective air sealer
Disadvantages
TUBULAR RUBBER
AND VINYL
Vinyl or sponge rubber
tubes with a flange
along length to staple
or tack into place Door
or window presses
against them to form a
seal
Around a door
Moderate
to high
Effective air barrier
Self-stick versions challenging to
install
REINFORCED
SILICONE
Tubular gasket
attached to a metal
strip that resembles
reinforced tubular vinyl
On a doorjamb or a
window stop
Moderate
to high
Seals well

DOOR SHOE
Aluminum face
attachment with vinyl
C-shaped insert to
protect under the door
To seal space beneath
door


Moderate
to high




On the exterior, product
sheds rain
Durable
Can be used with
uneven opening
Some door shoes have
replaceable vinyl inserts



Installation can be tricky
Hacksaw required to cut metal
Butting corners pose a
challenge
Fairly expensive
Installation moderately difficult
Door bottom planning possibly
required
BULB THRESHOLD
Vinyl and aluminum
Door thresholds
Moderate
to high

Combination threshold
and weatherstrip;
available in different
heights
Wears from foot traffic; relatively
expensive
"FROST-BRAKE"
THRESHOLD
Aluminum or other
metal on exterior,
wood on interior, with
door-bottom seam and
vinyl threshold
replacement
To seal beneath a door
Moderate
to high

The use of different
materials means less
cold transfer
Effective
Moderately difficult to install,
involves threshold replacement
FIN SEAL
Pile weatherstrip with
plastic Mylar fin
centered in pile
For aluminum sliding
windows and sliding
glass doors
Moderate
to high
Very durable
Can be difficult to install
INTERLOCKING
METAL CHANNELS
Enables sash to
engage one another
when closed
Around door perimeters
High
Exceptional weather seal

2-20 Air Sealing


Very difficult to install as
alignment is critical
To be installed by a
professional only
June 2012
Material Installation Standards Manual
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Window Weatherstripping
Choose a type of weatherstripping that will withstand the friction,
weather, temperature changes, and wear and tear associated with
its location. For example, weatherstripping in a window sash
must accommodate the sliding of panes up and down, sideways,
or outward. The weatherstripping you choose should seal well
when the window is closed while allowing it to open freely.
Choose a product for each specific location. Felt and open-cell
foams tend to be inexpensive, susceptible to weather, visible, and
inefficient at blocking airflow. However, the ease of applying
these materials may make them valuable in low-traffic areas.
Vinyl, which is slightly more expensive, holds up well and resists
moisture. Metals (bronze, copper, stainless steel, and aluminum)
last for years and are affordable. Metal weatherstripping can also
provide a nice touch to older homes where vinyl might seem out
of place. [24]
 NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
WINDOW
WEATHERSTRIPPING
Do Not Install:
1. When already properly installed;
2. When windows are located between two
conditioned or two unconditioned areas;
3. When windows are painted shut;
4. When storm windows are present;
5. When existing windows form an effective
seal as installed; and/or
6. When not justified by a blower door test
and a savings to investment ration (SIR)
ranking of 1.0 or better by the audit.
Diagram 2.9 Window Air Sealing Key Points
Use backer rod or spray foam (appropriate for windows) to fill gaps
between window/door and rough opening.
Disclaimer: This image is intended solely to help graphically demonstrate the air leakage provisions
of section 402.4 of the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). It does not cover all air
sealing locations or techniques. Other code provisions may be applicable as well.
2-21 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Window Glass Replacement
 STANDARDS
WINDOW WEATHERSTRIPPING
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Double Hung Windows
Wood, metal and plastic




Casement Windows
Wood, metal and plastic


Sash locks (manufactured only)
Shims may be used to form an effective seal
Pulley seals will be installed where needed
Closed cell foam may be used in compression only
May use spring metal, cushion metal or rigid gasket
Closed cell foam may be used in compression only
Horizontal Aluminum
Slider
Metal

May use replacement pile, closed cell foam, flex tape V-strip with
siliconized adhesive or other effective material
All Metal Window
All types

Replacement pile recommended
Replacement must be correct size in both width and height

 STANDARDS
GLASS REPLACEMENT
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Allowable Materials
Single strength glass (SS)

Allowed for openings up to 100 U.I.*
Double strength glass (DS)

Required for opening greater than 100 U.I.* but not greater than 150
U.I.*
Plate glass

Recommend that openings greater than 150 U.I.* be converted to
accept two or more standard replacement window units
Safety glass

As required by local code
May use rigid plastic sheets in lieu of safety glass

Plastic sheets

Must be UV treated
Must be at least 1/8” thick
Polycarbonate recommended
Plastic film

Not allowed
Wood sash

Caulking tube-type glazing recommended (commercially available)
Metal sash


Caulking tube-type glazing not recommended
Match existing glazing beads (or strips) where feasible
Wood and metal

Glazing materials must remain pliable
Wood sash



Glazing Compounds
Treatment of Sash

Must be clean and free of dirt or loose material
Decayed or deteriorated sash must be replaced
Follow manufacturer’s requirements for treating surface
Metal sash

Must be clean and treated with rust inhibitor
Wood sash

Must be installed
Points spaced a maximum of 8” apart
Points located within 4” of each corner

Push Points


Spring Clips
Steel casement



Cushion Bead
Wood and metal



Recommend installation of spring clips
Spaced a maximum of 12” apart
Clips located within 4” of each corner
Required on all glass installations
Bead must be continuous and free of voids
Use appropriate material (i.e. glazing compound in wood sash
windows; caulking compound recommended for metal sashes)
* U.I. = United Inches = One width measurement in inches plus one length measurement in inches.
2-22 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Storm Windows
Storm windows are relatively expensive compared to other
weatherization measures, and therefore are not always cost
effective. Storm windows can preserve old worn primary
windows, though, which can be cheaper than replacing the
primary windows.
Aluminum storm windows are the best choice if they are well
designed and installed properly.
 NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
WINDOW GLASS REPLACEMENT
Do Not Install:
1. When small hole, 1/4” or less, is present
and can be patched with clear silicone;
2. When crack is less than 6” long, and it
cannot go any further; and/or
3. When not justified by a savings to
investment ratio (SIR) ranking of 1.0 or
better by the audit.

Frames should have sturdy corners so they don’t rack out-ofsquare during transport and installation.

Sashes must fit tightly in their frames.

The gasket sealing the glass should surround the glass’s edge and not merely wedge the glass in place
against the metal frame.

The window should be sized correctly and fit tightly in the opening.
Storm Window Installation Guidelines

Do not install new storm windows to replace existing storms if the existing storms are in good
condition or can be repaired at a reasonable cost.

Caulk storm windows around the frame at time of installation, except for weep holes that should not
be sealed. If weep holes are not manufactured into new storm window, weep holes should be drilled
into them.

Do not allow storm windows to restrict emergency egress or ventilation through moveable windows.
Choose windows that are openable from the inside or install pin-on storm sashes that open along with
the moveable primary window. [2]
 STANDARDS
STORM WINDOWS
Item
Materials
Allowable Materials






Window glazing
Caulking
Hardware and fasteners
Aluminum frame
Wood frame
Rigid vinyl frame
Criteria/Requirements






2-23 Air Sealing
Glass recommended
UV and scratch resistant plastic sheets. (Polycarbonate
recommended)
See caulking section (section 1) for requirements
Shall be aluminum, stainless steel or other non-corrosive material
Conforms to 10 CFR 440 Appendix A
Interior use only
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Pre-Installation
Requirements
Prime window






Size, Shape and
Opening Direction
Window




Material Installation Standards Manual
Existing units, pane, frame, and/or sash must be structurally sound
Replace loose and/or missing glazing compound
Contact area must be smooth and even (free of protrusions)
Water penetration points must be sealed
Dry rot around contact area must be replaced
Prime window panes should be wiped clean (outside for exterior or
inside for interior) prior to storm window installation
Size, shape and opening direction (i.e. vertical or horizontal slider)
must match prime window
Applicable building code egress (building exit) requirements must be
met
When feasible, removable sashes should function properly (to allow
cleaning with frame in place)
No storm window shall exceed 150 United Inches
Glass Thickness
Requirements
Frame type & pane
thickness:
 Wood or aluminum:
- single strength
- double strength
(3/16” minimum)
 Vinyl:
- double strength
(3/16” minimum)

Maximum Pane Size (in U.I.*):
- Up to 100 U.I.
- 101 to 150 U.I.
- 100 U.I. Over 100 U.I. requires vertical supports
- 120 U.I. Over 120 U.I. not recommended
Thermal Barriers
Glazing Tape
Metal

Vinyl or elastomeric thermal barrier (glazing tape)
Required to prevent metal to metal contact between storm and prime
window frames
New (Untreated) Wood
All types

All new, bare or untreated wood shall be sealed with primer or water
seal and stain
Attachment
Exterior

Must be permanently attached with screws (except drywall) or clips
Screws must reach into structural framing member or at least 3/4”
solid wood
Must be secured within 4” of each of the four corners
Maximum of 16” allowed between screws or clips




Sealing
Exterior/interior



Permanent caulking or gasket required between prime and storm
window
Seal all joints, gaps, holes and penetrations except weep holes
No less than 2 weep holes, 3/16” diameter each, shall be provided for
each exterior window (to ensure proper drainage)
Air Space
Exterior/interior

To 4” between storm and prime window
Interior Mounting
Interior


Mount inside existing window jamb, where possible
Use screws or clips
Attach as directed
Sashes must be removable
Sash Mounted
Storm Windows
Window

Not Allowed
General Operational
Requirements
Permanently installed

Operable prime windows shall remain operable without removing
storm window frame
Interior access to prime and storm window latches must not be
impaired



General Post Installation
Requirements



All material


Storm window panes shall be wiped clean inside and outside
All labels on storm window panes, except those required by local
code, shall be removed
U.I. = United Inches = One width measurement in inches plus one length measurement in inches.
Glazing thickness must comply with local standards.
Safety glass must be used as required by local code.
2-24 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Doors
Door measures are usually not cost effective. Doors have a small surface area and their air leakage is more
of a localized comfort problem than a significant energy problem most of the time. However, door
operation affects building security and durability, so doors are often an important repair priority.
Door Weatherstrip, Thresholds, and Sweeps
Door weatherstrip, thresholds and sweeps are marginally cost effective. These measures should be
addressed as air infiltration as indicted by blower door testing.

Install thresholds and door sweeps if needed to prevent air leakage.
-
Thresholds and sweeps should not bind the door.
-
Thresholds should be caulked at the sill and jamb junction.

Tighten door hardware and adjust stops so door closes snugly against its stops.

Use a durable stop-mounted or jamb-mounted weatherstrip material to weatherstrip the door.

New weatherstrip must form a tight seal with no buckling or gaps when installed.

Plane or adjust the door so it closes without rubbing or binding on the stops and jambs, especially in
homes that may have lead paint. [2]
 STANDARDS
DOOR WEATHERSTRIPPING
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Entrance Door Jamb
Wood and metal




Installation
Rigid gasket, spring and
cushion, vinyl v-seal,
replacement pile, jamb up
or Q-Lon*
May use rigid gasket
May use spring and cushion metal
Vinyl V-strip acceptable on metal jambs
Closed cell foam may be used in compression only (not
recommended)

Must be attached with screws/nails placed a maximum of 9” apart
and within 2” of each end
Must be installed with screws/nails placed every 4” and placed with
2” of each end
Must form an effective seal
Jamb up must be screwed; not nailed.
Warranty
All types

Must have a minimum of 1 year warranty
Gasket to Gasket Contact
All types

Gasket to gasket contact required at all corners (caulk may not be
used to achieve this contact)
Each section is not to have one continuous strip if possible
Corner “V” notching of bulb-type materials, acceptable





Thresholds
Wood and metal





2-25 Air Sealing
Use only hardwood, treated wood or metal
Gasket saddles are not recommended but may be used where
appropriate
Metal must be permanently screwed in place
Wood must be nailed or screwed in place
Perimeter of threshold must be caulked
June 2012
Material Installation Standards Manual
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Item
Door Bottom
Materials
All types
Criteria/Requirements

Screws coated or plated for exterior use should be used.
Black/sheetrock screws are not allowed for attachment of thresholds

Must use door shoe/bottom or sweep with saddle threshold
Shoe/bottom must have vinyl or silicone gasket and elongated
mounting holes
Door shoe/bottom may be L or U shaped and may include rain drip
Retractable door sweep may be used when applicable



* For replacement of original weatherstrip only
Cracks in exterior window and door frames: Sealing serves to keep bulk water out. If the crack is
deeper than 5/16”, it should be backed with a material such as a rodent resistant backer rod and then sealed
with caulk. Any existing loose or brittle material should be removed before the crack is recaulked. [2]
Door Repair
Door repair items improve home security and building durability. Door repair can also save energy if the
door currently has a poor fit.
Limit door repair to these tasks:
 Replace missing or inoperable lock sets.
 Seal gaps between the stop and jamb with caulk.
 Reposition the lock set and strike plate.
 Install a door shoe if needed to repair damage. [2]
 Reposition stops if necessary.
Minor Door Repair
2-26 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
 STANDARDS
DOOR GLASS REPLACEMENT
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Safety Glass in Doors
Required for replacement of existing broken safety glass in doors,
windows and patio doors
DOOR MODIFICATION STANDARD
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Door Modification
Wood
If core is exposed by trimming, the stile must be replaced or core edge
effectively sealed against the weather
A maximum of 1” may be cut from either door side
Recommend a 5o bevel be cut on lockset edge
Floor/Foundation
Stopping the Chimney Effect
Outside air drawn in through the crawlspace or basement leaks are
exacerbated by the chimney effect created by leaks in the attic. As
hot air generated by the furnace rises up through the house and into
the attic through leaks, cold outside air gets drawn in through
basement leaks to replace the displaced air. This makes a home feel
drafty and contributes to higher energy bills. After sealing attic air
leaks, complete the job by sealing the crawl space or lower floor
leaks to stop the chimney effect. [25]
Seal All Gaps and Cracks around Rim Joists
Crawl Space Vapor Barrier
6 mil thick poly plastic laid on crawlspace soil and sealed around the
concrete piers with mastic.
Though you may not be able to see cracks in the rim joist cavities, it is best to seal the top and bottom of
the inside of the cavity. Also, rim joist air sealing is especially important at bump out areas such as bay
windows that hang off the foundation. These areas provide greater opportunities for air leakage and heat
loss. Caulk is best for sealing gaps or cracks that are 1/4” or less. Use spray foam to fill gaps from 1/4” to
about 3”.
We also recommend you seal penetrations that go through the crawlspace or basement to the floor above.
Generally, these are holes for wires, water supply pipes, water drain pipes, and plumbing vent stacks (for
venting sewer gases).
Caution: When sealing any heat source, encased in a metal sleeve run a bead of high temperature caulk
around the pipe sleeve and around the metal blocking. [25]
2-27 Air Sealing
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Areas to Foam or Caulk

Foundation sill plate joints

Bottom and top of rim joist on each end of the house

All electrical, water, or gas penetrations, and any venting ducts that pass to the outside

Bathtubs and shower stalls: Seal holes and cracks from underneath with expanding foam. Seal large
openings with rigid materials caulked or foamed at edges. [25]
 STANDARDS
FLOOR SEALING STANDARDS
Item
Material
Rim Joist Access
Criteria/Requirements



Hole Location
End and side joist



Belly Injection




Bottom wall trim shall be removed to expose the rim joist
Exterior siding may be unfastened only if necessary
Rim Joist access shall be considered NOT feasible if it will result in
visible damage to the siding
One hole for each joist cavity
Centered on joist to minimize structural damage
Care shall be exercised to avoid damage to plumbing/electrical lines
attached to or adjacent to rim joist
Penetrations shall be made as needed to achieve complete coverage
Holes cut for inspection and existing damage holes may be used for
access
Holes shall be of sufficient size and spacing to accommodate the
directional nozzle or fill tube utilized
Maximum insulation travel beyond the nozzle or fill tube shall be 2’
All air sealing should be blower door driven to achieve the maximum cubic feet per minute (CFM)
reduction. TDHCA and the US Department of Energy (DOE) require a significant reduction in CFM
readings from the initial blower door reading to the final reading when homes warrant. Subrecipients are
required to attempt to reach the Minimum Ventilation Requirement (MVR), within reason: in cost
effective savings to investment ratio (SIR) guidelines and if the proposed tightening measures are
reasonable based on the whole-house assessment. The goal is to get as close to the MVR as possible.
2-28 Air Sealing
June 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Chapter 3: Insulation
Table of Contents
Attic Insulation ....................................................................................................................................... 2
Attic Preparation .............................................................................................................................................................. 2
Insulation Safety Procedures .......................................................................................................................................... 5
Attic Access Hatches and Doors ................................................................................................................................... 6
Installing Blown-In Insulation ....................................................................................................................................... 8
Installing Batt Insulation ................................................................................................................................................. 9
Finished Knee Wall Attics ............................................................................................................................................10
Wall Insulation ....................................................................................................................................... 10
Inspecting and Repairing Walls ....................................................................................................................................11
Open-Cavity Wall Insulation ........................................................................................................................................14
Dense-Packing Wall Insulation ....................................................................................................................................15
Insulating Balloon-Framed Walls ................................................................................................................................16
Removing Siding and Drilling Sheathing....................................................................................................................16
Floor Insulation ..................................................................................................................................... 17
Insulating an Unventilated Crawl Space .....................................................................................................................18
Insulating a Ventilated Crawl Space ............................................................................................................................19
Spray Foam Insulation...................................................................................................................................................20
3-1 Insulation
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Attic Insulation
Insulation reduces heat transmission by slowing conduction, convection, and radiation through the building
shell. Insulation combined with an air barrier forms the thermal boundary. Installing insulation is one of the
most effective energy-saving measures. [2] The key to maximizing energy-savings is installation of insulation!
As most tradesmen reluctantly do, but always come to realize - time spent in prepping for any job makes for
efficient quality work.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that an uninsulated attic can
increase home energy costs by 30%. Adding insulation to an attic prevents heat
or cold from moving into the home, and expensive heated or cooled air from
escaping the building. For these reasons, attic insulation is the second most
important weatherization measure to consider, after air sealing.
If an attic is lacking insulation---you must get in! Create an attic access hatch or
gain access through an existing gable vent. If none exists then add one.[8]
The benefits of insulation toward energy savings is proved time and again when
using an energy auditing tool. The pre to post retrofit energy and loads will
drop as much as 50% when insulating a previously uninsulated unit, another
reason for prep and installing insulation properly.
Insulation is key to saving
energy. The attic is the first
place to hit when air-sealing
and insulating. Find a way or
make a way to get in! [8]
Attic Preparation [1,2,7,8]
Follow the preparatory steps outlined below to help create a durable
attic.


Ensure a good roof. Although proper construction from the
beginning will help protect attics from rain, snow, and ice,
weatherproofing after construction can also help. Flashing, a type
of weatherproofing in walls and roofs, uses waterproof material
like sheet metal to fill spaces, stop water penetration, and prevent
leaks.
Protect insulation from moisture by repairing small roof
and siding leaks, and by controlling vapor sources within
the home.

NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
INSULATING ATTICS
Do not install:
 If roof leaks over conditioned spaces
and cannot be repaired, or until the roof
is repaired by another funding source or
the client.
 If the ceiling over conditioned spaces
cannot be made to support the weight of
the insulation.
-
If attic-related moisture problems can’t be repaired, don’t insulate the attic.
-
Allowable Expenditures: 10 CFR 440.18 (9). The cost of incidental repairs if such repairs are
necessary to make the installation of weatherization materials effective.
3-2 Insulation
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Blocking and Baffling [4]


Seal air gaps or leaks into the attic. Warm, humid air from kitchens,
bathrooms, and dryers threaten attic durability. Many homes lack sufficient
air sealing between the top floor and attic space that can prevent warm,
humid air from kitchens, bathrooms, and dryers from accessing the attic.
-
Check for leaks or gaps around ductwork, wires, plumbing, lighting
fixtures, and around attic entryways. Protect insulation from air
movement with an effective air barrier.
-
Make sure that the air barrier and insulation are properly aligned.
Properly insulate the attic, including the eaves. Inadequate attic
insulation allows heat to escape in the colder months, undermining attic
durability and increasing home heating bills.
-

Install insulation so it covers the entire area without voids, hill and
valleys, or edge gaps.
Install chutes, dams, tubes, or other blocking materials to prevent
blown insulation from plugging air channels between soffit vents and
the attic. These shields maximize the amount of insulation that may be
installed over top plates without clogging ventilation paths. They also help
prevent the wind-washing of insulation caused by wind through the soffit
vents.
Place soffit baffles to maintain attic
venting.
Apply blocking around heat sources.

Install an attic access hatch if none is present. The attic hatch should be at least 22” on each side if
possible.

Ventilate the attic. Improper attic ventilation allows moisture to
build up and can cause mold, ruin insulation, and damage wood.

Replace the panels covering the underside of roof eaves
(soffits) with ridged vents allowing air to enter beneath
the roof overhang.
Pair these with a ridge vent for increased effectiveness.
Do not cover soffit vents or touch underside of decking.
Vent all kitchen and bath fans outdoors through roof or soffit
fittings, if possible.
-
Rigid metal piping on kitchen fans to penetrate the ceiling
and flexible metal or rigid for fans within the attic
whenever possible, and insulate the pipe to prevent
condensation.
-
Avoid using flexible plastic ducting.
-
Check all fans for proper backdraft damper operation.
3-3 Insulation
 GOOD TO KNOW
HOT CLIMATE
Why is vent baffling and proper attic
ventilation important?
Roof shingles are often dark and have
granular surfaces that increase surface
area. The sun radiates heat to the shingles.
The shingles conduct heat through the
underlayment and roof decking, which
radiates this heat toward the insulation,
mechanical equipment, framing and
ductwork. As these surfaces heat up the air
around them becomes hotter and
convection begins. This produces the stack
effect causing the hot attic air to moves up
and out. As the hot air exhausts through
higher vents, the lower soffit vents draw in
“cooler” air from outside. [15]
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
-
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Repair or replace the damper or the entire fan assembly if the damper doesn’t operate freely.
Observe lead-safe weatherization practices with all tasks that may disturb interior paint.
 STANDARDS
ATTIC PREPARATION
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Pre-Installation Procedures
Roof all materials
 All roof repair or replacement must be completed before insulation is
installed
 Broken or cracked rafters shall be replaced or repaired with doublers
which extend at least 2’ each side of break or crack
 Rafter braces are recommended, but braces must be attached at wall
plates
 Roof “bowls” (concave areas) should be eliminated by bracing or
overlaying
Ceiling all materials
 Ceiling must be structurally capable of supporting insulation weight
 Room-side lath strips may be installed with client approval, to cover
or support damaged or questionable joints
 Thin panels may be laid over attic side of joist to keep weight of


Blocking all materials
Venting all materials
Blocking and Baffles
Loose fill
insulation off good 1/ 2” sheetrock or 1/ 2” ceilings with excessive
joist spacing
Weak or damaged sheetrock under board ceilings does not have to
be replaced or repaired unless board cracks or joints allow insulation
to fall through
Board ceilings with lap or tongue/groove joints or butt joints with
spaces equal to or less than 1/16” do not need to be sealed if
insulation is installed
 All required blocking shall be completed
 All required venting shall be completed
 Wood, metal, plastic or mineral fiber blankets must be used for
blocking or baffles
 No paper or asbestos products may be used to construct permanent
insulation blocks or baffles
Mineral blankets (batts)
 No additional blocking or baffling is required when mineral blankets
are used
 Minimum 3” clearance (from insulation edge to heat source) must be
maintained
Blocking Installation
All materials
 Baffle all soffit vents.
 Items requiring 3” minimum clearance:


Loose fill
- recessed lights
- door bell transformer
- chimneys
- metal flues (such as central wall furnaces or water heater
exhaust)
- vents (such as bathroom exhaust vents)
- fan motors
- knob and tube wiring
Live knob and tube type wiring must not be covered, but blankets
may be installed below wires if 3” clearance is maintained on top and
sides
Items requiring 12” minimum clearance:
- heating (furnaces)
- water heaters (in attic)
Flag junction boxes, recessed fixtures, key plumbing lines.
Depth markers: Staple rulers every 15’ for even coverage.


 Wood, metal or plastic blocking materials must extend at least 4”
above the insulation level and must be permanently attached
3-4 Insulation
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Item
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Batt
 Mineral fiber batts when used for blocking must be at least as high as
(stapled, nailed or screwed) to ceiling joist
the insulation level. (If a heat source is present extend batts away
from the heat source a minimum of 24” in all directions)
Insulation Safety Procedures [2]
Comply with the following fire and electrical safety procedures before insulating.

Ensure that there is no bare wiring and that wiring splices are enclosed in metal or plastic electrical boxes
that are fitted with cover plates.

Wear an approved respirator or dust mask while blowing insulation or installing batts.

Install insulation blocking around unlined masonry chimneys, B-vent chimneys, and manufactured
chimneys. Seal any bypasses around chimneys with metal and high-temperature caulk.

Install insulation shields around all-fuel wood-stove chimneys with 6” of
space between the chimney and insulation.

If shields are used as a barrier around heat producing devices or masonry
chimneys, fasten them securely to the ceiling joist so they maintain 3” of
clearance and don’t collapse. Don’t allow metal shields to contact wiring.
Cover the tops of shields while installing insulation, and uncover and clean
them out afterwards.

Depending upon the knob and tube wiring system in the attic the following
approaches should be considered:
-
Verify that knob-and-tube wiring is live before specifying
replacement. If the system isn’t live, just specify insulation around
and over the wiring.
-
Install batts to zone off the live wiring, leaving a 3” clearance
around the knob and tube components, batt or blow insulation up
to the batts blocking the knob-and-tube. See Best Practice at:
http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/ea/wap-best-practices.htm
-
3-5 Insulation
Optimally, knob and tube wiring should be replaced prior to
insulating. This usually falls outside the scope of the
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). If an alternate funding
can be secured to handle the knob-and-tube wiring, then insulation
may be installed.
Knob and Tube Wiring
Knob and tube (K&T) wiring is not
a reason to disqualify a home from
the weatherization program. However, weatherization of K&T
homes is a specific task requiring
an understanding of how to keep
insulation away from the K&T cost
effectively and safely.
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
 STANDARDS
ATTIC SAFETY
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Safety Concerns
All materials
 Insulation fibers should not be inhaled. A protective air filter mask
shall be worn at all times
 Eyes should be protected at all times. Safety goggles shall be worn
when insulation is installed
 Some insulation materials can irritate the skin. Long sleeves and
slacks should be worn for protection
 Remember that the attic is a cramped space filled with numerous
hazards. Be careful and watch your head. There must be at least
24” clearance (between the attic floor and the roof joists) for
insulation to be safely installed. Installers should have good lighting
and adequate ventilation. Ensure that additional attic ventilation, if
required, is installed prior to insulation (this will make the attic more
comfortable and safer for the installer)
Attic Access Hatches and Doors
N1102.2.3 Access hatches and doors. Access doors from conditioned spaces to unconditioned spaces (e.g.,
attics and crawl spaces) shall be weatherstripped and insulated to a level equivalent to the insulation of the
surrounding surfaces. Access shall be provided to all equipment which prevents damaging and compressing
the insulation. A wood framed or equivalent baffle or retainer is required to be provided when loose fill
insulation is installed, the purpose of which is to prevent the loose fill insulation from spilling into the living
space when the attic access is opened and to provide a permanent means of maintaining the installed R-value
to the loose fill insulation. [6]
Diagram 3.1 Attic Access
Attic Pull-Down Stairs
3-6 Insulation
Scuttle Hole Cover
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
 STANDARDS
ATTIC ACCESS
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Attic Access
All types
 If existing access is difficult to enter because of size or location, it





must be enlarged or sealed and relocated, preferably to an
unconditioned area such as a porch or garage
New or enlarged access should be according to IRCC at least 22” x
30”
Access opening shall be framed on attic side by 2” x 4” or 2” x 6”
members secured to adjacent joist, trimmed on ceiling side with door
or window trim located to support cover equally around opening.
Minimum framing height must equal height of insulation
Access located in conditioned areas must have foam tape or
weather-strip installed on either the attic hatch or trim, whichever
provides the most secure surface.
Accesses located in insulated areas must be insulated to the R-value
of the attic and attached to cover
Insulation of disappearing or folding stairs in conditioned areas is
recommended by construction of an insulated surrounding box and
must be insulated to the same R-value as the attic.
 Gable Vent Access. Cut a hole for gable vent to use to insulate.
Create an Access


When insulation is complete, install vent with screws for future
access if needed. Baffle the gable to avoid winds from blowing the
insulation.
Roof Vent Access. If a large roof vent is needed for proper attic
ventilation, create the roof vent hole and insulate from that access
point. When done, install the vent.
Add a ceiling access hatch either inside a closet or hallway, or in a
garage. Follow proper size, weatherization and insulation of the new
hatch, as stated previously.
 STANDARDS
ATTIC/CEILING INSULATION
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Allowable Materials
Mineral Fiber
 Blankets
 Loose fill
- Fiberglass
- Cellulose
Conforms to 10 CFR 440 Appendix A
R-Values
All materials
 Attic Floor (Ceilings): Minimum R-30 (higher if required by local
code)
 Knee Walls (if over 12” high): R19 preferred, R-11 minimum
 Cover the rafters with a sealed air barrier, such as drywall or foil
Loose fill
faced hardboard. Caulk the barrier to the top plate of the knee wall
itself.
Attic Access: (hatch cover located in conditioned area only)
- Insulate to attic R-value.
 Permanently affix a certification card to a ceiling rafter so that it is
easily visible from the attic entry.
 Certification Card is to state: the installed R-value, the number of
bags installed, the date of installation and the installer’s name
 It is recommended that a depth (or density) table be affixed next to
the certification card (can be cut from a discarded insulation bag)
3-7 Insulation
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Installing Blown-In Insulation
Blown insulation is preferred to batt insulation because blown insulation forms a seamless blanket. Blowing
attic insulation at the highest achievable insulation density helps minimize settling and slows convection
currents from moving within the insulation. [2]
 STANDARDS
BLOWN INSULATION STANDARDS
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Attic
All types, loose-fill
 Maintain a high density by moving as much insulation as possible





through the hose with the available air pressure. The more the
insulation is packed together in the blowing hose, the greater its
density.
Fill the edges of the attic first, near the eaves or gable end, and move
toward the center. Don’t leave thin places over the wall plates.
Install insulation at an even depth. Go back and use a stick to level
the insulation if needed.
Use depth markers (rulers), every 300sq ft of attic area to verify an
even blow.
Do not install insulation up against the deck or over the soffit vents
Post an Insulation Certificate near the attic entrance.
Diagram 3.2 Properly Insulated Attic
Remember depth markers.
3-8 Insulation
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
GOOD TO KNOW
INSULATION
Any interior insulation type is acceptable that has vapor permeability. These include cellulose, fiberglass, and foam.
 When fiberglass batt insulation is specified, use high-density, unfaced batts. Batt facing is a vapor retarder and can trap moisture
inside walls.
 Rigid insulation is made from fibrous materials or plastic foams that are pressed or extruded into sheets and molded pipecoverings. These provide thermal and acoustical insulation, strength with low weight, and coverage with few heat loss paths. Such
boards may be faced with a reflective foil that reduces heat flow when next to an air space. Foil facing also makes the board nearly
impervious to water and vapor and so should be used with caution. Foam sheets that may be in contact with the ground should be
borate-treated for termite resistance.
 Radiant barriers are sometimes used in buildings to reduce summer heat gain and winter heat loss. They can be effective in the
hot and humid climate at reducing peak cooling loads, especially if ductwork or cooling equipment is located in the attic. All radiant
barriers must have a low emittance (0.1 or less) and high reflectance (0.9 or more). [15]
Installing Batt Insulation
 STANDARDS
WHERE TO INSTALL ATTIC/CEILING INSULATION
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Where to Install
All materials
 Attic floor
 Must be installed level at equal depths
 Maintain a minimum of 1” (3” preferred) clearance from underside of
roof at eve
 Faced batts (with vapor barrier attached) should be installed with
vapor barrier toward the heated side (in hot or hot/humid areas that
means toward the roof decking; NOT the ceiling sheetrock)
Existing Insulation
Procedures
Batts or blankets
Knee walls; hatch covers in conditioned areas
Batt
 When installing batts over existing insulation, use unfaced batts. If

Loose fill
unfaced batts are not available, make slashes (approximately every
6” to 8”) in the vapor barrier (to allow moisture to pass through the
insulation) prior to installation. If the original batts were improperly
installed (that is installed with the vapor barrier facing the wrong
direction), slash the barrier, as stated above, before new batts are
installed
Cut batts carefully to ensure a tight fit against the ceiling joists and
other framing.
 When installing loose fill insulation over existing batts, address
improperly installed vapor barriers in the manner outlined above
 When installing loose fill insulation over existing loose fill materials,
careful attention should be paid to differing material’s densities.
 Since heavier materials will compress lighter materials (and thereby
reduce their R-value and effectiveness), adherence to the following
guidelines is important:
- Cellulose has the greatest density of all loose fill materials and
should not be installed over existing rockwool or fiberglass
- Rockwool is heavier than fiberglass and should be installed only
over existing cellulose or rockwool
- Fiberglass is the lightest of all loose fill materials and may be
installed over any existing loose fill material
3-9 Insulation
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Finished Knee Wall Attics
Finished attics require special care when installing insulation. They
often include five separate sections that require different sealing and
insulating methods:
1.
Exterior walls of finished attic
2.
Collar-beam attic, above finished attic
3.
Sloped roof, where wall/roof finish is installed directly to roof
rafters
4.
Knee walls, between finished attic and unconditioned attic space
5.
Outer ceiling joists, between knee wall and top plate of exterior
wall
Follow these specifications when insulating finished attics:

NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
INSULATING ATTICS
Do not install:
1. When attic clearance is less than 24”
2. When live bare wires are present and
cannot be protected
3. When roof is leaking over conditioned
space and cannot be repaired
4. When ceiling cannot be made to
support weight
5. Over unconditioned spaces (such as
garages, carports or utility rooms)
6. When already installed to required Rvalue
7. Insulation CANNOT cover any of the
following:
a. live knob and tube wiring
b. open junction boxes
c. open (balloon framing) wall cavities
(block or seal before insulating)
8. Open furr down cavities (block or seal
before insulating
9. Recessed lights
10. Eave or soffit vents
11. Attic fans
12. When the SIR is less than 1

Seal large air leaks when they are adjacent to the conditioned
space. Some small cavities can be sealed with densepack
insulation.

Inspect the structure to confirm that it has the strength to support
the weight of the insulation.

Create an airtight and structurally strong seal in the joist space
under the knee wall. This can be done by either blowing
densepack insulation into the joist cavities.

Insulate sloped roof with densepack insulation. Insulate knee walls with densepack insulation or fiberglass
batts. Prepare the knee wall for blowing by nailing house wrap to the knee wall with large-headed nails or
stapling the house wrap through a strip of cardboard or thin wood. Or insulate the knee wall with highdensity batts and apply house wrap to the attic side of the wall to prevent convection and air leakage.

When the knee wall area is used for storage, cover insulation with a vapor-permeable material such as
house wrap to prevent exposure to insulation fibers.

Insulate knee wall access hatches and collar-beam access hatch with 3 or more inches of rigid-foam
insulation, or a well-secured fiberglass batt. Weatherstrip the hatch and provide a positive closure. [2]
Wall Insulation
If you find the existing walls uninsulated or partially insulated, add insulation to provide complete coverage for
all the home’s exterior walls. Properly installed densepacked cellulose or fiberglass wall insulation reduces air
3-10 Insulation
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
leakage through walls and other closed building cavities because the fibers are driven into the cracks by the
blowing machine.
Install wall insulation with a uniform coverage and density. Wall cavities encourage airflow like chimneys.
Convection currents or air leakage can significantly reduce wall insulation’s thermal performance if spaces
remain for air to flow.
Two methods for installing sidewall insulation are commonly used: tube-fill method (one large hole) or the
two-hole method. The tube-fill method is preferred because it ensures that a wall achieves an adequate
coverage and density of insulation. [2]
An Infrared (IR) camera can be used to verify complete filling of each cavity. However, the installed
insulation must achieve a steady state temperature before using an IR camera. For this reason, wait a day or
two to check the filled cavities for quality work with an IR camera.
Inspecting and Repairing Walls [2]

If condition of the siding, sheathing, or interior wall finish indicates an
existing moisture problem, no sidewall insulation should be installed
until the moisture problem has been identified and corrected.

Seal gaps in external window trim and other areas that may admit rain
water into the wall.

Inspect indoor surfaces of exterior walls to assure that they are strong
enough to withstand the force of insulation blowing. Add screws or
other reinforcement to weak walls if feasible.

Inspect for interior openings from which insulation may escape such as
balloon framing openings in the attic or crawl space, pocket doors, unbacked cabinets, interior soffits, and closets. Seal openings as necessary
to prevent insulation from escaping.

Confirm that exterior wall cavities aren’t used as return ducts. Avoid
these cavities, or re-route the ducting.

Do not insulate cavities with wiring of any type other than Romex.
Trouble Shooting
If you’ve blown for over four
minutes without reaching proper
density, find out where cellulose is
going!
 STANDARDS
WALL REPAIR
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Repair
All Materials
 Interior and Exterior walls shall be repaired prior to insulating the wall
cavity
 All repairs shall be durable and permanent
3-11 Insulation
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Insulation Installation [8]
The most critical part of insulation is the installation . Most
insulation is only delivering one half or less of the rated R-value! Air
movement, gaps, misalignment, compression, and voids all rob
insulation of the ability to do its job.
Four R-Value Killers
1.
Compression: Compression reduces the R-value of the
insulation equal to the amount of compression. If you install a
6” batt in a 4” wall cavity, the R-value will be one third of the
original R-value. Compression makes insulation a conductor by
eliminating the open spaces of the insulation meant to slow
down air flow.

WALL INSULATION
Do not insulate:
 Cavities serving as HVAC ducts
 Cavities with wall heaters
 Cavities with operating knob and tube
wiring
 Walls with leaks or unrepaired damage
 Interior or exterior walls with substandard
sheathing
2.
Air Movement: If air can move past or around insulation it will! This
air movement will carry heat with it. An air barrier in contact with the
insulation is a requirement.
3.
Misalignment: Misalignment happens when insulation is not touching
the surface you are trying to insulate. An example would be laying
insulation over wires and boards --it isn’t touching the wall or ceiling.
This results in the insulation having virtually no R-value.
4.
Gaps: We see gaps in insulation all of the time. The batt doesn’t quite
fit, there is a gap of 1/4” between the batt and the back side of the
sheetrock, or the stud, or the bottom plate. This small gap reduces the
R-value of that batt by over 45%. An R-11batt would be equal to R-6 of
insulation.
5.
For insulation to work to its rated R-value, there can be no:
 Gaps
 Misalignment
 Voids
 Compression
3-12 Insulation
NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
Poor Insulation Installation
Watch for compression, air movement, misalignment, and gaps.

Air Movement [8]
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Diagram 3.3 Work to R-Value
Notice how the ducts are inside, under the thermal barrier, not in the hot attic.
 STANDARDS
WALL INSULATION
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Allowable Materials
Mineral Fiber
- Fiberglass





Rock Wool
R- Values
Batts only
Conforms to 10 CFR 440 Appendix A
Must have vapor barrier facing warm side
Batts Only
Must have vapor barrier facing warm side
Cellulose
- Loose Fill
Conforms to 10 CFR 440 Appendix A
All Materials
 R-11 Minimum (Overall
 R-Value that includes:
- interior and exterior
- sheathing and siding must
- be a minimum of R-15)
Dense Pack
Cellulose Only
- Tube Fill Method
 Insulation shall be installed at a minimum weight of 3.4 pounds per
cubic foot
 Cavities less than 3’ in height or where it is not possible to tube fill
may be insulated using the two hole method
Loose Fill
Cellulose or Fiberglass
- Two Hole Method
 Side wall cavities shall be checked for obstructions prior to insulating
the cavity
 Entry holes shall be properly sized for the type of insulation being
installed
Single Wall Construction
Fiberglass/Rockwool batts
 Entry holes shall be placed no lower than 1ft from the top plate and
no higher than 48’ from the bottom plate
 Shall be install with Kraft side(vapor barrier) facing the warm side
 Shall be covered with sheetrock, plywood, chipboard or hardboard
 Drywall shall be taped and receive at least one coat of joint
compound
 Plywood, Chipboard or hardboard joints shall be caulked. Note:
drywall, plywood, chipboard or hardboard shall not be installed in
areas exposed to the weather or to high moisture
3-13 Insulation
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Entry Holes
Cellulose/Fiberglass
 In every stud cavity
 Exterior holes in wood siding shall be sealed with plastic or wood
plugs and sealed to protect the wood; making paint ready.
 Exterior holes in masonry or stucco siding shall be sealed with a



mortar or a material specifically manufactured to repair stucco or
masonry
Mortar shall completely seal the opening and be textured and
painted, if necessary, to match the surrounding surface
Interior holes in drywall shall be plugged and taped or sealed with a
material specifically manufactured to repair drywall or plaster. Holes
shall be made ready for paint
Interior holes in plywood, chipboard or hardboard shall be plugged
and sealed with caulk
Open-Cavity Wall Insulation [2]
Fiberglass batts are the most common open-cavity wall insulation. They achieve their rated R-value only when
installed carefully. If there are gaps between the cavity and batt at the top and bottom, the R-value can be
reduced by as much as 30%. The batt should fill the entire cavity without spaces in corners or edges.

Use unfaced friction-fit batt insulation where possible. Fluff to fill entire wall cavity.

Choose R-13 batts rather than R-11, if the cavity permits.

Staple faced insulation to outside face of studs on the warm side of the cavity. Do not staple on the side
of the studs.

Cut batt insulation to the exact length of the cavity. A too-short batt creates air spaces above and beneath
the batt, allowing convection. A too-long batt will bunch up, creating air pockets.

Split batt around wiring, rather than letting the wiring bunch the batt to one side of the cavity.

Insulate behind and around obstacles with scrap pieces of batt before installing batt.

Fiberglass insulation exposed to the interior living space must be covered with an appropriate material to
prevent occupants from touching the insulation. Fiberglass insulation with a fire-resistant foil-scrim-kraft
(FSK) facing does not require an additional covering.

Seal the edges and seams with urethane adhesive to create an airtight seal.
3-14 Insulation
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Dense-Packing Wall Insulation

Dense-pack wall insulation is best installed using a blower equipped with separate controls for air and
material feed.

Mark the fill tube in 1’ intervals to help the installer verify when the tube has reached the top of the wall
cavity.

To prevent settling, cellulose insulation must be blown at 3.5-4.5 pounds per cubic foot density. Follow
the manufacturer’s label for densepacked fiberglass insulation. Blowing insulation this densely requires
using a fill tube.
Wall Insulation Procedure [2]
1.
Drill 2” to 3” diameter holes to access stud cavity.
2.
Probe all wall cavities through holes, as you drill them, to identify fire
blocking, diagonal bracing, and other obstacles.
-
3.
After probing, drill whatever additional holes are necessary to
ensure complete coverage.
Start with several full-height, unobstructed wall cavities so you can
measure the insulation density and calibrate the blower.
-
An 8’ cavity (2” x 4” on 16” centers) should consume a
minimum of 10 pounds of cellulose.
-
Fiberglass will vary by manufacturer to calibrate to the
manufacturer’s label.
An Infrared camera can help reveal if
a quality job has been achieved.
4.
Insert the hose all the way to the top of the cavity. Start the machine,
and back the hose out slowly as the cavity fills. Work the hose back and forth in the cavity to pack the
insulation tighter.
5.
Shut off the flow of material when about 6” from the end.
6.
Seal and plug the holes, and replace the siding.
Problems with low density insulation: Blowing insulation through one or two small holes usually creates voids
inside the wall cavity. This is because insulation won’t reliably blow at an adequate density more than about 1’
from the nozzle. Use tube-filling methods, using a 1.5” hose inserted through a 2” or larger hole.
3-15 Insulation
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Insulating Balloon-Framed Walls [2]
When insulating balloon-framed walls, try to blow an insulation plug into each floor cavity in order to insulate
the perimeter between the two floors. This also seals the floor cavity so it does not become a conduit for air
migration. If the process is requiring too much insulation, try placing a plastic bag over the end of the fill tube
and blowing the insulation into the plastic bag. The bag will limit the amount of insulation it takes to plug this
area.
Removing Siding and Drilling Sheathing [2]
Avoid drilling through siding. Where possible, carefully remove siding and drill through sheathing. This avoids
the potential lead-paint hazard of drilling the siding. It also makes it easier to insert flexible fill tubes since the
holes pass through one less layer of material.
If the siding cannot be removed, consider drilling the walls from inside the home. Obtain the owner’s
permission before doing so, and practice lead-safe weatherization procedures.

Do not drill through asbestos siding. If present, install insulation from the inside.

Metal or vinyl siding may be removed with a zip tool.

Homes with brick veneer or blind-nailed asbestos siding may be insulated from the inside. Holes drilled
for insulation must be returned to an appearance as close to original as possible, or so they are satisfactory
to the customer.
Diagram 3.4 Removing Siding
3-16 Insulation
Aluminum
Vinyl
Wood
Asbestos
Do not remove asbestos siding!
Interior blow instead.
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
 STANDARDS
SIDING REMOVAL
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Siding Removal
All Materials
 Siding that has been removed shall be reinstalled using the original
system.
 Slate, vinyl, steel or aluminum siding that has been removed shall


have the entry holes sealed with a plastic or wood plug or covered
with felt prior to reinstalling siding
Removal of siding is allowed to perform energy conservation
measures. All precautions must be taken not to damage siding.
Asbestos siding should never be cut or drilled. Recommended,
where possible, to insulate through home interior.
Floor Insulation [26]
How to insulate a crawl space depends on whether it's ventilated or unventilated. Traditionally, crawl spaces
have been vented to prevent problems with moisture; most building codes require vents to aid in removing
moisture from the crawl space. However, many building professionals now recognize that building an
unventilated crawl space (or closing vents after the crawl space dries out following construction) is the best
option in homes using proper moisture control and exterior drainage techniques. There are two main reasons
for this line of thinking:

Ventilation in the winter makes it difficult to keep crawl spaces warm

Warm, moist outdoor air brought into the crawl space through foundation vents in the summer often
makes it difficult to dehumidify a crawl space. In fact, this moist outdoor air can lead to increased
moisture levels in the crawl space.
Check local codes before to determine how to proceed.
 STANDARDS
FLOOR INSULATION
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Allowable Materials
Mineral Fiber
- Rockwool batts
Must meet or exceed Appendix A of 10CFR440
- Fiberglass batts
Must meet or exceed Appendix A of 10CFR440
- Loose Fill
( Fiberglass, Rockwool or
Cellulose)
 Mobile Home Belly Blow Only
 Must meet Appendix A of 10CFR440
Fiberglass/Rockwool batts




Loose Fill
(Fiberglass, Rockwool or
Cellulose)
Not acceptable
Recommended
Installation
- Site Built Pier and Beam
3-17 Insulation
Kraft faced vapor barrier must face toward the warm side.
Must be sized to fit space between floor joist
Retainers or straps must be used to hold batts permanently in place
All bypasses must be sealed
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Recommended
Installation
- Mobile Homes
Fiberglass/Rockwool batts





Loose Fill
(Fiberglass, Rockwool or
Cellulose)
Belly Board Penetration
 Preferred in all cases
 Required to insulate all interior areas not accessible through rim joist
Rim Joist Penetration
 Acceptable when joist size and condition allow for safe and proper
installation
 May be used to insulate joist cavities or portions of cavities which
have unobstructed access from the outside perimeter
 Penetration points shall be those most feasible
 A combination of belly and joist penetrations may be used to achieve
optimum results
Kraft faced vapor barrier must face toward the warm side.
Must be sized to fit space between floor joist
Retainers or straps must be used to hold batts permanently in place
All bypasses must be sealed
Belly Board or industry accepted rodent barrier must be repaired or
replaced
 All areas not occupied by ducts, plenums or other obstructions shall
Recommended
Installation
- Coverage
be insulated
 R-Value shall be a minimum R-15 or meets local code
 The cavity beneath an appliance enclosure which has combustion air
venting shall not be insulated unless the venting is ducted through
the belly board
Access Holes
- Rim Joist Access
Access Holes
- Hole Location
Bottom wall trim shall be removed to expose the rim joist
 Exterior siding may be unfastened only if necessary
 Rim Joist access shall be considered NOT feasible if it will result in
visible damage to the siding
End and Side Joist
 One hole for each joist cavity
 Centered on joist to minimize structural damage
 Care shall be exercised to avoid damage to plumbing/electrical lines
attached to or adjacent to rim joist
Access Holes
- Belly Injection
 Penetrations shall be made as needed to achieve complete coverage
 Holes cut for inspection and existing damage holes may be used for
access
 Holes shall be of sufficient size and spacing to accommodate the
directional nozzle or fill tube utilized
 Maximum insulation travel beyond the nozzle or fill tube shall be 2’
Insulating an Unventilated Crawl Space [26]
If you have or will have an unventilated crawl space, then your best approach is to seal and insulate the
foundation walls rather than the subfloor.
The advantages of insulating the crawl space are as follows:

You can avoid the problems associated with ventilating a crawl space.

Less insulation is required (around 400 sq ft for a 1,000 sq ft crawl space with 3’ walls.)

Piping and ductwork are within the conditioned volume of the house so they don't require insulation for
energy efficiency or protection against freezing.
3-18 Insulation
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Air sealing between the house and the crawl space is less critical.
The disadvantages of insulating a crawl space include the following:

The insulation may be damaged by rodents, pests, or water.

A radon mitigation system will require ventilation of the crawl space to the exterior. Not planning for
radon-resistant construction may necessitate air sealing the floor to mitigate the radon through ventilation.

The crawl space must be built airtight, and the air-barrier must be maintained.

The access door to the crawl space must be located inside the home through the subfloor unless an
airtight, insulated access door in the perimeter wall is built and maintained.
Insulating a Ventilated Crawl Space [26]
Here are some guidelines to follow for insulating a ventilated crawl
space:



NONFEASIBLE
CRITERIA
CRAWL SPACE INSULATION
Do not insulate:
Carefully seal any and all holes in the floor above ("ceiling" of the
crawl space) to prevent air from blowing up into the house.
 Cavities serving as HVAC ducts
Insulate between the floor joists with rolled fiberglass. Install it tight
against the subfloor.
 Cavities with operating knob and tube
 Cavities with wall heaters
wiring
 Walls with leaks or unrepaired
-
Seal all of the seams carefully to keep wind from blowing
into the insulation.
-
Adequately support the insulation with mechanical fasteners
so that it will not fall out of the joist spaces in the years to come.
-
Do not just rely on the friction between the fiberglass and wood joists to secure it in place.
damage
 Interior or exterior walls with
substandard sheathing

Cover the insulation with a house-wrap or face it with a vapor barrier. The orientation of the vapor barrier
depends on the home's location or climate. In Texas, and in certain regions of the Gulf States, the vapor
barrier should face downward. In colder parts of the country, the vapor barrier should face upward

Install a polyethylene vapor retarder, or equivalent material, over the dirt floor.
-
Tape and seal all seams carefully.
-
May also cover the polyethylene with a thin layer of sand or concrete to protect it from damage.
-
Do not cover the plastic with anything that could make holes in it, such as crushed gravel.
3-19 Insulation
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
 STANDARDS
FLOOR INSULATION
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Installation Procedures
- Batts
 The insulation must be split and run around the plumbing.
 Seal all air leaks between the conditioned area of the home and the






-Loose fill
crawl space. High-priority leaks include holes around bathtub drains
and other drain lines, plenums for ductwork, and penetrations for
electrical wiring, plumbing, and ductwork (including duct boot
connections at the floor).
Insulation batts with an attached vapor barrier are typically used to
insulate framed floors. Obtain insulation with the proper width for the
joist spacing of the floor being insulated. Complete coverage is
essential. Leave no insulation voids. The batts should be installed
flush against the subfloor to eliminate any gaps, which may serve as
passageways for cold airflow between the insulation and subfloor.
The batts also should be cut to the full length of the joist being
insulated and slit to fit around wiring and plumbing.
Insulate the band joist area between the air ducts and the floor as
space permits. Use insulation hangers (wire staves) spaced every
12”-18” to hold the floor insulation in place without compressing the
insulation more than 1”. [4]
The orientation of the vapor barrier depends on the home's location
or climate. In Texas, and in certain regions of the Gulf States, the
vapor barrier should face downward. In colder parts of the country,
the vapor barrier should face upward.
Insulated ductwork in the crawl space.
Insulate all hot and cold water lines in the crawl space unless they
are located within the insulation.
Close crawl space vents after ensuring that the crawl space and all
the construction materials are dry.
 For insulating truss floor systems, it is better to install netting or foam
board insulation to the underside of the floor trusses. Then, fill the
space created between the netting or insulation and subfloor with
loose fill insulation.
Spray Foam Insulation [27]
In new construction, foamed in-place insulation makes it relatively easy to completely fill wall and ceiling
cavities. When insulating an existing home (if areas are accessible) what it costs in material may be offset by
the labor of air-sealing and insulation. Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) is an approved air sealer.
Most spray polyurethane foam is a two-part foam. A chemical reaction occurs upon the mixing of the
two ingredients. The mixture, when sprayed, becomes a foam that expands and eventually hardens.
Per WPN 11-6: “Use EPA recommendations when working within the conditioned space or when SPF fumes
become evident within conditioned space. When working outside the building envelope, isolate the area
where foam will be applied, take precautions so that fumes will not transfer to inside conditioned space, and
exhaust fumes outside the home.”
3-20 Insulation
March 2012
MATERIAL INSTALLATION STANDARDS MANUAL
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Open-Cell Foam
 GOOD TO KNOW
HOT HUMID CLIMATE
Open-cell foam has an R-value per inch of about 3.9, a density of one
half pound per cubic foot, and is vapor permeable. Open-cell foam
forms a complete air barrier. It is recommended for walls, floors,
unvented and vented crawl spaces, unvented and vented attics, and
ceilings.
Closed-Cell Foam
Open-cell foam is appropriate for hot humid
climates like most of Texas. Open-cell
foam provides energy savings, increased
durability, and significantly reduces
unmanaged moisture and air infiltration.
[15]
In addition, raised floors in hot humid
climates are suspect to bugs and vermin.
Two types of insulation exist that can
provide resistance to both: applied foam
and rigid board.
Closed-cell foams stop air and moisture, has a density of two pounds
per cubic foot, and an R-value per inch of about 6.5. Compared to
less expensive insulation types, such as fiberglass or cellulose that have
half this R-value, spray foam is a viable candidate for certain
applications. Its density and glue-like characteristics can also add structural strength to a wall, ceiling, or roof
assembly.
Safety Measures for Spray Foam: [19, 22 & 28]
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Use caution when opening containers; remove pressure slowly and safely
Wear NIOSH approved respiratory protection
Adequately ventilate the area
Wear protective clothing and gloves to avoid absorption through skin
Eyes are a route of entry—wear eye protection
Post warning signs and caution tape to keep unprotected individuals away from the sprayed area and
up to 30 minutes following the completion of the spraying.
No “hot work” such as cutting torches or welding is to take place within 35’ of exposed foam.
Use fire-retardant spray foam around heat sources, if not fire-caulked
3-21 Insulation
March 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Chapter 4: Ventilation
Table of Contents
Ventilation Basics..........................................................................................................................................2
Why Ventilation is Important .....................................................................................................................2
Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality.............................................................................................................2
ASHRAE 62.2-2010 for WAP Homes .........................................................................................................4
ASHRAE 62.2-2010 Appendix A ..............................................................................................................5
Ventilation Strategies ...................................................................................................................................7
Natural Ventilation .....................................................................................................................................7
Whole-House Ventilation ...........................................................................................................................7
Exhaust Ventilation Systems ......................................................................................................................8
Supply Ventilation Systems ........................................................................................................................9
Balanced Ventilation Systems ..................................................................................................................10
Energy Recovery Ventilation Systems .....................................................................................................11
Spot Ventilation or Source Control ..........................................................................................................14
Attic Ventilation .......................................................................................................................................15
4-1 Ventilation
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Ventilation Basics
Why Ventilation is Important
A home needs ventilation - the exchange of indoor air with
outdoor air – to reduce indoor pollutants, odors, and moisture.
Ventilation is important in homes with pollutant and odor
sources, such as tobacco smoke, new furniture, new carpet, etc.
Excess moisture in a home can also generate high humidity
levels, which can lead to mold growth and structural damage to
a home. Contaminants such as formaldehyde, volatile organic
compounds, and radon can accumulate in poorly ventilated
homes, causing health problems. Ventilation is an important
health and safety concern in the most airtight homes.
Indoor Air Pollution Sources [10]
Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality
The fundamentals of residential indoor air quality (IAQ) begin with source control. Air leakage ventilation
is unpredictable and wastes energy. On windy cold days there is too much air coming into the home. On
warm still days there is too little. Air sealing, eliminating sources of moisture and ventilation need to be
addressed. [9]
Acceptable indoor air quality (IAQ) is defined as, “air toward which a substantial majority of occupants
express no dissatisfaction with respect to odor and sensory irritation and in which there are not likely to be
contaminants at concentrations that are known to pose a health risk.”
Diagram 4.1 below, taken from a 2011 ACI presentation by Rick Karg, Paul Francisco and Iain Walker,
shows:

As the outdoor temperature drops, the stack effect increases and natural ventilation goes up sharply.
This is especially unfortunate from an energy efficiency perspective since we pay the most to
condition interior air when exterior temperatures fall.

A single story 1,500 sq ft house without a fan:
-
Left at 4,000 CFM50 leaks 225 CFM at 0°F but still gets inadequate fresh air whenever the
exterior temperature exceeds 60°F.
-
Brought to a rather loose 2,000 CFM50 doesn’t get enough fresh air any time the exterior
temperature is over 35°F.
-
Sealed to 1,000 CFM50 never gets adequate fresh air!
-
Leaving the house at 2,000 CFM50 and adding a fan provides proper ventilation from 35°F
and up but, because the house is still relatively loose, too much air enters whenever the
exterior temperature drops below 35°F.
4-2 Ventilation
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
-
Material Installation Standards Manual
We do our clients a real disservice when we rely on looseness and natural ventilation for IAQ.
Diagram 4.1 Chart from 2011 ACI Presentation by Rick Karg, Paul Francisco and Iain Walker
Homes with a natural air change rate lower than the building tightness limit should have mechanical
ventilation systems. The choice comes down to ventilating the whole house or providing spot ventilation
in the kitchen and bathroom where most moisture and odors are generated. Ideally all kitchens and
bathrooms should be equipped with exhaust fans. Kitchen and bath fans must be vented outdoors.
Mechanical Ventilation
Mechanical ventilation can help remove and dilute pollutants, but ventilation should not be relied upon as
a sole method of pollutant control. Technicians should survey the home for pollutants before performing
air-sealing, and perform the following pollutant control measures, if needed:

Repair roof and plumbing leaks;

Install a ground moisture barrier over any bare soil in crawl spaces;

Duct dryers and exhaust fans to the outdoors;

Confirm that combustion appliance vent systems operate properly; and

Move paints, cleaning solvents and other chemicals out of the conditioned space, if possible.
The home’s occupants have control over the introduction and spread of many home pollutants. Always
educate the residents about minimizing pollutants in the home. [2]
4-3 Ventilation
June 2012
Material Installation Standards Manual
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
ASHRAE 62.2-2010 for WAP Homes [20]
To ensure adequate ventilation, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning
Engineers (ASHRAE) says that a home's living area should be ventilated at a rate of 0.35 air changes per
hour or 15 cubic feet per person per minute, whichever is greater. [29]
ASHRAE 62.2-2010, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings,
applies to single-family, multifamily up to three stories, and manufactured and modular buildings. The
62.2-2010 standards consider chemical, physical, and biological contaminants for residential buildings.
Weatherization Program Notice (WPN) 11-6: Implementation of ASHRAE 62 will be required one year
after the date this guidance becomes effective (estimated by 2013).
Whole-building ventilation is required in all new homes. Per ASHRAE 62.2, “a mechanical exhaust
system, supply system, or combination thereof shall be installed for each dwelling unit to provide wholebuilding ventilation…” With the implementation of ASHRAE 62.2-2010, homes will need to be tightened
as much as possible and then ventilated appropriately. “Build ‘em tight and ventilate ‘em right!” [9]
Bathroom and Kitchen Ventilation
ASHRAE 62.2 requires local ventilation in bathrooms and kitchens in all new homes. Older homes
receiving weatherization work must meet ASHRAE Alternative Compliance.
TABLE 4.1 ASHRAE 62.2-2010 REQUIREMENTS [20]
Area to be Ventilated
Ventilation Rates
Kitchens
100 CFM on demand or 5 ACH, based on kitchen volume
Example:
12’ x 12’ x 8’= 1152 sq ft
1152 x 5 ACH=5760/60 minutes= 96 CFM
A 100 CFM range hood would be appropriate for this kitchen
Bathrooms – Toilet Rooms
50 CFM on demand or 20 CFM continuous
Chapter 15, section M1507 of the International Residential
Code (IRC) further requires that exhaust air from bathrooms
and toilet rooms not be recirculated within a residence or to
another dwelling unit and shall be exhausted directly to the
outdoors. Exhaust air from bathrooms and toilet rooms (and
kitchen exhausts) shall not discharge into an attic crawl
space or other areas inside the building.” [6]
4-4 Ventilation
Energy Star Fans and Timers
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
ASHRAE 62.2-2010 Appendix A
Bath and Kitchen Vent Fans [10]
Existing homes fall under Appendix A of ASHRAE 62.2-2010.
This alternative compliance supplement provides a method of
meeting local exhaust requirements in kitchens and bathrooms
that do not have any existing local fan, or where the local fans do
not meet the CFM requirement. Determining the whole building
ventilation requirements for existing homes (those built prior to
ASHRAE 62.2-2010) is a sum of three calculations:
1. The minimum ventilation requirement (MVR)
2. The alternative compliance supplement
3. The infiltration credit
How Appendix A Works
1. The Minimum Ventilation Requirement uses the square
footage and number of bedrooms in the home to be
weatherized. Table 4.2 provides a quick guide for the base formula using the number of bedrooms.
Base formula, step by step:
Step 1.
Multiply the number of bedrooms + 1 or the number of people by 7.5 CFM per person:
4 bedrooms 7.5 CFM/person = 30 CFM
If more people than bedroom +1 number, use the number of occupants
Step 2.
Calculate 1 CFM per 100 sq ft of floor area:
1,500 ft2/100 ft2 per required CFM = 15 CFM
Step 3.
Add them together:
30 CFM + 15 CFM = 45 CFM continuous
TABLE 4.2 Minimum Ventilation Requirements, CFM [20]
Floor Area
(ft2)
4-5 Ventilation
Bedrooms
0-1
2-3
4-5
6-7
<1500
30
45
60
75
>7
90
1501-3000
45
60
75
90
105
3001-4500
60
75
90
105
120
4501-6000
75
90
105
120
135
6001-7500
90
105
120
135
150
>7500
105
120
135
150
165
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2. Alternative Compliance Supplement calculation lets you take the inadequate CFM delivery or total
lack of required local ventilation fans into account.

Kitchen requires 100 CFM on demand or 5 ACH continuous, based on kitchen volume.

Bathroom requires 50 CFM on demand or 20 CFM continuous. Not required in half baths.

Operable windows in those rooms reduce deficit by 20 CFM. Only one deficit reduction per room.

Deficit cannot drop below zero.
In each room where local ventilation should be, such as in
bathrooms and kitchens, you must determine the deficit relative to
the required rate (Table 4.1 above). A fan flow meter connected to
a manometer measures fan flow. This is necessary for deficit
calculations, and to verify delivered CFM of newly installed fans.
a. How much less than 50 CFM in bathrooms?
b. How much less than 100 CFM in kitchens?
Fan Flow Meter
For each room with an operable window, reduce the room’s
deficit by 20 CFM in that room. Add up all deficits and divide by
4 and add this supplement number to the MVR.
Diagram 4.2 Examples of Whole-House Ventilation Requirements
4-6 Ventilation
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3. Infiltration Credit for existing dwellings built prior to 2011, is calculated using the following
formula:
IF:
Natural infiltration > 2A/100 (2 x the square footage (A) of conditioned space ÷ 100)
THEN: Infiltration credit = 0.5 (Natural infiltration – 2A/100)
Input the calculations from Steps 1-3 as in the example below, to obtain the CFM necessary to meet
ASHRAE 62.2-2010 for existing homes.[20]
Example:
CFM
MVR
30
Alt. compliance supplement
+15
Infiltration credit
- 10
Whole Building Ventilation
35
Ventilation Strategies
Natural Ventilation [29]
Natural ventilation is uncontrolled air movement or infiltration through open windows and doors, and
cracks and small holes in a home, and does not provide adequate moisture control as fresh outdoor air
replaces indoor air in a home.
Natural ventilation is highly dependent upon exterior temperature. Natural air changes per hour (ACH) is
variable, and thus cannot be depended upon for the desired amount of ventilation needed for acceptable
indoor air quality (IAQ).
A home's natural ventilation rate is unpredictable and uncontrollable - you can't rely on it to ventilate a
house uniformly. Natural ventilation depends on a home's air tightness, outdoor temperatures, wind, and
other factors. Therefore, during mild weather, some homes may lack sufficient natural ventilation for
pollutant removal. Tightly sealed and/or built homes may have insufficient natural ventilation most of the
time, while homes with high air infiltration rates may experience high energy costs.
Today, natural ventilation is usually not the best ventilation strategy, especially for homes that are properly
air sealed for energy efficiency.
Whole-House Ventilation [29]
The decision to use whole-house ventilation is typically motivated by concerns that natural ventilation will
not provide adequate air quality, even with source control by spot ventilation.
4-7 Ventilation
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Whole-house ventilation systems provide controlled, uniform ventilation throughout a house. These
systems use one or more fans and duct systems to exhaust stale air and/or supply fresh air to the house.
Exhaust Fans
Exhaust fans can also provide whole-house ventilation. Makeup air comes from outdoors through the
home’s air leaks. Manual switches, dehumidistats, and timers are used to control exhaust fans for wholehouse ventilation. Exhaust fans typically run from two to six hours per day when providing whole-house
ventilation. [2]
High quality exhaust fans should have tight-sealing backdraft dampers. Backdraft dampers are located in
the fan housing, in the vent duct, or in the termination fitting in the roof or wall.
A low noise level is important in encouraging occupants to use exhaust fans. The sound output of exhaust
equipment is rated in sones, and these ratings vary from about 5 sones for the noisiest residential exhaust
fans to about 0.5 sones for the quietest fans. Choosing an ENERGY STAR® labeled exhaust fan will
ensure quiet, long-lasting quality equipment. The success of spot ventilation and whole-house ventilation
depends on how much noise the fan makes. Occupants may not use the fans or may disconnect automatic
controls if the fans are too noisy.
Exhaust Ventilation Systems [29]
Exhaust ventilation systems work by depressurizing the building,
thus forcing inside air out of a home. By reducing the inside air
pressure below the outdoor air pressure, they extract indoor air
from a house while make-up air infiltrates through leaks in the
building shell and through intentional, passive vents.
 GOOD TO KNOW
HOT-HUMID CLIMATE
Exhaust ventilation systems are most
applicable in cold climates. In climates like
Texas, with warm humid summers,
depressurization can draw moist air into
building wall cavities, where it may
condense and cause moisture damage.
Negative pressure can also cause dust and
dirt to be pulled down from the attic,
pollutants to be pulled in from an attached
garage, or potential back-drafting of
combustion appliances. [20]
Exhaust ventilation systems are relatively simple and inexpensive
to install. Typically, an exhaust ventilation system is composed
of a single fan connected to a centrally located, single exhaust
point in the house. A preferable design option is to connect the
fan to ducts from several rooms, preferably rooms where
pollutants tend to be generated, such as bathrooms. Adjustable,
passive vents through windows or walls can be installed in other
rooms to introduce fresh air rather than rely on leaks in the
building envelope. However, passive vents may be ineffective because larger pressure differences than
those induced by the ventilation fan may be needed for them to work properly.
4-8 Ventilation
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Diagram 4.3 Exhaust Only Ventilation
Supply Ventilation Systems [29]
Fresh Air Ventilation
Supply ventilation systems work by pressurizing the building and
forcing outside air into the home. They use a fan to force outside air
into the building while air leaks out of the building through holes in
the shell, bath and range fan ducts, and intentional vents, if any exist.
As with exhaust ventilation systems, supply ventilation systems are
relatively simple and inexpensive to install. A typical supply
ventilation system has a fan and duct system that introduces fresh air
into usually one - but preferably several - rooms of the home that
residents occupy most often, such as bedrooms, living room, etc. This
system may include an adjustable window or wall vents in other rooms.
Supply ventilation systems allow better control of the air that enters the house than do exhaust ventilation
systems. By pressurizing the house, supply ventilation systems discourage the entry of pollutants from
outside the living space and prevent backdrafting of combustion gases from fireplaces and appliances.
Supply ventilation also allows outdoor air introduced into the house to be filtered to remove pollen and
dust or dehumidified to provide humidity control.
Supply ventilation systems work best in hot or mixed climates. Because they pressurize the house, supply
ventilation systems have the potential to cause moisture problems in cold climates. In winter, the supply
ventilation system causes warm interior air to leak through random openings in the exterior wall and
ceiling. If the interior air is humid enough, some moisture may condense in the attic or cold outer parts of
the exterior wall where it can promote mold, mildew, and decay.
4-9 Ventilation
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
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Like exhaust ventilation systems, supply ventilation systems do not temper or remove moisture from the
make-up air before it enters the house. Thus, they may contribute to higher heating and cooling costs
compared with energy recovery ventilation systems. Because air is introduced in the house at discrete
locations, outdoor air may need to be mixed with indoor air before delivery to avoid cold air drafts in the
winter and hot air currents in the summer. An in-line duct heater is another option, but it will increase
operating costs.
Diagram 4.4 Supply Only Ventilation
Balanced Ventilation Systems [29]
Balanced ventilation systems, if properly designed and installed, neither pressurize nor depressurize a
house. Rather, they introduce and exhaust approximately equal quantities of fresh outside air and polluted
inside air, respectively.
A balanced ventilation system usually has two fans and two duct systems. It facilitates good distribution of
fresh air by placing supply and exhaust vents in appropriate places. Fresh air supply and exhaust vents can
be installed in every room. But a typical balanced ventilation system is designed to supply fresh air to
bedrooms and living rooms where people spend the most time. It also exhausts air from rooms where
moisture and pollutants are most often generated, such as the kitchen, bathrooms, and perhaps the laundry
room. Some designs may use a single-point exhaust. Because they directly supply outside air, balanced
systems allow the use of filters to remove dust and pollen from outside air before introducing it into the
house.
Balanced ventilation systems are appropriate for all climates. However, because they require two duct and
fan systems, balanced ventilation systems are usually more expensive to install and operate than supply or
exhaust systems.
4-10 Ventilation
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Like both supply and exhaust systems, balanced ventilation systems do not temper or remove moisture
from the make-up air before it enters the house. Therefore, they may contribute to higher heating and
cooling costs, unlike energy recovery ventilation systems. Also, like supply ventilation systems, outdoor
air may need to be mixed with indoor air before delivery to avoid cold air drafts in the winter and hot air
currents in the summer. [4]
Diagram 4.5 Balanced Ventilation System
Energy Recovery Ventilation Systems [20, 29]
Energy recovery ventilation systems provide a controlled way of ventilating a home while minimizing
energy loss. They reduce the costs of heating ventilated air in the winter by transferring heat from the
warm inside air being exhausted to the fresh, but cold, supply air. In the summer, the inside air cools the
warmer supply air to reduce ventilation cooling costs.
There are two types of energy-recovery systems: heat recovery ventilators (HRV) and energy recovery or
enthalpy recovery ventilators (ERV). Both types include a heat exchanger, one or more fans to push air
through the machine, and some controls. There are some small wall- or window-mounted models, but the
majority are central, whole-house ventilation systems with their own duct system or shared ductwork.
4-11 Ventilation
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Diagram 4.6 Heat Recovery Ventilators (HRV)/Energy Recovery or Enthalpy Recovery Ventilators (ERV)
The main difference between an HRV and an ERV is the way the heat exchanger works. With an ERV, the
heat exchanger transfers sensible heat and humidity, while an HRV only transfers sensible heat.
Because an ERV transfers some of the moisture from the exhaust air to the usually less humid incoming
winter air, the humidity of the house air stays more constant. This also keeps the heat exchanger core
warmer, minimizing problems with freezing.
In the summer, an ERV may help to control humidity in the house by transferring some of the water vapor
in the incoming air to the theoretically drier air that's leaving the house. If you use an air conditioner, an
ERV generally offers better humidity control than an HRV system. However, there is some controversy
about using ventilation systems at all during humid, but not overly hot, summer weather. Some experts
suggest that it is better to turn the system off in very humid weather to keep indoor humidity levels low.
The system can also be set up so that it only runs when the air conditioning system is running, or use precooling coils.
Most recovery ventilation systems can recover about 70% to 80% of the energy in the exiting air and
deliver that energy to the incoming air. However, they are most cost effective in climates with extreme
winters or summers, and where fuel costs are high. In mild climates, the cost of the additional electricity
consumed by the system fans may exceed the energy savings from not having to condition the supply air.
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Table 4.3 Whole Building Ventilation Options Comparison [20]
Option
Pressure
Advantages
Exhaust Only
Negative

Simple, low-cost installation.
Disadvantages

No energy recovery.
Location of supply air uncertain.
Distribution uncertain.
Simple, low-cost installation.
Distribution control.

No energy recovery.
Energy recovery.
Lower operating cost.
Good air in/out control.
Good distribution.

High cost of installation.
Difficult to install in existing
dwellings.
Energy recovery.
Lower operating cost.
Good air in/out control.
Good distribution.
Humidity control.



Supply Only
Positive


Balanced HRV
Neutral




Balanced ERV
Neutral







High cost of installation.
Difficult to install in existing
dwellings.
Installation and Maintenance of Recovery Systems
ERV systems usually cost more to install than other ventilation systems. In general, simplicity is key to a
cost effective installation. To save on installation costs, many systems share existing ductwork. Complex
systems are not only more expensive to install, but they are generally more maintenance intensive and
often consume more electric power. For most houses, attempting to recover all of the energy in the exhaust
air will probably not be worth the additional cost. Also, these types of ventilation systems are still not very
common. Only some heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors have enough technical
expertise and experience to install them.
In general, provide a supply and return duct for each bedroom and for each common living area. Duct runs
should be as short and straight as possible. The correct size duct is necessary to minimize pressure drops in
the system and thus improve performance. Insulate ducts located in unheated spaces, and seal all joints
with duct mastic (never use ordinary duct tape on ducts.)
ERV systems require more maintenance than other ventilation systems. They need to be cleaned regularly
to prevent deterioration of ventilation rates and heat recovery, and to prevent mold and bacteria on heat
exchanger surfaces.
4-13 Ventilation
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
 GOOD TO KNOW
VENTILATION IN COOLING CLIMATES
Homes in hot humid climates, such as Houston or Corpus Christi, Texas, need to consider the combination of latent and sensible
heat loads. The energy required to change a substance from a gas to a liquid, or a liquid to a solid, is known as latent heat. This adds
to the moisture in a home. Heat that results in a temperature change is known as sensible heat. Conduction and convection
contribute to sensible heat. To control sensible heat loads we can insulate the home or add solar screens. To reduce the latent heat
we can ventilate. However, new research indicates that venting crawlspaces may actually make moisture problems worse, especially
in warm humid climates. Building scientists have found that warm moist air entering the crawlspace increases the relative humidity
when it cools. The release of moisture, in the crawlspace, causes condensation in the building structure. Over time, mold and
structural deterioration occur causing potential health problems and reducing the durability of the home.
As we make homes more energy efficient by air-sealing, insulating, and ventilating a home, we change the ratio between sensible
and latent heat loads, from typical 70:30 to more like 50:50. This change in loads often results in the existing air conditioner (AC)
being oversized. Reducing the AC tonnage and adding a dehumidifier will change the relative humidity in the home; thus, increasing
client comfort and using less energy. A dehumidifier can remove as much as three pints of water for the same energy it takes the AC
to remove one pint of water. Installing a 40 pint/day dehumidifier that is tapped into the AC condensate line, or installed on a shelf
above the washing machine with a line to the drain, can handle additional moisture in an economic way. [10]
Spot Ventilation or Source Control [29]
Fan Control
Spot ventilation is controlled air movement, using localized exhaust
fans, to quickly remove pollutants and moisture at their source. Exhaust
fans installed in the bathroom, but operated continuously represent an
exhaust ventilation system in its simplest form.
One concern with exhaust ventilation systems is that they may draw
pollutants, along with fresh air, into the house. For example, in addition
to drawing in fresh outdoor air, they may draw in the following:

Radon and molds from a crawl space

Dust from an attic

Fumes from an attached garage

Flue gases from a fireplace or fossil-fuel-fired water heater and
furnace.
This can especially be of concern when bath fans, range fans, and
clothes dryers (which also depressurize the home while they operate) are
run when an exhaust ventilation system is also operating.
The fan control pictured is one of many
fan controls available. Once the cover
plate is installed, the only function of
the exposed switch is to boost the fan
speed to full for 20 minutes. After 20
minutes the fan reverts to the installer
determined control settings. The
(replaceable) internal battery retains
the settings for ten+ years through
power failures, etc. Settings cannot be
tampered with without removing the
switch cover wall plate.
Exhaust ventilation systems can also contribute to higher heating and cooling costs because exhaust
systems do not temper or remove moisture from the make-up air before it enters the house.
4-14 Ventilation
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Attic Ventilation [2]
Attic ventilation is intended to remove moisture from the attic during the heating season and/or to remove
solar heat from the attic during the cooling season. Many building codes require a minimum ratio of one
square foot of net free area to 150 sq ft of attic area if a vapor barrier is not present. With a vapor barrier,
only one square foot per 300 sq ft of attic area is required. Preventing moisture from entering the attic in
the first place is the best way to keep attic insulation dry. Ceilings should be thoroughly air-sealed to
prevent moist indoor air from leaking through the ceiling.
 STANDARDS
ATTIC VENTILATION
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Attic Ventilation
All types





Vent Pipes
All types





4-15 Ventilation
Square feet of net free area per 300 sq ft of attic floor area is allowed
when:
- A properly installed vapor barrier exists if unit is in district heating
factors 1.0, 1.25 or 1.5
- If high-low venting can be achieved by positioning the vents so that
50% of the venting is “high” (in the upper 60% of the attic space)
and the other 50% is “low” (in the lower 40% of the attic space)
1 sq ft of net free area per 150 sq ft of the attic area is required if
none of the above conditions exist
Net free area or free vent opening means an opening which is not
restricted by wire mesh or grill work.
- A vent with 1/8” or 1/4” wire mesh, for example, should be 1.25
times larger than the basic size. An 18” x 24” gable vent with 1/4”
wire mesh would, by these calculations, count for only 2.25 sq ft of
“free venting.”
- A vent covered by 1/16” mesh (or 1/4” mesh and a louver) should
be twice as large to meet the venting standard (i.e. 1/150 or
1/300). A vent covered by 1/16” mesh and a louver will provide
only one third the free vent opening for its size
Allowable types of vents:
- Gable
- Soffit
- Ceiling (unconditioned areas only)
- Eave
- Bird board
- Static roof vent (gravity)
- Ridge vent
Note: Turbine (or wind turbine) vents are not allowed.
Must meet local codes or National Fire Protection Association
(NFPA) codes and standards
It is recommended that operable range-vent fans be vented to the
outside, when feasible, and pipes must be sealed at ceiling
Installation of non-electric dampers in exhaust vents is
recommended, but not required
All vents extending through roofs shall have a weather resistant
flashing to prevent water leaks and a vent cap
Client health and safety concerns require that certain gas-fired
appliances be vented to the outside atmosphere
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Chapter 5: Windows and Doors
Table of Contents
Windows and Doors......................................................................................................................................2
Windows ........................................................................................................................................................2
Window Replacement .................................................................................................................................2
Performance Ratings ...................................................................................................................................3
Solar Screens ..............................................................................................................................................5
Doors ..............................................................................................................................................................6
Door Replacement ......................................................................................................................................7
5-1 Windows and Doors
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Windows and Doors
If windows and doors are in poor condition, their repair is often essential for a building’s survival even if
it’s not an energy saving measure. Repairs that go beyond the cost effective standards of the
Weatherization Assistance Program should be limited to funds that are dedicated to repair work. All tasks
relating to window and door repair should be accomplished using lead-safe weatherization methods. [2]
For these reasons, most window and door measures are addressed either through air sealing, storm
windows or repairs that were addressed in Chapter Two.
Windows
Window Replacement
Replace windows only when the window is missing, or damaged
beyond repair. Replacement windows should be double-glazed
low-E units with a window unit U-value of 0.46 or less as rated
by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) or approved
equal. (See climate zone energy efficiencies for windows.)
Replacement windows must meet the 2000 International
Residential Code specified in your area. [2]
 GOOD TO KNOW
HOT CLIMATE
Texas heat and sun contribute to increased
air-conditioning costs. Newer Energy Star
windows have even lower U-factors and
Solar Heat Gain Coefficients that can
reduce the solar heat gains into the home;
consequently, reducing costs for airconditioning. Look for the best priced
window with the lowest U-factor and SHGC
ratings. Windows that rank in the Audit may
be replaced. [10,17]
Diagram 5-1 Window Types
Casement
5-2 Windows and Doors
Awning
Picture
Double Hung
Slider
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Material Installation Standards Manual
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Performance Ratings [30]
The NFRC label can be found on all ENERGY STAR
qualified windows, doors, and skylights and provides
performance ratings in five categories:
1. U-Factor measures the rate of heat transfer and tells you
how well the window insulates. U-factor values generally
range from 0.25 to 1.25 and are measured in Btu/h·ft²·°F.
The lower the U-factor, the better the window insulates.
2. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures the
fraction of solar energy transmitted and tells you how
well the product blocks heat caused by sunlight. SHGC is
measured on a scale of 0 to 1; values typically range from
0.25 to 0.80. The lower the SHGC, the less solar heat the
window transmits.
3. Visible Transmittance (VT) measures the amount of light
the window lets through. VT is measured on a scale of 0 to 1;
values generally range from 0.20 to 0.80. The higher the VT,
the more light you see.
4. Air Leakage (AL) measures the rate at which air passes
through joints in the window. AL is measured in cubic feet of
air passing through one square foot of window area per
minute. The lower the AL value, the less air leakage. Most
industry standards and building codes require an AL of 0.3
CFM/ft².

NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
WINDOW REPLACEMENT
Do Not Install:

When existing window may be repaired
to effectively prevent air infiltration and
moisture penetration; AND

When not justified by an SIR ranking
of 1.0 or better by the Audit
Note: Check measurements of new
windows for correct sizes before
installation.
5. Condensation Resistance measures how well the window resists water build-up. Condensation
Resistance is scored on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the condensation resistance factor, the less
build-up the window allows. [43]
5-3 Windows and Doors
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
 STANDARDS
WINDOW REPLACEMENT
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Acceptable Replacement
Windows
Slider (vinyl, wood, metal)
Double Hung
Jalousie/metal casement






Replace with steel frame or rigid vinyl frame windows
Conforms to 10 CFR 440 Appendix A
Replace with double hung or single hung window
Replace with double hung, single hung or slider as appropriate
If replacement is not feasible (or client refuses), interior storm
windows may be installed. Use of this treatment must be well
documented in client file folder. Any other treatment of jalousie or
metal casement windows must be justified and documented in client
file folder
All replacement windows must conform to applicable DOE standards
with documentation available for review
Sash
Wood

Decayed or deteriorated sashes must be replaced
Structural Integrity
Rough window frame

Structural framing must be repaired or replaced as needed before
installing replacement window
Framing members must be free of dry rot or pest damage
Jambs
All types of
replacement windows
Sills
All openings






Cavities
Insulation


Casing
Wood


Nails/screws


5-4 Windows and Doors
It is strongly recommended that replacement windows be sized to fit
existing jamb openings (i.e. “custom” windows should be used for
non-standard installation). Prime (new construction) windows which
fit existing opening may be used only if custom replacement windows
are not available. Installation of new construction windows shall be in
a manner to effectively prevent air infiltration and water penetration
and shall be neat in appearance
Any damaged window stop must be replaced
Must be replaced when dry rot or deterioration is present
Must be sealed with a minimum of 2 coats of approved sealant
Must be installed with a 5 degree slant toward ground
Opening between rough framing and window jamb (cavity) shall be
insulated when cavity is exposed prior to or during weatherization
work. Use low expanding foam to insulate.
Exposed openings between rough opening and jamb must be
insulated
Paint grade acceptable unless existing jamb is natural finish
Match existing casings and miters, whenever possible
Use finishing or casing nails/screws for interior casings
Use coated or plated nails/screws for exterior casings
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Diagram 5.2 Window Terminology
Typical wood window (exterior).
Solar Screens [2]
Much of the solar energy that strikes a home’s windows will pass through the glass and enter the living
space. This solar heat accounts for up to 40% of summer overheating in many homes. It works far better to
block solar heat before it enters the home than to cool the home after it overheats.
Window shading increases comfort, reduces the cost of cooling, and is one of the most cost effective
weatherization measures in hot climates. Not all windows cause overheating, so you should direct your
efforts towards windows where the most heat enters.
Sun screens, made of mesh fabric that is stretched over an aluminum frame, are one of the most effective
window shading options. They absorb or reflect a large portion of the solar energy that strikes them, while
allowing a slightly diminished but acceptable view out of the window.
Sun screens are installed on the outside of the window, and work well on fixed, double-hung, or sliding
windows. They aren’t suitable for jalousie windows. For casement and awning windows, install sun
screens on the window sash rather than on the window frame.
5-5 Windows and Doors
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
 STANDARDS
SOLAR SCREENS
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Allowable Materials
Screen/frame


Solar screens shall be fiberglass materials in aluminum frame
Rescreen wood frames, when possible
Screens must have a shading coefficient of 0.35 or lower
Frames: 3/8” x 5/16” x .020 Center Bar: 5/16” x 5/8” x .020
Pre-Installation
Requirements

Windows should receive at least two hours of direct sunlight per day
Size and Shape

Solar screen must match prime and or storm window (or door)
General Installation

All screens must be mounted with such hardware as to allow easy
removal
Bedroom windows are considered emergency fire exits under the
Uniform Building Code. Bedroom solar screens shall not be installed
with screws or other external hardware which prevents easy exit from
inside the dwelling
Install sun screens on the exterior of the window frame, trim, or sash.
Drill pilot holes for screws that pass through the aluminum frame, or
use clips that are screwed to the window frame outside the sun
screen. Use aluminum fasteners on aluminum frames to avoid
corrosion.




Doors
Door measures are usually not cost-effective. Doors have a small surface area and their air leakage is
typically more of a localized comfort problem than a significant energy problem. However, door operation
affects building security and durability, so door repair is an important consideration.[2]
 STANDARDS
DOOR REPLACEMENT
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Replacement Doors
Wood
Conforms to 10 CFR 440 Appendix A
Metal


Dimension
Wood and Metal



Door Composition
Veneer/Metal





Conforms to 10 CFR 440 Appendix A
Must have minimum 20 minute fire rating
Match existing thickness, where applicable
Use 1 3/4” thick door where feasible
Seal to protect
Veneer must be a minimum of 1/8” thick
Hardboard acceptable
Exterior grade glue only
Solid core wood or foam filled metal doors required for exterior use
Foam filled wood doors are not acceptable for exterior use
Doors must rank in the Audit with an SIR of 1 or better. If the door is below an SIR of 1, you must have
Program Officer approval along with photo documentation.
5-6 Windows and Doors
June 2012
Material Installation Standards Manual
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Diagram 5-3 Door Terminology
Door Replacement [17]
Should the door (slab) be deteriorated to a point at which the
building envelope is compromised, and does not rank in the
Audit with an SIR of 1 or greater, the door may be considered as
a repair measure to ensure the protection of the building
envelope. When a decision has been made to replace a door,
subrecipients must clearly document the deterioration of the door
with a narrative description of the deterioration and photographic
documentation indicating that the door is broken, punctured,
rotted, delaminated, has water damage, or is damaged beyond
repair. If there is still any question as to whether the door is in the
“replacement category,” consult your TDHCA program officer.
Send him or her documentation, description and photos of the
questionable door.
When a door is replaced, care should be taken not to enter the
door into the Audit as an infiltration measure under the “Ducts
and Infiltration”. Instead the door replacement should be listed as
a weatherization-related repair item in “general repairs” section
5-7 Windows and Doors

NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
DOOR REPLACEMENT
Do Not Install:

Doors should not be replaced for
aesthetic reasons, for example, stripping
paint, buckled doors, or non-functional
screen doors are not reasons to replace
the door. Just because a door doesn’t
look appealing is not a reason to replace
the door. In general, especially in the
case of infiltration or door integrity, it is
preferred to have the door repaired vs.
replacing the entire door.

Existing R-value, no matter how low, is
not a justification to replace the door. [17]

If the door does not rank with an SIR of
1 or greater in the audit.
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
of the “user-defined measures” tab. (See Authorizing Weatherization-Related Repairs Best Practice, dated
14 July 2010.) Replacement costs must be included in whole-house SIR.
5-8 Windows and Doors
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Chapter 6: Heating and Cooling
Table of Contents
Heating ...........................................................................................................................................................2
Space Heaters..............................................................................................................................................2
Electric Furnaces and Electric Baseboard Heat ..........................................................................................5
Fuel Furnaces ..............................................................................................................................................6
Forced-Air System Repairs.........................................................................................................................8
Heat Pumps .................................................................................................................................................9
Venting Repairs ........................................................................................................................................13
Venting .....................................................................................................................................................11
Cooling .........................................................................................................................................................13
Cleaning and Maintenance .......................................................................................................................14
Improving Airflow for Central Systems ...................................................................................................16
Replacing Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps ...........................................................................................17
Replacing Forced Air System ...................................................................................................................17
Evaporative Coolers..................................................................................................................................18
Programmable Thermostats ......................................................................................................................21
Ductwork .....................................................................................................................................................21
Duct Sealing Procedures ...........................................................................................................................22
Building Cavities as Return Ducts ............................................................................................................26
Duct Insulation..........................................................................................................................................27
Improving Airflow ....................................................................................................................................27
Duct Improvements to Increase Airflow ..................................................................................................28
6-1 Heating and Cooling
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Heating
The overall goal of heating system replacement is to provide a gas-fired heating system in virtually new
condition, even though existing components like the gas lines, chimney, or ducts may remain. Any
necessary maintenance or repair on these remaining components should be considered part of the
installation. Any design flaws in the original system should be diagnosed and corrected during the heating
system replacement. [3]
All Systems Maintenance to be Performed by Heating System Professional

Check the condition of your vent connection pipe and chimney. Parts of the venting system may have
deteriorated over time. Chimney problems can be expensive to repair, and may help justify installing
new heating equipment that will not use the existing chimney.

Check the physical integrity of the heat exchanger. Furnace heat exchangers mix combustion gases
with house air when they leak - an important safety reason to have them inspected.

Adjust the controls on the furnace to provide optimum air temperature settings for both efficiency and
comfort. [31]
Space Heaters
Three types of space heaters will be addressed: electric, unvented
and vented gas- or liquid-fueled. Space heaters that do not meet
the guidelines set forth in the Weatherization Program Notice
(WPN) 11-06 must be removed from the home and disposed of
properly; they may not be left on the premise.

NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
ELECTRIC SPACE HEATERS
DOE does not allow repair, replacement, or
installation of electric space heaters. DOE
will not preclude the use of other funding
sources for the replacement or major repair
of electric space heater.
Electric Space Heaters
The Department does not encourage electric space heaters,
because of the following:

High cost of electricity as compared to fossil fuels;

Lower output ratings (size);

Risk of fire hazards; and,

Inadequate electrical systems in older homes frequently
cannot safely carry the power required to operate an electric
heater.
Electric space heater
Work on such systems may make local agencies liable for inadequate electric wiring and damages that
may result.
6-2 Heating and Cooling
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
 STANDARDS
ELECTRIC SPACE HEATER
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Electric Space Heaters
Per WPN 11-06


Audit
Must meet the
requirements of 24 CFR
3280.707 when installed
in mobile homes


Repair, replacement, or installation is NOT allowed
Removal is recommended
Check circuitry to ensure adequate power supply
Inform client of the fire dangers associated with electric space
heaters.
Unvented Gas- and Liquid-Fueled Space Heaters [32]
The U.S Department of Energy (DOE) strongly encourages
removal of all unvented gas- and liquid-fueled space heaters and
replacement with vented, code-compliant heating systems as a
prerequisite to weatherization.
However, the DOE will allow unvented gas- or liquid-fueled
space heaters to remain as secondary heat sources in singlefamily houses provided they comply with the International
Residential Code (IRC) and the International Fuel Gas Code
(IFGC). DOE is allowing this flexibility primarily to provide
low-income clients an emergency back-up source of heat in the
event of electrical power outages. Therefore, preference should
be given to code-compliant units that do not require electricity.
Specifically, any unvented gas- and liquid-fueled space heaters
that remain in a completed single-family house after
weatherization:


Shall not have an input rating in excess of 40,000 Btu/hour;
Shall not be located in, or obtain combustion air from
sleeping rooms, bathrooms, toilet rooms, or storage closets
unless:
-
-
Where approved by the authority having jurisdiction,
one listed wall-mounted space heater in a bathroom:
Gas- and liquid-fueled space heaters.

NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
UNVENTED SPACE HEATERS
DOE will not permit any DOE-funded
weatherization work where the completed
dwelling unit is heated with an unvented
gas- and/or liquid-fueled space heater as
the primary heat source. This policy applies
to unvented natural gas-fired space
heaters, unvented propane-fired space
heaters, and unvented kerosene space
heaters. This policy is consistent with the
IRC and the IFGC.

Has an input rating that does not exceed
6,000 Btu/hour;

Is equipped with an oxygen-depletion sensing safety shut-off system; and

The bathroom meets required volume criteria to provide adequate combustion air;
Where approved by the authority having jurisdiction, one listed wall-mounted space heater in
a bedroom:
6-3 Heating and Cooling
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS

Material Installation Standards Manual

Has an input rating that does not exceed 10,000 Btu/hour;

Is equipped with an oxygen-depletion sensing safety shut-off system; and

The bedroom meets required volume criteria to provide adequate combustion air.
Shall require the enforcement of minimum ventilation guidelines as determined by the greater of:
-
7.5 cubic feet per minute (CFM) per person,
-
Number of bedrooms plus one x 7.5 CFM, or
-
.35 air changes per hour.
The above minimum ventilation guidelines are natural ventilation rates, not with the house depressurized
to negative 50 Pascals, with a blower door.
 STANDARDS
UNVENTED SPACE HEATER
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Unvented Space Heaters
Per WPN 11-06

Removal is required, except as secondary heat where the unit
conforms to ANSI Z21.11.2. Units that do not meet ANSI Z21.11.2
must be removed prior to weatherization but may remain until a
replacement heating system is in place.
Audit/Final
Must meet the
requirements of 24 CFR
3280.707 when installed
in mobile homes

Test home for ambient CO levels (<9 ppm action level; <25ppm
replace appliance)
Check units for ANSI Z21.11.2 label
Inform client of dangers of unvented space heaters: CO, NO₂, and
moisture

Vented Space Heaters [32]

Vented gas- and liquid-fueled space heaters should be treated the
same as furnaces in terms of repair and replacement, as well as
combustion appliance safety testing. This policy applies to
vented natural gas- and propane-fired space heaters, and oil-fired
space heaters, which are always vented.
The Weatherization Program can replace
the primary unvented space heater with a
vented unit, but cannot expend DOE funds
to replace one of the existing secondary
space heaters with a code-compliant
unvented unit with an oxygen-depletion
sensing safety shut-off system. [32]
NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
SECONDARY SPACE HEATERS
 STANDARDS
VENTED SPACE HEATER
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Vented Space Heaters
Per WPN 11-06


Monoxor II or
Combustion Analyzer


Audit/Final
Must meet the
requirements of 24 CFR
3280.707 when installed
in mobile homes




6-4 Heating and Cooling
Should be treated as a furnace
Venting should be tested, consistent with furnaces
Must be tested for carbon monoxide output as per Health & Safety
Policy
Must be assessed at initial assessment, the operating efficiency
determined and entered into the Audit
Must be repaired, retrofit or replaced when indicated by an SIR of 1
or better
Repairs/retrofit must reduce CO levels to >25 ppm or less
Replacements must have a factory installed oxygen depletion sensor
system vented space heaters must meet ER = .80 standard
Electric or kerosene space heaters will not be allowed
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Electric Furnaces and Electric Baseboard Heat [3]
The purpose of servicing electric furnaces and electric baseboard heat is to clean the heat exchangers and
blower. Sealing ducts is also very important because electric heat is so expensive. For the same amount of
heat, electric resistance heat costs between two and three times more than natural gas or a heat pump.
Electric Furnace, Electric Baseboard Maintenance

Check and clean thermostat.

Clean and lubricate blower, if appropriate.

Clean or replace all filters.

Vacuum and clean housing around electric elements, if dirty.

Clean fins on electric baseboard systems, if applicable.
Electric furnaces can be a problem for utility companies if they are using more 5-kW heating elements
than are necessary to heat the home - the utility has a higher peak demand than it would if only the
minimum number of elements were used. During mild weather, a couple elements are needed. In severe
weather all elements might be needed.
A standard heating thermostat, combined with an outdoor thermostat, can be used to stage heating
elements for different weather. This is not an energy saving measure; it is a power saving measure. Since
staging elements benefit the utility company, they may be willing to pay for the savings to the utility
power system.
Heating Element Maintenance

Replace air filters at regular intervals. The electric heating elements should be dusted and vacuumed if
they are dirty. However, cleaning the heating elements shouldn’t be necessary if air filters are changed
regularly.

Seal ducts absolutely airtight and insulate supply ducts.

Install an outdoor staging thermostat to reduce peak load and/or increase comfort.
Safety Measures

Make sure that the baseboard heater sits at least an inch above the floor to facilitate good air
convection.

Clean fins and remove dust and debris from around and under the baseboard heaters as often as
necessary.

Avoid putting furniture directly against the heaters. To heat properly, there must be space for air
convection.
6-5 Heating and Cooling
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Fuel Furnaces
Older furnace systems had efficiencies in the range of 56% – 70%; modern conventional heating systems
can achieve efficiencies as high as 97%, converting nearly all the fuel to useful heat. [3]
Description
Table 6.2 Types of Gas Furnaces [3]
75- Efficiency Furnace
80+ Efficiency Furnace
90+ Efficiency Furnace
These older furnaces are very
inefficient and often have safety issues
due to using indoor combustion and
dilution air.
The new furnace should have an Annual
Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) of at
least 80% and bring outside air directly
into the burner and exhaust combustion
products directly to the outside, without
the need for a draft hood or damper.
These high efficiency furnaces work so
well that they generally produce an acidic
exhaust gas that is not suitable for old,
unlined chimneys, so the exhaust gas
should be vented using a non-corrosive
pipe (PVC). Condensing furnaces with
90+ AFUE are vented horizontally or
vertically through PVC Schedule 40 pipe.
Vent piping should be sloped back
toward the appliance, so the condensate
can be drained and treated if necessary.
Characteristics


Standing pilot light, draft diverter, no
draft fan, indoor combustion and
dilution air.
AGA Venting Category I: use
standard venting; masonry or Type
B vent.


No draft diverter, draft fan, electronic
ignition, indoor combustion air, no
dilution air.
AGA Venting Category III: use only
pressurizable vent as specified by
manufacturer.


No draft diverter, draft fan, lowtemperature plastic venting, positive
draft, electronic ignition, condensing
heat exchanger, outdoor combustion
air is strongly recommended.
AGA Venting Category IV: use only
pressurizable condensing-service vent
as specified by manufacturer.
Table 6.1 Annual Estimated Savings for Every $100 of Fuel Cost by Increasing Your Heating Equipment Efficiency* [31]
Existing
System
AFUE
55%
60%
65%
70%
75%
80%
85%
90%
95%
50%
$9.09
$16.76
$23.07
$28.57
$33.33
$37.50
$41.24
$44.24
$47.36
55%
--
$8.33
$15.38
$21.42
$26.66
$31.20
$35.29
$38.88
$42.10
60%
--
--
$7.69
$14.28
$20.00
$25.00
$29.41
$33.33
$37.80
65%
--
--
--
$7.14
$13.33
$18.75
$23.52
$27.77
$31.57
70%
--
--
--
--
$6.66
$12.50
$17.64
$22.22
$26.32
75%
--
--
--
--
--
$6.50
$11.76
$16.66
$21.10
80%
--
--
--
--
--
--
$5.88
$11.11
$15.80
85%
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
$5.55
$10.50
90%
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
--
$5.30
New/Upgraded System AFUE
* Assuming the same heat output.
6-6 Heating and Cooling
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Diagram 6.2 Inside a Gas Furnace
6-7 Heating and Cooling
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Forced-Air System Repairs [3]

Remedy carbon monoxide (CO)
-
Causes of CO Production:
o
Improper gas pressure. In Texas, we often find low gas line pressure.
o
Poor air to fuel ratio. Adjust the air intakes.
o
Dirty burners
o
Poor draft (low or high)
o
Flame impingement – flame touching
o
Blocked or poorly designed vent systems

Adjust blower control and supply-air temperature

Clean and oil the blower. Remove and clean the blower. Use
a brush to remove all dirt and residue from the blower. If you
also remove the motor you can then use a hose and
household cleaners to remove the accumulated dirt. If you
find that the blower is dirty, then you can expect that the coil
is too.
-
Remove dirt, soot, or corrosion from the furnace or
boiler
-
Check fuel input and flame characteristics, and adjust if necessary
-
Seal connections between the furnace and main ducts.
Dirty blower
 STANDARDS
HEATING
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Central Heaters
Wall & Floor Furnace
Monoxor II or
Combustion Analyzer

Must be tested for Carbon Monoxide output as per Health & Safety
Policy
Audit/Final

Must be assessed at initial assessment, the operating efficiency
determined and entered into the Audit
Must meet the
requirements of 24 CFR
3280.707 when installed
in mobile homes

Must be repaired, retrofit or replaced when indicated by an SIR of 1
or better
Replace with high efficiency units only: Gas heating appliances ER
=.80 or greater
Replacement units must meet the heat load of a manual J


ER = Energy Ratio
EER = Energy Efficiency Rating
6-8 Heating and Cooling
COP = Coefficient of Performance
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Heat Pumps
Generally speaking in Central Texas the best option from an
efficiency perspective is to replace all electric resistance heating
systems with high efficiency heat pumps. Heat pumps deliver
about two to three times more heat for each unit of electricity
consumed. [3]
Central Heat Pumps
 GOOD TO KNOW
HOT, HUMID CLIMATE
Heat pumps are preferable to electric
resistance heating in all but the mildest of
climates, such as southern Texas, where
there are fewer than 500 annual heating
degree days. A unit with a Heating
Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) of
7.7 or more will reduce the electric
consumption during heating by more than
50% relative to electric resistance heating.
Most residential central heat pumps are split systems with the
evaporator and air handler indoors, and the condenser and
compressor outdoors. A heat pump will capture heat from the air
[15]
in the winter time for cost effective heating. Yes, there is heat in
cold air! There is usable heat in the air as low as 0°F. A balance
point of 40°F is often quoted, although many are found to
balance at much lower temperatures. When we weatherize a home and make it more energy efficient, we
can achieve a lower balance point. It is much more efficient and less expensive to transfer existing heat
than to generate heat. In the summer months, the unit will capture heat from inside the home and transfer it
outside.
The size of the heat pump that is ideal for cooling is not always the same as the ideal size for heating. If
the heating load is lower than the cooling load, design if for cooling load. If the cooling load is too large it
cause increased humidity and discomfort.
Heat pumps do not recover quickly or efficiently from long setback temperatures. In fact, this will trigger
the backup heat to turn on negating the energy savings that heat pumps can provide. Install thermostats
specifically designed for heat pumps. These will maintain comfortable temperatures and maximize energy
savings. Proper client education on the thermostat is essential when installing a heat pump.

Multiple returns ensure sufficient return airflow to the unit. An outdoor thermostat prevents strip heat
from operating until outdoor temperature is less than 35-40°F. This thermostat stages elements as
needed.

A two-stage thermostat activates the compressor first and subsequently activates the strip heat only
when the compressor cannot satisfy the load.
Central Heat Pump Maintenance

Supply ducts should be airtight and sized to provide the needed airflow. Supply ducts are to be
insulated in unconditioned areas.

The coil should be cleaned every year or two. Weeds, grass and shrubs are not allowed to grow within
3’ on all sides. Educate the client.
6-9 Heating and Cooling
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS

Material Installation Standards Manual
Verify the refrigerant charge and airflow by superheat/sub-cooling method.
-
The performance and efficiency of residential air conditioners and heat pumps is very
dependent upon having the correct amount of refrigerant in the system.
Central Heat Pump Trouble Shooting Tips
Cooling Mode Problem
Tip
Compressor continually runs




House humid and won’t cool




Check refrigerant level
Check thermostat setting (too high or low?), or is it located near a source of heat?
Check outside coil - is it blocked?
Check for limited air movement; Blocked registers or dirty air filter
Check for low refrigerant level
Evaluate compressor
Check for open window or door
Check for duct leakage
Heating Mode Problem
Tip
Condenser appears to be giving
off steam

This is actually the defrost cycle giving off water vapor, which is a normal process
Thermostat’s auxiliary heat light is on

Typically happens when the outside temperature is below the balance point (40° or
less). This means the supplemental heaters are working; or
Occupant has adjusted the thermostat up more than 1.5°, causing the supplemental
heaters to engage

Little air flow from supply registers



Compressor continuously runs



Check for and replace dirty filters
Check for belt or blower motor failure
Check that return filter is not blocked
Check that thermostat is not set too high or is exposed to a cold draft
Check for low refrigerant level
Check that the condenser is not blocked by plants or ice
Room Heat Pumps
Individual room heat pumps are more efficient since they have the advantage of no ducts and are factorycharged with refrigerant. Room heat pumps can provide all or part of the heating and cooling needs for
small homes.
Room heat pumps draw a substantial electrical load, and may require 220-240 volt wiring. Provide a
dedicated circuit that can support the equipment’s rated electrical input (This cost should be included in
the total cost of the replacement.) Insufficient wiring capacity can result in dangerous overheating, tripped
circuit breakers, blown fuses, or motor-damaging voltage drops. In most cases a licensed electrician should
confirm that the house wiring is sufficient. Do not run portable heat pumps or any other appliance with
extension cords or plug adapters.
Room Heat Pump Installation Specifications

Install the unit in a central part of the home where air can circulate to other rooms. Choose a location
near an electrical outlet, or where a new outlet can be installed if it is needed.
6-10 Heating and Cooling
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual

Do not install the unit where bushes will interfere with its outdoor airflow. Heat pumps need lots of
outdoor air circulation to operate at maximum efficiency.

If you install the unit in a window, use a portable unit that can be stored out of the way in the offseason. Install the unit in a double-hung or sliding window. Portable units do not work well in outswinging casement windows or up-swinging awning windows.

If you install the unit in a framed opening in the wall, use the same guidelines you would to frame a
new window or door. Provide headers, beams, or other structural supports where studs are cut, or
install it in an opening under an existing window where structural support is already provided by the
window framing.

Provide solid supports underneath the unit. These can be manufactured brackets, wood-framed
brackets, or brackets fabricated from metal. Fasten the unit with screws to the window jamb and/or
sash.

Seal around the exterior siding and trim to keep rain out of the wall cavity. Seal the unit to the opening
with the shields provided by manufacturer or with plywood, caulking, or sheet metal.
The use of ductless and ducted mini-split air conditioning and heat pump systems has grown a great deal
over the last few years. They offer a retrofit option when duct installation or improvements prove
challenging. These options cost more, but may be more cost effective compared to the replacement of a
damaged and leaky old duct system. They also often offer very high efficiencies with systems commonly
achieving ratings of between 15 and 21 SEER.
Venting [3]
Combustion gases are vented through vertical chimneys or other types of approved horizontal or vertical
vent piping. Identifying the type of existing venting material, verifying the correct size of vent piping, and
making sure the venting conforms to the applicable codes are important tasks in inspecting and repairing
venting systems. Too large a vent often leads to condensation and corrosion. Too small a vent can result in
spillage. The wrong vent materials can corrode or deteriorate from heat.
Vent Connectors [3]
Types of Vent Connectors
Double-wall vent connectors are the best option, especially for appliances with some horizontal vent
piping. A double-wall vent connector helps maintain flue-gas temperature and prevent condensation.
Gas appliances with draft hoods, installed in attics or crawl spaces must use a Type-B vent connector.
Type-L vent pipe is commonly used for vent connectors for solid fuels but can also be used for gas.
Follow manufacturer’s venting instructions along with the IFGC to establish a proper venting system.
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Vent Connector Specifications

A vent connector is almost always the same size as the vent collar on the appliance it vents.

Single-wall vent-pipe sections should be fastened together with three screws or rivets.

The vent connector should be sealed tightly where it enters a masonry chimney.

Vent connectors should be free of rust, corrosion and holes.

The chimney combining two vent connectors should have a cross-sectional area equal to the area of
the larger vent connector plus half the area of the smaller vent connector. This common vent should be
no larger than 7 times the area of the smallest vent.

The horizontal length of vent connectors should not be more than 75% of the chimney’s vertical height
or have more than 18” horizontal run per inch of vent diameter.

Vent connectors must have upward slope to their connection with the chimney. A slope of at least 1/4”
of rise per foot of horizontal run along their entire length is recommended to cause combustion gases
to rise through the vent and to prevent condensation from pooling and rusting the vent.

When two vent connectors connect to a single chimney, the vent connector servicing the smaller
appliance shall enter the chimney above the vent for the larger appliance.

Codes require a “Clearance” or air space which is the distance that must be left between all parts of a
flue vent pipe and any material that is combustible like wood, or the paper on sheetrock. Codes also
call for keeping all insulation materials back from the flue vent by the same distance.[3] Single-wall
vents require a minimum of a 6” clearance to combustibles. Type-B double-wall vents require at least
a 1 inch clearance to combustibles.[12]
Diagram 6.3 Vent Pipe
B-Vent
6-12 Heating and Cooling
L-Vent
Single-wall
Black Pipe
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Table 6.3 Approved Vent Connectors for Gas-Fired Units
Type
Description
Use
B-Vent
Consisting of a galvanized-steel outer pipe and
aluminum inner pipe
Not air tight, for negative pressure systems only.
Most commonly used vent in Texas.
L-Vent
Connector with a stainless-steel inner pipe and
either galvanized or black-steel outer pipe.
Not air tight, for negative pressure systems only.
Galvanized-steel pipe
≥ 0.019” thick or 20 gauge
For vent connectors 5” in diameter or less.
≥ 0.023” thick or 22 gauge
For vent connectors 6” to 10” in diameter.
Venting Repairs [3]

Remove chimney obstructions.

Repair disconnections or leaks at joints and where the vent connector joins a masonry chimney.

Install a wind-dampening chimney cap.

Install a new chimney liner.

Increase the pitch of horizontal sections of vent.
Appliance Access and Location
Appliances must remain accessible for inspection, service, repair, and replacement without the need to
remove permanent construction. Appliances must be located or protected so they are not subject to
flooding or damage. They must have adequate clearances for ventilation and for protection of adjacent
combustible surfaces. The codes have special rules to help maintain access and working space for specific
locations, such as underfloor areas and attics. Check manufacturer’s instructions for clearances. [12]
Cooling
 GOOD TO KNOW
HOT-HUMID CLIMATE
In addition to wasting energy and money, oversized air conditioning systems in a hot and humid climate may cause moisture
problems. Besides cooling, air conditioners provide the valuable service of removing moisture from the air. If humidity is not removed,
reducing the temperature will create condensation on cool surfaces and create cold, clammy conditions. To compensate for the
clamminess, occupants are likely to set the temperature much lower than would be the case if the space were drier, wasting energy
and causing even more condensation and discomfort.
In addition to “right-sizing” the unit for optimum comfort, an efficient building envelope often allows for downsizing of air conditioning
units, further reducing initial cost. In larger homes, downsizing may allow one unit to replace two, for additional savings in cost and
maintenance. In any home where oversized air conditioners lead to short cycling, the system may not provide adequate
dehumidification.
Mini-split air conditioners and heat pumps offer the most efficient heating and cooling for warm and moderate climates. Mini-splits
also offer flexibility for buildings without ducts or with duct systems that are worn out, poorly designed, or poorly installed. [15]
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Cleaning and Maintenance [3]
Cleaning Air Conditioning Coils
Clean filters and air conditioning coils are a minimum requirement for
efficient operation. Keeping filters clean and sealing ducts are the best
way to keep coils clean. Cleaning an indoor air conditioning coil is
much more difficult than changing or cleaning a filter. When a filter is
dirty or absent, dirt collects on the coil, fan blades, and other objects in
the air stream. The dirt deposits reduce airflow and will eventually
cause the evaporator coil to freeze or ice up and the air conditioning
system to fail.
Cleaning coils in place.
Dirt builds up on a coil from the side where the air enters. The heaviest deposits of lint, hair, and grease
will coat that side of the indoor coil. The best strategy is to dampen this surface layer and brush or vacuum
the heavy dirt off before trying to wash the finer dirt out with a biodegradable indoor coil cleaner and
water. A non-toxic foaming coil cleaner that is not acid based (phosphoric acid is often used) is
recommended. It is safer for the crews and the occupants.
The outdoor coils of air conditioning systems are not protected by filters. They get dirty depending on how
much dust is in the outdoor air. If there is little dust and pollen in an area, the outdoor coil may only need
cleaning every three years or so. However, if there is a lot of pollen and dust, annual cleaning is a good
practice. It is a safe assumption that all outdoor coils need cleaning. Use a biodegradable cleaner designed
for cleaning outdoor coils. If the cost for cleaning a room air conditioner approaches the cost of a
replacement unit, then replacement should be recommended. We often see the coil fins smashed or bent
badly. This reduces airflow significantly. Use a fin comb to straighten the fins to restore efficient airflow.
Cleaning Room AC and Heat Pump Coils [3]
Room air conditioners have foam or fiberglass filters that lie up against the inside coil. It’s good practice
to carry a roll of filter material to replace worn out or non-existent filters. Cleaning the indoor coil is easy
since the heaviest dirt collects on the surface of the coil facing the inside of the home. Cleaning the outdoor coil is more difficult. Usually cleaning the outdoor coil involves removing the room air conditioner
from the window and taking it to an outdoor location where you can use a garden hose. The housing of the
air conditioner must be removed to clean the outdoor coil. Again, use biodegradable, non-acid based
indoor coil cleaner for the indoor coil and outdoor coil cleaner for the outdoor coil. Each is designed for a
different variety of dirt and has different environmental specifications.
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Cleaning Steps: Room AC Indoor, Outdoor Coil
1.
Remove the grille and filter on the interior side of the unit.
2.
Unplug and remove the air conditioner temporarily from the window or wall. With some units, the
mechanical parts slide out of the housing, and with others you must remove the whole unit, housing
and all.
3.
Take the unit to a clean outdoor area that drains well, such as a driveway or patio.
4.
Cover the compressor, fan motor, and electrical components with plastic bags held in place with
rubber bands.
5.
Dampen each of the coils with a light spray of water, then rake as much dirt off the coils as you can
with an old hairbrush. Room air conditioner performance deteriorates as it accumulates dirt. The unit
will eventually fail to cool the room or break down unless cleaned.
6.
Spray indoor coil cleaner into the indoor coil and outdoor coil cleaner into the outdoor coil, and let the
cleaner set for a minute or two.
7.
Rinse the cleaner and dirt out of the coils with a gentle spray of water from a hose.
8.
Repeat the process again until the water draining from the coils is clean.
9.
Straighten bent fins with a fin comb to prevent bent fins from reducing airflow.
Cleaning Blowers and Indoor Coils [3]
Every indoor coil should be protected by an air filter that fills the entire cross-sectional area of the return
duct leading to the blower and indoor coil. Filters are easier to change or clean compared to cleaning a
blower or coil. If equipped with clean, well-fitting filters, the blower and coil will remain clean for many
years. However, many coils have not had the benefit of such filters and are packed with dirt.
Cleaning Steps: Blowers, Indoor Coils
1.
Shut off the main switch or pull the electrical disconnect to the air handler.
2.
Open the blower compartment and look into the blades of the blower using a flashlight. Reach in and
slide your finger along a fan blade. Have you collected a mound of dust?
3.
If the blower is dirty, remove and clean it. If you remove the motor, use hot water or household
cleanser to remove the dirt.
4.
If the blower is dirty, the indoor coil is probably also dirty. Visually inspect the coil if you have
access. If needed, create an access hatch.
5.
If the coil is dirty, clean it using a brush, biodegradable, non-acid based indoor coil cleaner and water.
Consider replacing the coil if it is extremely dirty. A-coils are found in upflow and downflow air
handlers. In downflow models, the dirt collects on top and on upflow units dirt collects on the bottom.
Clean the coil, drain pan, and drain line.
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
6.
Straighten bent fins with a fin comb to prevent bent fins from reducing airflow.
7.
Clean the drain pan and drain line.
Filter and Blower Maintenance [3]
A dirty filter can reduce airflow significantly. Take action to prevent
filter-caused airflow restriction by taking the following steps:

Insure that filters are easy to change or clean.

Stress to the client the importance of changing or cleaning filters,
and suggest to the client a regular filter maintenance schedule.

Clean the blower. This task involves removing the blower and
removing dirt completely with a brush or water spray.

Special air cleaning filters offer more resistance than standard
filters, especially when saturated with dust. Avoid using them, unless you test for airflow after
installation. Most air conditioners cannot move enough air to work correctly through a filter that is
thicker than one inch or a higher Minimum Efficiency reporting Value (MERV) rating than 8.
Purchase filters to be left with the client when needed.

Measure the current draw of the blower motor in amps. If the amp measurement exceeds the motor full
load amp (FLA) rating by more than 10%, replace the motor.
When replacing dirty filters, Advise
clients to check the filter each
month and change it if it is dirty.[5]
Improving Airflow for Central Systems [3]
Central air conditioning units and central heat pumps should deliver 400 cubic feet per minute (CFM) of
airflow per ton of capacity. Airflow may be restricted due to inadequate return air capacity.
An additional grille may be installed when the return air size is inadequate. If the location allows, the
minimum square footage should be met. The table below indicates the minimum square feet needed to
operate at maximum efficiency. According to Manual D by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America
(ACCA), non-filtered return air grilles should allow 300 CFM per gross square feet of filter area, or 200
CFM for a filtered grille.
Table 6.4 Sizing Return Air
BTUs
18,000
24,000
30,000
36,000
42,000
48,000
60,000
CFM/ton
600
800
1000
1200
1400
1600
2000
Min. Sq. Ft.
Filter Grille
3.0
4.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
10.0
Min. Sq. Ft.
Non-Filter Grille
2.0
2.7
3.3
4.0
4.7
5.3
6.7
One ton = 12,000 BTUs
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Replacing Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps [3]
Replacing older inefficient air conditioners, those at or
below a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of 10, and
heat pumps with new efficient units, those at SEER 14.5 or
better under the current ENERGY STAR rating, can be a
cost effective energy conservation measure. In many
homes, replacing units involves only swapping air handlers
and outdoor units. In other homes, the ducts need extensive
repair and reconfiguring. In some homes it may be wise to
discard an old central ducted forced air system in favor of a
more efficient mini-split central system or one or more
room units. When replacing room air conditioners or room
heat pumps, simply choose the most efficient model based
on the energy efficiency ratio (EER). Room air conditioner
and heat pump units offer very efficient heating and
cooling.
Seal all Penetrations!
Replacing Forced Air System [3]
Jump Duct Option
Central forced air heat pump and air conditioning systems
present three logical choices for replacement:
1. Size the new air handler to fit the existing ducts, performing building-shell improvements as necessary to
reduce the heating and cooling load.
2. Make appropriate modifications to the existing duct
system to optimize the performance of the new system.
3. Discard the ducts and replace the forced-air system
with a ductless mini-split system. If the existing ducts
will remain, evaluate the existing forced air ducts to
identify duct modifications necessary to optimize
performance and efficiency of the new system. Duct
modifications include repair, duct sealing and
insulation, installing additional supply or return ducts,
or replacing the ducts with new ones.
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Material Installation Standards Manual
 STANDARDS
COOLING
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Central Air Conditioners
Amp Meter


Must meet the
requirements of 24 CFR
3280.714 when installed
in mobile homes



Whole House
Window Units
Amp Meter

Must meet the
requirements of 24 CFR
3280.714 when installed
in mobile homes



Room Air Conditioners
ER = Energy Ratio
Amp Meter

Must meet the
requirements of 24 CFR
3280.714 when installed
in mobile homes

EER = Energy Efficiency Rating


Must be assessed at initial assessment, the operating efficiency
Determined and entered into the Audit.
Must be repaired, retrofit or replaced when indicated by an SIR of 1 or
better
Replace with high efficiency units only; use Energy Star rated units
when available.
Must be sized to fit existing blower units and duct systems
Must be assessed at initial assessment, the operating efficiency
determined and entered into the Audit
Must be repaired, retrofit or replaced when indicated by an SIR of 1 or
better
Replace with high efficiency units only; use Energy Star rated units
when available.
Replace with same size unit except where smaller, more efficient unit
will cool the same space
Must be assessed at initial assessment, the operating efficiency
determined and entered into the Audit
Must be repaired, retrofit or replaced when indicated by an SIR of 1 or
better
Replace with Energy Star rated or better, when available
Replace with same size unit except where smaller, more efficient unit
will cool the same space (10,000 Btu Maximum)
COP = Coefficient of Performance
Evaporative Coolers [3]
Evaporative coolers, also called swamp coolers, offer a highly efficient cooling strategy in dry climates.
They work well where the summertime relative humidity remains less than 50%. Though they are not
rated with a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), evaporative coolers have a cooling efficiency two to
three times the SEER of the most efficient compressor-based air conditioners.
Evaporative Cooler Maintenance
Evaporative coolers see a lot of water, air, and dirt during operation. Dirt is the enemy of evaporative
cooler operation. Evaporative coolers process a lot of dirt because their aspen pads are good filters for
dust-bearing outdoor air. Evaporative coolers may cool better and filter better when the aspen pads are
doubled up. Airborne dirt that sticks to the cooler pads washes into the reservoir. Most evaporative coolers
have a bleed tube or a separate pump that changes the reservoir water during cooler operation to drain
away dirty water. A cooler may still need regular cleaning, depending on how long the cooler runs, how
hard the water is, and how well the dirt-draining system is working. Older cooler sumps were lined with an
asphaltic paint and flexible asphaltic liners, but the newer ones have factory powder coatings that are far
superior and less environmentally harmful. Do not paint or install asphaltum liners in a powder-painted
cooler sump because asphaltic material will not stick to the factory finish. You will find some coolers in
very poor condition. Consider whether replacement is a better option than cleaning in these cases.
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Evaporative Cooler Maintenance Specifications

Be sure to disconnect the electricity to the unit before
servicing or cleaning it.

Aspen pads can be soaked in soapy water to remove dirt,
then rotated to distribute the wear, dirt, and scale, which
remains entrained after cleaning.
-
Clean louvers in the cooler cabinet when you clean
or change pads.
-
Replace the pads when they become unabsorbent,
thin, or loaded with scale and entrained dirt.
Material Installation Standards Manual
GOOD TO KNOW
EVAPORATIVE COOLER:
REPAIR OR REPLACE?
Total up the cost of all required new parts.
Compare this cost with the cost of a new
EC correctly sized for the home. If the total
cost of the necessary parts is 60% or more
than the total cost of a new system, then a
new EC system can and should be
purchased for the unit.
The justification for an EC replacement
should include:
- the collected prices of parts;
- the new EC system price;
- detailed photos documenting the
condition of the old EC; and
- a signed statement recording the
percentages and documenting the
agency’s decision to replace the
evaporative cooler. [17]

If there is a bleed tube, check discharge rate by collecting
water in a cup or beverage can. You should collect a cup in
three minutes or a can in five minutes.

If the cooler has two pumps, one is a sump pump. It should
activate to drain the sump every five to ten minutes of cooler
operation.

If there is any significant amount of dirt on the blower’s
blades, clean the blower thoroughly. Clean the holes in the
drip trough that distributes the water to the pads.

The reservoir should be thoroughly cleaned each year to remove dirt, scale, and biological matter.
Gather silt and debris using two old hand towels or rags working together from the corners of the
sump pushing the dirt and silt into the sump drain or into a bucket.

Pay particular attention to the intake area of the circulating pump during cleaning. Debris can get
caught in the pump impeller and stop the pump.

Check the float assembly for positive shutoff of water when the sump reaches its level. Repair leaks
and replace a leaky float valve.

Investigate signs of water leakage and repair water leaks.
Evaporative Cooler Installation
Evaporative coolers are installed in two ways: the cooler outlet blows air into a central location, or the
cooler outlet joins duct-work which distributes the cool air to different rooms in the house. Single outlet
installations work well for compact homes. Ducted systems work better for more expansive homes. Most
people install downflow evaporative coolers on the roofs of their homes. Evaporative coolers are also
installed on stands or hung with chains on platforms. These coolers vent their cool air through windows or
ducts cut through walls. Some horizontal ducted evaporative coolers are ground-mounted on concrete pads
for easy access. The best place for a horizontal flow evaporative cooler is in the shade on the windward
side of the home.
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Material Installation Standards Manual
Evaporative Cooler Installation Specifications

The cooler should have a fused disconnect and water shutoff nearby.

The cooler should have at least 3 feet of clearance all around them for airflow and maintenance access.

The cooler should be installed below, and at least 10 feet away from, chimneys or other roof vents.

The cooler should be securely fastened; use chains and eyebolts for window or wall installations.

Install the cooler with weighted dampers to allow easier changeover from evaporative cooling and
either heating or air conditioning.

Use thermostats to control evaporative coolers and minimize energy use, water use, and maintenance.
Thermostats also reduce the chance of over cooling with unnecessary nighttime operation. Using a 24volt transformer and thermostat is better than using a line voltage thermostat, which allows more
temperature variation.

Install evaporative coolers that have two speeds for cooling or venting. The vent settings activate the
blower but not the pump, to use the cooler as a whole house fan at night and during mild weather.

Select a control equipped with a pump-only setting, to flush dirt out of the pads before activating the
blower after the cooler has been off for days or weeks.

Choose a cooler that has a bleed tube or sump pump to drain dirty water from the sump.
Evaporative coolers produce high air flows; the ductwork connected to them should be sized appropriately.
The cooler’s supply outlet can supply one or more registers through a dedicated duct system. Or, the
supply outlet can connect to ducts that join to furnace or air conditioner ducts. Coolers sharing ducts with
forced air furnaces require dampers to prevent heated furnace air from blowing into the idle evaporative
cooler during the winter, and prevent moist cool air from blowing into the furnace during the summer.
Moist cool air can condense and cause rust inside the furnace. These shared systems must be installed with
great care. The dampers often stick in an open position even with careful installation.
Up-ducts are ceiling vents that exhaust warm air as the evaporative cooler pushes cooler air in. Up-ducts
are preferred by home owners who do not like leaving windows open for security or privacy reasons. Upducts also help maintain a positive pressure in the home, preventing wind-driven hot air from entering
through open windows. It is essential to have adequate attic ventilation when using up-ducts. Attic vents
should have one to 1.5 times the net free area of the up-ducts.
2009 IRC: Evaporative Cooling Equipment: M413.1
Cooling equipment that uses evaporation of water for cooling, shall be installed in accordance with the
manufacture’s installation instructions. Evaporative coolers shall be installed on a level platform or base
not less than 3” [76mm] above the adjoining ground and secured to prevent displacement. Openings in
exterior walls shall be flashed in accordance with Section P2902.
M1413.2 Protection of potable water
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Material Installation Standards Manual
The potable water system shall be protected from backflow in accordance with the provisions in Section
P2902.
Programmable Thermostats
Homeowners can save about $180 a year by properly setting their
programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings.[32] Determine
if a programmable thermostat is appropriate for your client. Programmable
thermostats are excellent energy savers for households where no one is
home during the workday. However, for households that have stay-athome occupants, it might not be appropriate. Whenever one is installed,
educate the client on proper use.
Programmable thermostat.
 STANDARDS
PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT
Thermostat Location



On interior walls and near the center of the conditioned
zones.
At a height of 4’ to 5’ off the floor.
In an area that is utilized frequently by occupants.
Where NOT to Locate Thermostat







On exterior walls
Near supply registers or radiators
Near or above appliances
Where thermostat will be exposed to direct sunlight
In areas of high moisture
In a draft from a cold space
When client is unable to operate a programmable thermostat
Ductwork
Ducts located outside the thermal boundary or in an intermediate zone like a ventilated attic or crawl space
should be sealed. The following is a list of duct leak locations in order of their relative importance. Leaks
nearer to the air handler see higher pressure and are more important than leaks located further away. [3]
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Diagram 6.4 Biggest Contributors to Cooling Loads*
* New Texas home with aluminum windows and double pane clear glass. [10]
Duct Sealing Procedures [3, 10]


First, seal all return leaks within the combustion zone to
prevent this leakage from depressurizing the combustion
zone and causing backdrafting.
Plenum joint at air handler: These joints may have been
difficult to fasten and seal because of tight access. Go the
extra mile to seal them airtight by caulking this important
joint even if it requires cutting an access hole in the plenum.
-
Avoid using mastic and fabric mesh at the metal
panel so you can open it in the future as during
furnace replacement.
-
If the plenum is duct board you should use mastic
and fabric mesh tape to seal it.
 GOOD TO KNOW
HOT, HUMID CLIMATE
Sealing ductwork is very important. In the
hot and humid climate it may be the
simplest and most important step in
controlling indoor humidity in some homes.
Leaky ductwork in an unconditioned attic or
crawlspace can draw unhealthy and humid
air into the air distribution system. Sealing
ducts with mastic is desirable even for
ducts located in conditioned spaces.
Properly sealed ducts make sure air gets to
the spaces intended, rather than leaking
into a plenum space. It also minimizes the
chances of creating pressure differentials
from space to space that would induce
airflow through the envelope. The process
of sealing each joint reduces the chances
of unconnected ductwork, a surprisingly
common mistake.[15]

Joints at branch takeoffs and start collars: These important
joints should be sealed with a thick layer of mastic. Fabric
mesh tape is a plus for new installations or when access is
easy. Joints in sectioned elbows, known as gores, are usually
leaky.

Tabbed start collars: Attach the start collar to the main duct
with three to five screws if the plenum is metal or be sure all of the tabs are bent over and apply mastic
plentifully if the plenum is duct board. Seal under the flange of the tabbed start collar to the plenum
with mastic so it won’t pull off of the plenum.

Flexduct-to-metal start collar joints: Apply mastic to the metal Stat collar inside of the bead on the
collar. Clamp the flexduct’s inner liner over this strip of mastic with a plastic strap, using a strap
tensioner.
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Material Installation Standards Manual

Clamp the insulation and outer liner with another strap. Remember, it is the inner liner air seal that is
the important one, not the outer liner! Many crews concentrate on the outer liner leaving the inner liner
to start collar and collar to plenum less well sealed.

Support ducts and duct joints with duct hangers where needed. Seal all joints, gaps, and cracks
between support boards, the PVC pipe with the refrigerant lines and the platform and holes where the
refrigerant lines run through the platform. Seal leaky joints between building materials composing
cavity-return ducts, like panned floor cavities and furnace return platforms. Seal leaky joints between
supply and return registers and the floor, wall, and ceiling to which they are attached.

Seal penetrations made by wires or pipes traveling through ducts. Even better, move the pipes and
wires and patch the holes. [3]

Most Texas homes have flex duct systems. The primary leakage areas in flex duct systems are:

-
Appliance fan cabinet seams
-
Plenum connections to appliance
-
Take-offs from the plenums
-
Duct connections to boots
-
Boot flanges to ceiling sheetrock
These are primary because they are close to the fan and under the greatest pressures. Also, examine the
bottom of the fan cabinet from within. Oftentimes the bottom may be missing or poorly attached to the
cabinet walls. [10]
Diagram 6.5 Duct Sealing Examples
6-23 Heating and Cooling
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Diagram 6.6 Duct Leakage to the Outside [10]

Supply leaks depressurize the whole house.

The house then sucks in air equaling the air blown from the house to the
outside.

Trading cool, dry air for hot, humid air.

Possible back drafting of CO!
Diagram 6.7 Duct Leakage from the Outside [10]

Return leaks add air to the house so it becomes pressurized.

The return leak sucks in air from wherever it is bringing in dirty, moldy, hot
and humid air from the attic or crawlspace.

Can cause back drafting of appliances near it or the furnace unit in the
closet.
Return Leaks
6-24 Heating and Cooling
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Duct Air Sealing Materials
Duct mastic is the preferred duct-sealing material because of
its superior durability and adhesion. Apply at least 1/16” thick
and use rein-forcing mesh for all joints wider than 1 1/8” or
joints that may experience some movement. Codes call for UL
181A or B mastic. The A listed product is for use on foil or
metal duct materials. The B listed product is for use on flex
duct. There are chemicals in the A product that can rot flex
duct so be sure to get the right one.
For health and safety reasons, only use water based mastics.
Mastics with petroleum based solvents can pose severe health
risks including hospitalization of the crew or client.
Use mastic! It is superior to all other products. [10]
Siliconized acrylic-latex caulk is acceptable for sealing joints in panned joist spaces, and is used for return
ducts. Joints should rely on mechanical fasteners to prevent joint movement or separation. Tape should
never be expected to hold a joint together nor expected to resist the force of compacted insulation or joint
movement. Aluminum foil or cloth duct tape are not good materials for duct sealing because their adhesive
often fails after a short time. [3]
6-25 Heating and Cooling
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Building Cavities as Return Ducts [3, 10]
Using building cavities as a return duct is a common practice and always a recipe for a big air leak.
Relining a return is preferred to sealing the cavity. Relining materials include metal, fiberglass duct board,
and foam insulation panels. Pre-insulated foam panels are light-weight, easy to cut into custom shapes, and
provide insulation benefits. As with any material, seal all joints with UL181A or B water based mastic and
foil tape. The return cavity should be sealed if relining is not possible. Remove the pan covering the cavity
and seal any visible gaps or cracks between building components with UL181A or B water based mastic.
When replacing the pan be sure to fasten it securely with staples and seal the edges well with mastic and
foil tape. Also seal with mastic any joints or cracks within reach through return register. [3]
Often these building cavity return duct systems are difficult to access when attempting to seal them.
Consider whether or not it is possible to seal the cavity closer to the blower fans and moving the return
grill to that location. Remember to seal off the old return if choosing this option. Studies have shown that
return grills location is not particularly critical. However, having enough return grille and proper duct
diameter are essential. Place return grilles high for cooling climates and low for heating climates. [10]
Table 6.5 Estimated Supply Duct Flows and Grille Sizing
Duct Size
in Inches
Flex Supply
CFM
Flex Return
CFM
Metal Supply
CFM
Metal Return
CFM
5
46
32
65
6
78
52
105
42
72
7
115
80
160
115
8
165
110
225
155
9
225
155
310
210
10
300
205
420
260
12
480
325
665
450
14
720
490
1010
680
16
1050
705
1450
960
18
1450
960
1950
1330
20
1475
1275
2600
1750
Table 6.6 Estimated Return Grille Sizing
Capacity
6-26 Heating and Cooling
Filter
Grille
Non-Filter
Grille
Return Duct
Size
1.5
3.0 sq ft
2.0 sq ft
16”
2.0
4.0 sq ft
2.66 sq ft
18”
2.5
5.0 sq ft
3.33 sq ft
18”
3.0
6.0 sq ft
4.0 sq ft
20”
3.5
7.0 sq ft
4.66 sq ft
20”
4.0
8.0 sq ft
5.33 sq ft
20”
5.0
10.0 sq ft
6.66 sq ft
2- 18”
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Duct Insulation [3]
Insulate supply ducts that run through unconditioned areas outside of the thermal boundary, such as crawl
spaces, attics, and attached garages with a minimum of R-8 vinyl- or foil-faced duct insulation. Do not
insulate ducts that run through conditioned areas unless they cause overheating in winter or condensation
in summer.
Insulation Installation Best Practices

Always perform necessary duct sealing before insulating ducts

Insulation should cover all exposed supply ducts, without significant areas of bare duct left
uninsulated.

Insulation should be fastened by mechanical means such as stick pins, twine, or plastic straps. Tape
can be effective for covering joints in the insulation to prevent air convection, but tape will usually fail
if expected to resist the force of the insulation’s compression or weight.

Insulation must have a vapor barrier that is overlapped and sealed air tight.
Improving Airflow [3]
Inadequate airflow is a common cause of comfort complaints. The airflow capacity of the air handler may
be evaluated in relationship to the capacity of the air conditioner. For combustion furnaces, there should be
150 CFM of airflow for each 10,000 Btuh of output. Central air conditioners and heat pumps should
deliver 400 CFM of airflow per ton of cooling capacity. In Texas, almost all AC’s have only about one
half of the return grille face area and the return ducts are likewise undersized.
Table 6.7 Recommended Airflow in CFM
Furnace Output kBtu/hr
CFM
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
450
600
750
900
1050
1200
1350
AC or Heat Pump Cooling Capacity (tons)
CFM
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
4
5
400
600
800
1000
1200
1600
2000
When the air handler is on, there should be a strong flow of air out of each supply register, providing its
balancing damper is open. Low airflow may mean that a branch is blocked or separated, or that return air
is not sufficient. When low airflow is a problem, consider the following obvious improvements.

Clean or change filter. Add more return grille area and more or larger ducts.

Clean furnace blower.

Clean air-conditioning or heat pump coil. (If the blower is dirty, the coil is probably also dirty.)

Increase blower speed.

Lubricate blower motor, and check tension on drive belt.
6-27 Heating and Cooling
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS

Material Installation Standards Manual
Repair or replace bent, damaged, or restricted registers.
Consider the following improvements in response to customer
complaints, conditions observed during a thorough duct
inspection and measurements such as the temperature rise across
the heat exchanger or high static pressure (higher than
recommended by furnace manufacturer).

Make sure that the fan control is adjusted to the optimum fan
on/off temperatures and functioning so that the furnace fan is
cycling at the desired temperatures.

Remove obstructions to registers and ducts such as rugs,
furniture, and objects placed in ducts, like children’s toys and
water pans for humidification.

Remove kinks from flex duct, shorten longer than necessary
flex duct sections and replace collapsed flex duct and fiber
duct board.

Extend supply and return ducts as needed to provide heated
air throughout the building, especially into additions to the
building.

Add retrofit crossover ducts.

Install registers and grilles where missing. Do not install
return air grilles in crawl spaces.

Seal significant supply and return leaks.
Flex Duct Problems [10]
Duct Improvements to Increase Airflow [3]
Consider the following improvements in response to customer
complaints and conditions you observe during a thorough duct
inspection. Unbalanced airflow through ducts can pressurize or
depressurize rooms, leading to increased air leakage through the
building shell.
Consider the following duct changes to increase system airflow
and reduce the imbalance between supply and return:

Clean dirty filters and modify system to allow easier filter
changing.

Remove obstructions to registers and ducts such as rugs,
furniture, and objects placed inside ducts, like children’s toys
and water pans for humidification.
6-28 Heating and Cooling
 GOOD TO KNOW
HOT, HUMID CLIMATE
When the air handling unit is placed in the
garage in a hot and humid climate, many
negative
consequences
can
occur.
Accelerated rusting in the ferrous heat
exchanger and increased evaporator coil
sweating are both more likely due to the
humid environment and both can shorten
the life expectancy of the heating and
cooling system. Air leakage can introduce
the home to outdoor irritants, automobile
exhaust, and toxic fumes from substances
stored in the garage. Ductwork creates an
unfiltered pathway for hot, moist air, and/or
pollen-laden outside air to enter the
home.[15]
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual

Remove kinks from flex duct, and replace collapsed flex duct and fiberglass duct board.

Inspect the blower for dirt. Clean the blower if necessary.

If the blower is dirty, an air conditioning coil, if present, is probably also dirty.

Install a transfer grille or jump duct between the bedroom and main body of house to improve airflow.

Install registers and grilles where missing. Enlarge the return grille face area to the following ratio:
-
Non-filter grilles provide one gross square foot of grille face area for each 300 CFM of
system airflow assuming 400 CFM/ton.
-
Filter grilles provide one gross sq ft of grille face area for each 200 CFM of system airflow
assuming 400 CFM/ton.
Measuring and Evaluating System Airflow [3]
Cooling efficiency is more dependent on airflow than heating
efficiency. Also, refrigerant charge and airflow are
interdependent and are best checked during the cooling season.
Most refrigerant charging methods will not be accurate if the
airflow across the evaporator coil is off by more than 10%.
The correct airflow for a heat pump or air conditioner is usually
expressed in cubic feet per minute per ton of cooling capacity
(one ton equals 12,000 Btus per hour). When the heat pump or
air conditioner is operating in the cooling mode, the acceptable
airflow rate is 400 CFM ±20% according to most manufacturers.
One EPA-sponsored report noted that 70% of over 400 homes
tested had less than 350 CFM per ton with an average of 327
CFM per ton. Correcting airflow would save an average of 8% of
cooling energy according to the report.
Airflow is often measured both before and after duct sealing
because duct sealing may change the measured airflow. Tighter
ducts may be more restrictive because duct leaks provide pressure relief through additional inlet and outlet areas, which is lost
when they are sealed.
 GOOD TO KNOW
TEXAS CLIMATES



In dry climates, you may increase
performance and efficiency by increasing
airflow to 480 CFM per ton if noise and
comfort allow.
In wet climates, the recommended
airflow per ton may be somewhat less
than 400 CFM per ton to facilitate
dehumidification by keeping the coil
cooler and air moving slower across the
coil.
In humid climates, 320-360 CFM per ton
will enhance humidity removal and
comfort. [3]
Technicians use a number of different airflow measuring
techniques, depending on their equipment, training, and
preferences. The type of air handler and ducts is also a factor when choosing an airflow measuring
method.
6-29 Heating and Cooling
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
The most accurate and reliable methods for measuring system airflow are the duct blower method and the
flow plate method. Measuring return airflow with a flow hood is also an accurate, quick, and reliable
method if the flow hood is properly calibrated and used according to manufacturer’s instructions. There
are also a couple of airflow indicators, which are measurements of static pressure and temperature change
across the indoor coil. These measurements won’t give an accurate measurement of airflow, but they are
used to detect inadequate airflow.
Airflow and Blower Speed [3]
A blower in the air handler can have as many as five speeds. The first step in measuring airflow by any of
the methods described here is to make sure that the blower is operating at one of the higher speeds,
normally reserved for cooling. (Heating typically uses a lower speed.) Sometimes cooling is assigned a
lower blower speed by mistake, so checking which blower speed is paired with cooling is a necessary
preparatory step to airflow testing. If the blower speed isn’t obvious when looking at the air handler
terminal block, clamp an ammeter around the color of wire corresponding to one of the higher speeds to
determine which blower speed is energized while cooling. It is not necessary to operate the compressor
and condenser fan in order to measure airflow.
6-30 Heating and Cooling
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Chapter 7: Baseloads
Table of Contents
Water Heaters ...............................................................................................................................................2
Hot Water Pipe Insulation ..........................................................................................................................2
Water Heating Measures.............................................................................................................................3
Water Heater Insulation ..............................................................................................................................3
Gas- and Propane-Fired Water Heater Insulation .......................................................................................5
Electric Water-Heater Insulation ................................................................................................................5
Shower Heads and Faucet Aerators ............................................................................................................7
Refrigerators .................................................................................................................................................8
Disposal of Old Refrigerators .....................................................................................................................9
Lighting..........................................................................................................................................................9
Choosing the Right CFL .............................................................................................................................9
Clean Up and Disposal of CFLs ...............................................................................................................11
7-1 Baseloads
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Water Heaters
Replacing an existing gas water heater that typically uses 250 or more therms per year with a new gas
water heater that uses as little as 175 therms per year will save 75 therms, which can repay the initial
investment in four to nine years at today’s gas costs.
Any replacement gas water heater should meet new ENERGY STAR® ratings, which as of 2010, have an
[2]
energy ratio (ER) of .67 or higher, and an insulation value of at least R-10. Check the Recovery
Efficiency and Energy Factor of the unit to assure these guidelines.
 STANDARDS
WATER HEATER
Item
Materials
Water Heaters


ER - Energy Ratio
Criteria/Requirements
Replace when the unit
achieves an SIR of 1 or
better in the Audit as an
energy saving measure.
Or use other funding
source



EER - Energy Efficiency Rating
Replace with high efficiency Energy Star rated units
Replace with same size units, except where recommended by
licensed professional
Installation must meet all local codes.
- Must have a T&P valve
- Discharge pipe should:
• be made of rigid metal pipe or approved high temperature
plastic pipe
• terminate 6” above the floor or outside the dwelling
- Insulation must not obstruct draft diverter, pressure relief valve,
thermostats, hi-limit switch, plumbing pipes, or
element/thermostat access plates
- Set temperature to 120°F with clients’ approval
- If an older automatic dishwasher without its own water-heating
booster is present, set to 130°F
- Inspect faucets and repair any hot water leaks
COP - Coefficient of Performance
* All natural gas and/or propane fueled heaters must be checked to assure proper orifices have been installed to prevent cross
fueling.
NOTE: According to “PART 3280” of the Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards, Subpart H - Heating, Cooling and
Fuel Burning Systems.
Hot Water Pipe Insulation [3]
 STANDARDS
PIPE INSULATION
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Acceptable Materials
All types








Coverage
7-2 Baseloads
Allowable materials

Minimum life expectancy of 10 years
Must be capable of continuous operation at 180o F
Must have a flame spread rating of 150 or less and a smoke density
of 50 or less
Conforms to 10 CFR 440 Appendix A
Minimum thickness of 3/4”
Heat tape or strap insulation not allowed
Must fit pipe diameter
Insulate both inlet and outlet water heater pipes under continuous
water pressure
Insulate the first 6’ of both hot and cold water pipes
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements




Installation
Material Installation Standards Manual
Cover elbows, unions and other fittings to same thickness as pipe
Elbows should be 45o mitered to form fit all performed insulation
Keep pipe insulation at least 6” away from flue pipe
Interior diameter of pipe insulation sleeve should match exterior
diameter of pipe
All materials

Insulation must be firmly secured (but not compressed) using tape,
plastic ties or metal sleeves
Tape

Must have flame spread rating of 25 or less
Duct tape is not allowed

Ties


Sleeves



Slits


Must be installed so as not to slip and not to compress insulation
Place 1” from the ends and at all joints; other ties should be spaced
closely enough to secure the insulation
Only metal
Use only where insulation requires protection
Must not compress insulation
On vertical pipes, slits may be taped and joints (where two sections
of insulation meet) may be taped or strapped
On horizontal pipes, slits must face down and must not be taped (to
allow condensation to discharge)
Water Heating Measures [2]
General Specifications for Water Heaters

 NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
Confirm that the water heater has a pressure and temperature
(p/t) relief valve and a safety discharge pipe.
WATER HEATER PIPE INSULATION
Do Not:
 Insulate leaking pipes
 Insulate gas pipes
 Cover:
 pressure and temperature (p/t)
relief valves
 valve handles
 control and safety devices
 p/t drain lines

Discharge pipe should terminate 6” above the floor or outside
the dwelling as specified by local codes.

If a water heater is located in an area where a person could be
exposed to a released p/t relief valve, a discharge pipe must be
installed.

Adjust water temperature with clients’ approval to 115°-120°F.

If the home has an older automatic dishwasher without its own water-heating booster, set the
thermostat to 140°F.

Shut off power to electric water heaters before opening the access panels.

Inspect faucets for hot water leaks and repair leaks if needed.

Follow local code for your area.
Water Heater Insulation
 STANDARDS
7-3 Baseloads
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
WATER HEATER: Location
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
All water heaters
N/A



Must be in protected area (not exposed to weather)
Must have minimum 3” clearance on sides and back, and 6” from
front
Insulate even, if located in conditioned area
ASHRAE STANDARDS
This unit meets or exceeds minimum ASHRAE Standards 90-75 (or 90-80).
Do not install additional insulation on this unit
Water heaters bearing this tag or a similar tag, shall not receive additional insulation. If no tag is present, insulate.
 STANDARDS
WATER HEATER: Allowable Materials
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Allowable Materials
Blankets

Conform to 10 CFR 440 Appendix A
High temperature blankets

Conform to 10 CFR 440 Appendix A
Fiber blankets

Must be mineral fiber only
All blankets

Minimum R-10
Maximum 25 flame spread rating

Tape



7-4 Baseloads
Duct tape not allowed
Maximum 25 flame spread rating
Tape only is not acceptable, must also use straps or retainers
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
 STANDARDS
WATER HEATER: Insulation Pre-Installation
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Items to check prior to
installing insulation
All water heaters




Gas (or propane/butane)




Electric

Water heater is in working order
If an operable relief valve exists with no drain line, you may install a
drain line following local codes
Is water heater protected from the weather? If not, you may build a
protective enclosure (this is repair material)
Does an operable pressure relief valve exist? If a pressure relief is
plugged or does not exist, you must unplug the valve or install a relief
valve before you insulate the water heater (Install by local). Note:
This action is required only if the water heater is addressed. If you
are not going to install a pressure relief valve, you must advise the
client of the possible dangers of the situation and suggest they have
it corrected
If no vent pipe exists, or if the vent pipe is incorrectly installed, correct
the problem before insulating the water heater
When installing a vent pipe, it must be double walled and vented to
the outside atmosphere. Note: A 3” clearance between the vent pipe
and the blanket or tape must be maintained.
If there is no burner access door, appliance valve, or inadequate
combustion air, correct the problem before installing insulation
If there is incomplete combustion, as indicated by smoke or soot on
the outside of the heater, correct the problem before installing
insulation
If hazardous wiring exists, you must correct the problem before
insulating the unit
 NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
Gas- and Propane-Fired Water Heater Insulation [3]
WATER HEATER INSULATION
Keep insulation at least 2” away from the burner or gas valve.
The insulation needs to be a cut away at least 3” from burner
access door, gas valve, and drain. Do not insulate the tops of gasor propane-fired water heaters.
Electric Water Heater Insulation [3]

Generally speaking, if the water heater was manufactured
after 2004, it does not need additional insulation. The
required insulation for these units was also increased in 2012.
Do Not Insulate:

When water heater label gives specific
instructions not to insulate;

The water heater is already insulated to
R-10;

Water heater is leaking;

Has less than 3” clearance on sides and
back and 6” on front; and/or

Unprotected units.

Set both upper and lower thermostat to keep water at 120°F before insulating water heater.

Insulation may cover the top of the water heater if the insulation will not obstruct the pressure relief
valve.

Access plates should be marked on the insulation facing to locate heating elements and their
thermostats.
7-5 Baseloads
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Diagram 7.1 Water Heater Tank Insulation
 STANDARDS
WATER HEATER: Insulation
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Insulation Installation
Requirements
All water heater blankets






Gas water heaters




Electric water heaters
7-6 Baseloads

Must install 3 retainers (straps, not tape) as follows:
- One retainer within 3” of the top;
- One retainer in the middle; and
- One retainer as close to the bottom as is feasible without covering
the panels.
If gas, the top and side seams must be sealed with tape
All retainers must be installed so as to prevent blanket from slipping,
but not so tight as to compress the insulation
Safety instructions must not be covered. Before installing the blanket,
mark the blanket where the safety instructions will be located. After
the blanket is properly installed, cut around the safety instructions
and then tape the loose insulation edges to the water heater
Water heaters should be re-insulated to at least R-10 with an external
insulation blanket
Do not cover:
- Drain valves (retain 1” clearance)
- End of drain line from pressure relief valve
- Access plates
Do not cover:
- Access doors, vents, thermostat and controls
- Appliance valve
Blanket must be at least 3” from access doors and vents
Do not insulate top of water heater
Do not over tighten the middle strap as it will reduce blanket R-value
Do not:
- Cover the upper or lower thermostats
- Over-tightening middle strap will reduce the R-value of the blanket.
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
 STANDARDS
WATER HEATER: Ventilation
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Gas Water Heater
Ventilation
Gas water heaters


Vent Pipes
Gas water heaters located in conditioned spaces opening into a
sleeping area must have outside combustion air. Local codes must
be followed in meeting this requirement
Units located inside a conditioned space with outside combustion air
shall be treated as if located in an unconditioned space. The water
heater closet door shall be weatherstripped. If no door is present,
install a hollow core door and weatherstrip.
Electric and gas
water heaters

Pressure relief (pop off) valves must be operable and must be vented
to the outside where feasible
Gas water heaters

Must be vented to outside using double wall pipe
Vents must extend at least 2’ above the highest point where they
pass through the roof and at least 2’ higher than any portion of the
building within 10’ unless a vent cap is attached to and terminates the
vent above the roof
Vents are to be constructed so that no horizontal or negative runs or
90o angles are present
Gas water heaters located in conditioned areas must have a metal
collar installed and attached to the ceiling and sealed with silicone



Adjust water temperature between 115°F and 120°F with clients’ approval, unless the client has an older
automatic dishwasher without its own water heating booster. In this case the maximum setting is 130°F.
 STANDARDS
WATER HEATER: Temperature Setting
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Setting Water Heater
Temperature
All units (gas & electric)




Use manufacturer recommended settings
Recommend that the client set the thermostat to low or medium
Advise clients of energy savings from setting the thermostat to low or
medium
Educate clients on hazards of high temperature setting
Shower Heads and Faucet Aerators [34]
Fix Leaks
You can significantly reduce hot water use by simply repairing leaks in fixtures - faucets and showerheads
- or pipes. A leak of one drip per second can cost $1 per month.
Install Low-Flow Fixtures
Federal regulations mandate that new showerhead flow rates can not exceed more than 2.5 gallons per
minute (gpm) at a water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch (psi). New faucet flow rates can not exceed
2.5 gpm at 80 psi or 2.2 gpm at 60 psi. Quality, low-flow fixtures are available for around $10 to $20 each
and achieve water savings of 25%–60%.[4] Shower heads are now available with rates of 1.5 gpm or
lower.
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Showerheads
Most families use more hot water in the shower than for any
other use. A low flow shower head reduces this consumption. [2]
For maximum water efficiency, select a shower head with a flow
rate of less than 2.5 gpm. There are two basic types of low flow
showerheads: aerating and laminar flow. Aerating showerheads
mix air with water, forming a misty spray. Laminar flow
showerheads form individual streams of water. For a humid
climate, you might want to use a laminar flow showerhead
because it won't create as much steam and moisture as an
aerating version.
 NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
SHOWER HEAD
Do Not Install:

When shower arm is not accessible

When shower arm and head are one
piece

When shower arm is damaged and
shower head cannot be removed

Client refusal due to higher quality
existing shower head
Faucets
Aerators are inexpensive to replace and they can be one of the most cost effective water conservation
measures. For maximum water efficiency, purchase aerators that have flow rates of no more than 1.0 gpm.
Some aerators even come with shut-off valves that allow you to stop the flow of water without affecting
the temperature.
Use caution in removing the existing shower head from old, fragile plumbing systems. Do not attempt to
remove the neck that connects the shower head to the fitting inside the wall. Instead, replace just the
showerhead itself. [2]
Refrigerators
Over the past decade, many
refrigerator
manufacturers
have
improved the energy efficiency of
their products by a factor of three or
more. Refrigerators manufactured
after 1993 present lower peak loads to
the grid and have much higher power
factors than those manufactured in
previous
decades.
Accordingly,
replacing energy wasteful refrigerators
with new units can be very costeffective, even when the older,
wasteful units are still functional.
7-8 Baseloads
Refrigerator Settings


Adjust refrigerator and freezer dials to achieve
the temperature range shown.
Turn the Energy Saver switch to the “On”
position if not needed, and explain its operation
to the occupants.
- When the Energy Saver switch is in the “On”
position, it saves energy by switching off the
door heaters that reduce condensation in
humid weather. These heaters are not
needed in dry climates.
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
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Refrigerator replacement programs save electric energy, lower peak demands, improve power quality, and
help the environment. They also serve lower income customers in a most visible and welcome way. [14]
The quickest way to reduce the consumption of many refrigerators and freezers is to adjust the set-points.
The refrigerator temperature should be 36-40°F and the freezer should be 0–5°F for optimal energy
efficiency. Try the higher end of these temperature ranges to see if these settings are acceptable to the
client. If they aren’t, instruct the customer to reduce the temperature setting gradually until it is at an
acceptable level. [2]
Verify that the new refrigerator will fit in the existing location. Many older homes have undergone
multiple renovations over the years that have changed the size of the doors and pathways needed for the
removal and installation of refrigerators. Before the replacement refrigerator arrives, measure door
openings and pathways to assure the old refrigerator can be removed from the premises and the new
refrigerator can be brought into the home.
Disposal of Old Refrigerators
Refrigerators that are replaced should be taken to a facility licensed to reclaim their refrigerant. No
refrigerator that is taken out of service should be returned to service by sale, barter, or for free. [2]
 GOOD TO KNOW
Lighting
Most homes have six to 12 lamps that burn for more than two
hours per day. These should be considered for retrofit by more
efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). This easy retrofit
has as good an economic return as any weatherization measure.
Explain the benefits to the client, and encourage them to
purchase additional CFLs if possible. Point out that the long life
of these lamps makes them economical, despite their higher
initial cost. [2]
Clients are often hesitant to replace their existing incandescent
bulbs with CFLs because they envision them as not providing
enough light. Today’s CFL products come in various shapes,
sizes, and colors.
Choosing the Right CFL
The work order will advise the wattage necessary. Choose
ENERGY STAR® qualified bulbs. They will last longer.
7-9 Baseloads
COMPACT FLOURESCENT LAMPS
(CFLs)
An ENERGY STAR® qualified light bulb:

Can save more than $40 in electricity
costs over its lifetime;

Uses about 75% less energy than
standard incandescent bulbs and lasts
at least six times longer; and

Produces about 75% less heat, so it's
safer to operate and can cut energy
costs associated with home cooling. [7]
If every American home replaced just one
light bulb with a light bulb that has earned
the ENERGY STAR®, we would save
enough energy to:

Light 3 million homes for a year,

Save about $600 million in annual
energy costs, and

Prevent 9 billion pounds of greenhouse
gas emissions per year, equivalent to
those from about 800,000 cars.[35]
June 2012
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CFLs may be used to replace most household lamps. However, there are a few special conditions to know:
 Dimmers need a special dimmable CFL.
 Three-way socket require a special three-way CFL.
 Electronic control - be sure to check with the manufacturer of the photocell, motion sensor, or timer.
 STANDARDS
FLUORESCENT LAMPS AND FIXTURES
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Acceptable Materials
Compact fluorescent
lamps



Fluorescent lighting
fixtures

Conforms to 10 CFR 440, Appendix A
Install in all fixtures used for 4 or more hours per day.
Choose products that have a reputation for reliability, with the highest
lumens per Watt, and with the longest life expectancy.
Conforms to 10 CFR 440, Appendix A
Table 7.1 How to Choose the Right ENERGY STAR® Qualified Bulbs [36]
Table/Floor
Lamp
Spiral

Covered
A-shaped

Globe
Tube
Pendant
Fixtures
Ceiling
Fixtures
Ceiling
Fans
Wall
Sconces




Recessed
Cans
Track
Lighting
Outdoor
Covered
Outdoor
Flood






Candle

Indoor
Reflector

Outdoor
Reflector







Color also plays a role in lighting. Today, many bulbs are categorized by warm or cool color. The color
temperature is measured by the Kelvin scale. Cooler colors provide better light for reading and working.
The Color Rendering Index (CRI) compares a light source to that of natural sunlight. This index ranges
from 0 to 100, with 100 being that of sunlight. Most compact fluorescent bulbs have a CRI of 65-88.
The best light is from a cool bulb with a high CRI.
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Table 7.2 What Color Would Work Best for Your Use [36]
With CFLs you have options for your white light. Light color is measured on the Kelvin (K) scale. As you see below, lower numbers
mean the light appears yellowish and high numbers mean the light is whiter or bluer.
Warm White, Soft White
Cool White, Bright White
Natural or Daylight
Standard color of incandescent bulbs.
Good for kitchens and work spaces
Good for reading
2700K
3000K
3500K
4100K
Clean Up and Disposal of CFLs [37]
5000K
6500K
Parts of a CFL
If you break a CFL when working, use proper disposal procedures to
reduce exposure to mercury vapor from a broken bulb.
1. Before cleanup
a. Have people and pets leave the room.
b. Air out the room for 5-10 minutes by opening a window or
door to the outdoor environment.
c. Shut off the central forced air heating/air conditioning
(H&AC) system, if there is one.
d. Collect materials needed to clean up broken bulb.
2. During cleanup
a. Be thorough in collecting broken glass and visible powder.
b. Place cleanup materials in a sealable container.
3. After cleanup
a. Promptly place all bulb debris and cleanup materials outdoors in a trash container or protected
area until materials can be disposed of properly. Avoid leaving any bulb fragments or cleanup
materials indoors.
b. For several hours, continue to air out the room where the bulb was broken, and leave the
H&AC system off.
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Chapter 8: Health & Safety
Table of Contents
Carbon Monoxide (CO) ...............................................................................................................................2
Sources of Carbon Monoxide .....................................................................................................................2
Spotting Carbon Monoxide.........................................................................................................................3
Carbon Monoxide Alarm Placement ..........................................................................................................5
Smoke Alarms ...............................................................................................................................................5
Smoke Alarm Placement ............................................................................................................................6
Excess Moisture ............................................................................................................................................6
Solutions to Moisture Problems ..................................................................................................................7
Electrical Safety ............................................................................................................................................8
Worker Electrical Safety.............................................................................................................................9
Lead..............................................................................................................................................................10
Lead Paint .................................................................................................................................................10
Sources of Lead ........................................................................................................................................10
Lead Hazards ............................................................................................................................................11
Health Effects ...........................................................................................................................................11
Lead Protection ...........................................................................................................................................11
Asbestos .......................................................................................................................................................12
Sources of Asbestos ..................................................................................................................................13
Health Effects ...........................................................................................................................................13
Radon ...........................................................................................................................................................14
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) ......................................................................................................15
Sources of VOCs ......................................................................................................................................16
Health Effects ...........................................................................................................................................16
Steps to Reduce VOCs..............................................................................................................................16
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Carbon Monoxide (CO) [2]
Carbon monoxide (CO) is released by combustion appliances, automobiles, and cigarettes as a product of
incomplete combustion. CO is the largest cause of injury and death in the United States from gas
poisoning, resulting in more than 500 deaths per year. Many more people are injured by high
concentrations of the gas, or temporarily sickened by lower concentrations of five to 50 parts per million
(ppm).
The symptoms of low level CO exposure are similar to the flu, and may go unnoticed. CO blocks the
oxygen carrying capacity of the blood’s hemoglobin, which carries vital oxygen to the tissues. At low
concentrations (five to 50 ppm), CO reduces nerve reaction time and causes mild drowsiness, nausea, and
headaches. Higher concentrations (50 to 3,000 ppm) lead to severe headaches, vomiting, and even death if
the high concentration persists. The effects of CO poisoning are usually reversible, except for exposure to
very high levels, which can cause brain damage.
Sources of Carbon Monoxide [2, 21]
CO is a common problem in low income housing, affecting 20% or more of residential buildings in some
regions. Offending appliances include: poorly performing unvented gas space heaters, kerosene space
heaters, back drafting vented space heaters, gas ranges, leaky wood stoves, and automobiles idling in
attached garages or near the home.
CO is usually caused by one of the following:

Overfiring is caused when too much heat is generated within the fire chamber, which will lead to
warping, buckling, and general damage to the stove and its internal components. High heating
efficiencies on closed appliances can only be attained by controlling the supply of air to the fire
chamber (operating the air control correctly). It is not recommended to leave the air control fully open,
except when helping the chimney/flue heat up initially. A fully open air control will lead to more heat
being sent straight up the chimney rather than into the room, which reduces efficiency. The biggest
problem with leaving the air control fully open is “overfiring”.

Backdrafting occurs when a naturally vented appliance loses the chimney effect, which carries
dangerous combustion by-products up the flue. Backdrafting can occur with furnaces, fireplaces,
woodstoves, and water heaters when air pressure in the house is lower than outside air pressure.
Backdrafting may occur when wind speed is too low to create the Venturi effect at the top of the
chimney. Running a furnace, clothes dryer, bathroom exhaust fans, or a kitchen exhaust fan can cause
negative indoor air pressure that leads to backdrafting, as they move air out of the house, which must
be replaced from the outside. If the doors and windows are all closed and very tight, the replacement
air may come down a chimney and can cause backdrafting of combustion appliances.
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS

Flame interference occurs when moving air or an object
blocks combustion, such as a pan over a gas burner on a
range top.

Inadequate combustion air occurs whenever there is a lack
of fresh air supply that provides the oxygen for the
combustion process.

Misalignment of the burner
Look for an even blue flame. [22]
Spotting Carbon Monoxide [38]
Examination of combustion appliances prior to the installation of
blower door driven weatherization is essential. Reducing the
amount of natural air change in a home by sealing sources of
infiltration and exfiltration can jeopardize the health of the
occupants, especially if the home contains a combustion
appliance which is not operating safely. Consider, for example, a
malfunctioning appliance which is introducing an unsafe level of
CO into the conditioned space. This type of hazard must be
identified and corrected prior to reducing the amount of natural
Combustion equipment
ventilation in the home by the installation of infiltration
reduction measures. Infiltration reduction measures encompass all duct and shell sealing activities,
including window and door replacements, cooler and air conditioner covers, and caulking and
weatherstripping.
Because it is vital to protect indoor air quality, safety inspections must be performed on all combustion
appliances present within the home and in adjacent locations. The goal is to identify and eliminate any
hazardous conditions. The combustion appliance safety inspections are geared to detect such hazards as:

A cracked heat exchanger or other combustion
chamber defect

Improper, disconnected, or otherwise faulty
flue and vent systems

Backdrafting and spillage of combustion
products

Inadequate combustion air

Inadequate draft

Excessive CO

Rollout and other burner-related abnormalities

Gas leaks
Problems associated with combustion appliances must be corrected before infiltration reduction measures
may be installed. With supervisor approval, the weatherization crew may be able to make routine minor
repairs. However, more serious defects and most operational adjustments require a qualified technician or
licensed contractor to perform the modifications necessary to make the system both safe and efficient.
The important first step in the weatherization sequence is to check the appliances for evidence of safety
hazards.
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Material Installation Standards Manual
 STANDARDS
CARBON MONOXIDE
Item
CO Action Level
Criteria/Requirements
Ambient Air
35 parts per million
If greater than 35ppm CO
is detected,
weatherization measures
shall not be installed
until the CO problem has
been corrected

Cook Stove Top Burners
25ppm/burner or greater

Cook Stove Ovens
150ppm or greater

Fuel-Fired Furnace
100ppm or greater

Fuel-Fired Water Heater
100ppm or greater






Unvented Space Heaters
25ppm or greater





Flue
100ppm or greater

Test at initial assessment
Test at final inspection
If above maximum level, test all combustion appliances to determine
cause
If cause cannot be determined, calibrate equipment and re-test
If still indeterminable, refer to local gas company
Test all vented combustion appliances at initial assessment and final
inspection
If above maximum levels of CO:
- must abate by clean and tune
- If leverage funds cannot be utilized, WALK AWAY**
Test all vented combustion appliances at initial assessment and final
inspection
If above maximum levels of CO, must abate by:
- clean and tune
- replacement
Contact trained personnel or licensed HVAC contractor
- If abatement cannot be accomplished due to fund limitations,
refer/leverage/or WALK AWAY**
Primary unvented space heaters must be removed and replaced with
a vented fuel furnace.
Secondary unvented space heaters must have operating oxygen
depletion sensor system and meet the following guidelines:
- Where approved by the authority having jurisdiction, one listed
wall-mounted space heater in a bathroom:
• Has an input rating that does not exceed 6,000 Btu/hour;
• Is equipped with an oxygen-depletion sensing safety shutoff system; and
• The bathroom meets required volume criteria to provide
adequate combustion air.
Where approved by the authority having jurisdiction, one listed wallmounted space heater in a bedroom:
- Has an input rating that does not exceed 10,000 Btu/hour;
- Is equipped with an oxygen depletion sensing safety shut-off
system; and
- The bedroom meets required volume criteria to provide
adequate combustion air.
Shall require the enforcement of minimum ventilation guidelines as
determined by the greater of:
- 15 cubic feet per minute (CFM) per person,
- 15 CFM per bedroom plus one [(# of bedrooms + 1) x 15 CFM],
or
- .35 air changes per hour.
The above minimum ventilation guidelines are natural ventilation
rates, not with the house depressurized to -50 Pascal with a blower
door.
Test all vented combustion appliances at initial assessment and final
inspection
* When the CO measurement on any appliance exceeds the prescribed safe level, weatherization measures shall not be installed
until the appliance has been serviced by a qualified technician and declared safe. Weatherization may proceed if CO does not
exceed the prescribed level.
** It is not the intent of this policy to walk away from a unit just because a high level of carbon monoxide exists. Every effort should be
made to abate the existing problem. Should funds be limited, subgrantees should refer the client to another entity that can help, or
attempt to find leverage funds to cover cost. All abatement procedures should be performed by trained personnel or licensed HVAC
contractors. Clients should always be informed of the existence of high levels of CO and advised to take precautions until abatement
can be performed. In case of a WALK AWAY, a client MUST BE INFORMED IN WRITING.
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Material Installation Standards Manual
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Note: Carbon Monoxide testing is to be performed with a combustion analyzer or a Department approved sensing device. CO
detectors are not suitable testing devices and are not to be used. Sensing device must have a range from 0-2,000 ppm; accuracy +
5% of readout; readout resolution = 1 ppm adjustable to 0; pump draw up to 3/4” of water; and an attachable probe for flue test to be
considered for approval.
 STANDARDS
CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Carbon Monoxide Detector
CO Detectors
Per R315.2 and R315.3 (IRC)
 Existing dwellings that have attached garages or dwellings, within
which fuel-fired appliances exist, CO alarms shall be provided.
- Detectors should always be installed when un-vented space
heaters are in use
 Detectors must meet Standard UL 2034 and shall be installed in
accordance with the above and the manufacturer’s installation
instructions.
Where to install



A CO alarm should also be installed when combustion appliances are
in use.
CO alarms should be installed in all homes with unvented space
heaters and in all homes where backdrafting could occur in a furnace,
space heater, wood stove, fireplace, or water heater.
Always install CO alarms according to the manufacturer’s
instructions.
Carbon Monoxide Alarm Placement [2]
A carbon monoxide alarm should be installed near any
combustion appliance. Customers should be educated about the
purpose and features of the alarms and what to do if an alarm
sounds an alert.
CO Alarm Installation Specifications


CO alarms should be installed in all homes with unvented
space heaters and in all homes where backdrafting could
occur in a furnace, space heater, wood stove, fireplace, or
water heater.
Always install CO alarms according to the manufacturer’s
instructions.

NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
CO Detectors
Do Not Install:

In a room that may get too hot or cold for
alarm to function properly;

Within 5’ of a combustion appliance,
vent, or chimney;

Within 5’ of a storage area for vaporproducing chemicals;

Within 12” of exterior doors and
windows;

Within a furnace closet or room;

With an electrical connection to a
switched circuit; and/or

With a connection to a ground-fault
interrupter circuit (GFCI).
Smoke Alarms
A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in a home that can alert
occupants to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whether awake or asleep, a working
smoke alarm is constantly on alert, scanning the air for fire and smoke.
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
According to the National Fire Protection Association
(NFPA), almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted
from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. A
working smoke alarm significantly increases chances of
surviving a deadly home fire. [42]


In a home that already has a functioning
smoke alarm;
Smoke Alarm Placement [2]

Within 12” of exterior doors and
windows;

With an electrical connection to a
switched circuit; and/or

With a connection to a ground-fault
interrupter circuit (GFCI).
All homes should have at least one smoke alarm on each level,
including one near the combustion zone and at least one near the
bedrooms. Customers should be educated about the purpose and
features of the alarms and what to do if an alarm sounds an alert.
NONFEASIBLE CRITERIA
Smoke Alarms
Do Not Install:
 STANDARDS
SMOKE ALARM
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Smoke Alarm
Smoke Alarm
Per R314.1 (IRC):
 All smoke alarms shall be listed in accordance with UL 217 and
installed in accordance with the provisions of this code and the
household fire warning equipment provisions of NFPA 72.
Per R314.4 (IRC) Power Source:
 EXCEPTIONS: Smoke alarms shall be permitted to be battery
operated when installed in buildings without commercial power.
Where to Install
Smoke Alarm




Ceiling-mounted smoke alarms must be mounted at least 6” from any
wall.
Wall-mounted smoke alarms must be installed at least 6” but less
than 18” from the ceilings.
All homes should have at least one smoke alarm on each level,
including one near the combustion zone and at least one near the
bedrooms.
They should always be installed according to applicable local codes
or ordinances.
Excess Moisture [2]
Moisture causes billions of dollars worth of property damage and high energy bills each year in American
homes. Water damages building materials by dissolving glues and mortar, corroding metal, and nurturing
pests like mildew, mold, and dust mites. These pests, in turn, cause many cases of respiratory distress.
Water reduces the thermal resistance of insulation and other building materials. High humidity also
increases air conditioning costs because the air conditioner must remove the moisture from the air to
improve comfort.
The most common sources of moisture are leaky roofs and damp foundations. Other critical moisture
ranges or decorative fireplaces. Climate is also a major contributor to moisture problems. The more rain,
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
extreme temperatures, and humid weather a region has, the more its homes are vulnerable to moisture
problems.
For solving moisture problems, find the source and fix it. Next, install air and vapor barriers to prevent
water vapor from migrating through building cavities. Relatively airtight homes may need technical
ventilation to remove accumulating water vapor.
 STANDARDS
EXCESS MOISTURE
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Walls (interior)
Moisture creating
substances

Standing water

Crawl Space





Attic
Wet insulation (wet
framing, spots on ceiling,
etc.)


Check unit for tightness. “Loosen” unit to upper range of DAE
Check unit for “cold walls”. Bypass air in wall cavity will cause
moisture buildup. Remedy by insulating cold wall
Check for standing water under unit or outside sweating wall
Check for leaking plumbing or poor drainage
Repair plumbing/Refer (always take care of the moisture source
before making repairs)
Provide ventilation
Dam up skirting to prevent water running under unit
Check roof for leaks
Provide adequate venting
Solutions to Moisture Problems
Water moves easily as a liquid or vapor from the ground through porous building materials like concrete
and wood. A high groundwater table can channel moisture into a home faster than anything short of a big
roof leak. The most common moisture source is water vapor rising through the soil or liquid water moving
up through the soil by capillary action. To prevent this, all crawl spaces should have ground moisture
barriers.
A ground moisture barrier is simply a piece of heavy plastic sheeting laid on the ground. Black or clear
heavy plastic film works well, but tough cross linked polyethylene is more durable. The edges should be
sealed to the foundation walls with urethane adhesive and/or mechanical fasteners. The seams should be
sealed as well. Plastic vapor barriers should not come in contact with wood members, to avoid moisture
accumulation and wood decay.
Avoid excessive watering around the home’s perimeter. Watering lawns and plants close to the house can
dampen its foundation. In wet climates, keep shrubbery away from the foundation, to allow wind
circulation near the foundation.
Preventing moisture problems is the best way to guarantee a building’s durability and its occupant’s
respiratory health. Besides the all important source reduction strategies listed above, consider the
following additional moisture solutions.
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual

Install or improve air barriers and vapor barriers to prevent air leakage and vapor diffusion from
transporting moisture into building cavities.

Add insulation to the walls, floor, and ceiling of a home to keep the indoor surfaces warmer and less
prone to condensation. During cold weather, well insulated homes can tolerate higher humidity
without condensation than can damage poorly insulated homes.

Ventilate the home with drier outdoor air to dilute the more humid indoor air. However, passive
ventilation is only effective when the outdoor air is drier than the inside air.
Electrical Safety [22]
Electrical safety is a basic housing need affecting home weatherization and repair. All electrical work must
be performed by qualified personnel. Clues of electrical issues may include:

Tripped circuit breakers or blown fuses;

Warm tools, wires or cords;

Wire connections not in junction boxes;

Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) that shuts off a circuit; and/or

Worn or frayed insulation around wire or connection.
 STANDARDS
ELECTRICAL
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Electrical Wiring

Visually inspect fuse box/breaker panel, junction boxes, switches, outlets,
fixtures, and appliances.
Electrical Systems

All home electrical systems should be grounded, either to a grounding rod
or to a water pipe that has an uninterrupted electrical connection to the
ground.
Breakers

#14 copper or #12 aluminum wiring should be protected by a fuse or
breaker rated for no more than 15 amps.
#12 copper or #10 aluminum should be protected by a fuse or breaker
rated at no more than 20 amps.

Wiring splices

Wiring splices should be enclosed in metal or plastic electrical boxes,
fitted with cover plates.
Fuses
S-type

S-type fuses should be installed where appropriate to prevent occupants
from installing oversized fuses.
Plates
All types

Cracked or missing plates must be replaced
Holes or gaps around electrical boxes must be sealed
It is best to seal electrical penetrations at the top or bottom plates of the
house; if that is not possible, then fire resistant, cut to fit gaskets may be
installed.
Oversized plates with a gasket may be used if necessary to achieve seal.



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Worker Electrical Safety [22]
On average, one worker is electrocuted every day. Be aware of
your surroundings, use safe work practices, and maintain safe
equipment. Serious injuries may occur when touching electrical
wiring or equipment that is improperly used or not maintained.
Electric shock can also cause secondary injuries, such as falling
from elevated locations when experiencing a shock. Inadequate
wiring can cause a hazard when a conductor is too small to safely
carry the current of the tool.
Electrical burn. [22]
Safe Work Practices

Keep work areas clear

Replace tools or extension cords that have frayed wiring or a
missing grounding prong
- Do not strain electrical cords or plugs, which may
cause fraying or damage.
- Always remove a plug from the outlet - do not pull it
from a distance
Buy quality GFCI’s. [22]

Use a GFCI for all tools

Assure safety guards are on and working properly on equipment

Use the right personal protection equipment (PPE) and clothing when operating machinery. Loose
clothing may get caught and cause serious injuries.

Use bulb protection for work lights

Use good judgment when working near power lines.

When performing electrical work use “Lockout/Tagout” procedures for that circuit

Designate a competent person to conduct periodic inspections of tools and equipment

Know ladder and scaffold set up and safety

Use fall protection when working 6’ or more above ground:
- Personal fall arrest system (PFAS)
- Guardrails
- Lanyards
- Safety net
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Lead
Lead Paint
[22, 39]
Technicians may either assume the presence of lead paint or
test to detect lead paint. Lead paint was commonly used in
homes built before it was outlawed in 1978. Weatherization
activities that could disturb lead paint and create lead dust
include the following:

Glazing, weatherstripping, or replacing windows

Weatherstripping, repairing, or replacing doors

Drilling holes in the interior of the home for installing
insulation

Removing trim or cutting through walls or ceilings to seal
air leaks, install ducts, replace windows, etc.

Removing siding for installing insulation.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Renovate,
Repair, Painting Program Rule (RRP rule):
[22]
“EPA regulations now mandate that any contractor or maintenance staff, from plumbers to electricians
to painters, who disturbs more than 6 sq ft of lead paint, replaces windows or does any demolition
while working in a pre-1978 home, school or day-care center, must now be Lead-Safe Certified and
trained in lead-safe work practices. If not, you could face tens of thousands of dollars in fines. These
regulations are now the standard of care for the industry and complying with them will reduce your
chance of being involved in potentially expensive lawsuits.”
Lead-safe weatherization, as specified by the RRP, is required when workers will disturb painted
surfaces by cutting, scraping, drilling, or perform other dust-creating activities. There are only two
exceptions to performing the RRP procedures:
1. The home is tested and found to contain no lead-based paint in the disturbed areas.
2. The weatherization job involves no disturbance of paint.
Sources of Lead
Lead has many properties which have made it useful to man throughout time, including but not limited to:
 Ammunition
 Ceramics
 Gasoline Additives
 Pewter
 Batteries
 Folk Remedies
 Paint
 Plumbing
 Cable Coverings
 Food/Beverage Containers
 Pesticides
 Solder
 Caulking
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Other uses include pottery used for food, house wares (plastics, wiring, etc.), home remedies food,
imported candy, water, toys, soil, jewelry, decorative goods, and hobbies.
Lead Hazards
Normal wear and tear on a home can produce lead dust, which is the most common source of lead
poisoning. Deteriorating paint may produce dust and flakes. In weatherization activities lead-based house
paint is a major safety concern. Disturbing intact lead-based paint during remodeling, renovation, and
maintenance can create a lead hazard. Always use lead safe work practices when lead is suspect or a home
has tested positive.
Health Effects [22, 39]
Lead can be very toxic. Unlike some other metals which serve some purpose in the body, lead has no
beneficial use. While the body can tolerate a certain amount of lead, just about every major body organ can
be damaged if too much lead enters the body. Lead enters the body through inhalation of lead dust or
ingestion of dust, soil or paint chips. It is especially hazardous to children. Children exposed to lead may
have loss of intelligence, behavioral difficulties, and problems in school. Lead poisoning symptoms often
imitate other common problems, such as headache, poor appetite, dizziness, insomnia, reproductive
difficulties, hyperactivity, numbness, weakness, or nausea.

Acute: Short term, high-level exposure affects the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal
system.

Chronic: Long term, low-level exposures affect bone marrow, blood, peripheral nervous systems,
kidneys, and the reproductive system.
Lead Protection
[22, 40]
Protecting the Customer
When engaging in activities that generate lead dust, take the following precautions.

Confine your work area within the home to the smallest possible floor area. Seal this area off carefully
with floor-to-ceiling barriers made of disposable plastic sheeting, sealed at floor and ceiling with tape.
Cover furniture and flooring in the work area with disposable plastic sheeting.

Post signs warning people not to enter the work area.

Spray water on the painted surfaces to keep dust out of the air during drilling, cutting, or scraping
painted surfaces.
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
Use a dust-containment system with a high-efficiency particulate air
(HEPA) vacuum when drilling holes indoors.

Clean up as you work. Vacuum affected areas with a HEPA vacuum
and wet mop these surfaces daily. Don’t use the customer’s cleaning
tools or leave the customer with lead dust to clean up.

Cleaning must be verified by a Certified Lead Renovator (CLR) using
a white disposable wipe compared to a card provided by the EPA.
Protecting Yourself

Wear a tight fitting respirator to protect yourself from breathing dust
or other pollutants.

Avoid taking lead dust home on clothing, shoes, or tools. Wear
coveralls, gloves, and boot covers while in the work area, and remove
them to avoid tracking dirt from the work area to other parts of the
house.

Wash face and hands frequently and wash thoroughly before eating,
drinking, smoking, and leaving for the day.
Material Installation Standards Manual
Eye protection
Hand protection
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Disposable coveralls

Disposable non-latex gloves

Disposable foot covers

Eye protection

Hearing protection

Leather or canvas work gloves

N-100 respirators

Disposable waste bags

Duct tape

Hand washing facilities and hand soap
Foot protection [22]
Ear protection- canal caps
Asbestos [22, 38]
Asbestos is classified as a known carcinogen. Workers who encounter asbestos in the workplace must be
trained to recognize and avoid it.
Asbestos fibers do not evaporate into air or dissolve in water. They have no odor or smell and do not
migrate through soil. Asbestos absorbs sound and resists heat, electricity and chemical damage. These
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
properties made asbestos a popular building product in the late 1800’s. At least 5,000 different products
have been manufactured from asbestos.
Sources of Asbestos










Thermal and acoustic insulation-heat barrier
around stove and smoke pipes, behind the
walls of heaters and light fixtures, and
around steam and hot water pipes. Used in
fire doors and welding curtains.
Asbestos-concrete
Electrical
Fireproofing - fire dampers in fire
partitions, insulated ductwork where it
passes through combustible materials.
Gasket, packaging, and filler
Paper products
Plastic Products - vinyl floor tiles
Roofing materials
Siding - trade name “Transite”
Textiles
Asbestos pegboard and pipe
wrap
Transite (asbestos) siding
Transite roofing tiles
Asbestos 9” x 9” floor tiles [22]
Health Effects
Asbestos becomes harmful when it is disturbed, becomes airborne, and is inhaled. Various weatherization
activities can cause asbestos to become airborne, such as sawing, drilling, nailing, cutting, bumping,
tearing, and sweeping. Friable means that the product can be crushed by hand pressure into tiny sharp
fibers too small to be seen, or into a powder making it harmful. Dose related exposure (the more you
breathe) may cause:

Asbestosis- scarring of the lungs

Lung Cancer

Other Cancers, such as cancer of the digestive system
Non-dose related (a onetime encounter) may cause cancer of the lung or stomach lining, known as
Mesothelioma. The period of time between a person's exposure to asbestos fibers and the development of
mesothelioma is referred to as its latency period. For asbestos, this is between 10 and 40 years. [22]
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 STANDARDS
ASBESTOS
Item
Materials
Criteria/Requirements
Asbestos - In Siding,
Walls, Ceilings, Floor tile
Adhesive
Transite siding, acoustical
ceiling tiles

Asbestos - On Pipes,
Furnaces, Other Small
Covered Surfaces
Combustion pipes,
furnaces, ductwork

Assume asbestos is present in covering materials. Encapsulation is
allowed by an AHERA asbestos control professional and should
be conducted prior to blower door testing. Removal may be allowed
by an AHERA asbestos control professional on a case by case
basis.
Asbestos - In Vermiculite
Vermiculite Insulation

When vermiculite is present, unless testing determines otherwise,
take precautionary measures as if it contains asbestos, such as not
using blower door tests and using personal air monitoring while in
attics. Encapsulation by an appropriately trained asbestos control
professional is allowed. Removal is not allowed.

If the asbestos containing material is in good condition-- DO NOT
disturb it.
If the asbestos containing material (ACM) is damaged, i.e., raveling,
frayed, breaking apart, immediately isolate the area(s). For, example,
separate the work area in question for occupied portions of the
building using appropriate containment practices and do not disturb.
For suspected ACM that is damaged or that must be disturbed as
part of the retrofit activity, contact an asbestos professional for
abatement or repair. Only a licensed or trained professional may
abate, repair or remove ACM. The extent of containment may warrant
a deferral.
Notify the client of the ACM, document, and use deferral standards.
Do not dust, sweep, or vacuum debris that may contain asbestos.
Never saw, sand, scrape, or drill holes in asbestos materials or use
abrasive pads or brushes.
Do not track material that could contain asbestos through the house.
Follow EPA and OSHA regulations regarding the safe handling of
asbestos to ensure worker and client safety.
Whenever Asbestos is
Suspected








Inspect exterior wall surface and subsurface for asbestos siding prior
to drilling or cutting.
All precautions must be taken not to damage siding. Asbestos siding
should never be cut or drilled. It is recommended, where possible, to
insulate through the home’s interior to completely avoid disturbing or
removing the asbestos siding on the exterior of the home.
NOTE: Check with agency as to allowable abatement activities.
Radon
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and
water. Because the air pressure inside a home is usually lower than pressure in the soil around a home's
foundation, a home acts like a vacuum, drawing radon in through foundation cracks and other openings.
Radon also may be present in well water and can be released into the air in a home when water is used for
showering and other household uses. In most cases, radon entering the home through water is a small risk
compared with radon entering a home from the soil. Although building materials rarely cause radon
problems by themselves, in a small number of homes, the building materials, such as granite and certain
concrete products, can give off radon. In the United States, radon gas in soils is the principal source of
elevated radon levels in homes. [41]
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The EPA believes that any home with a radon concentration above 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/l) of air
should be modified to reduce the concentration.
Since radon comes through the soil, mitigation strategies include:

Installing a plastic ground barrier and carefully sealing the seams

Sealing the walls and floor of a basement

Ventilating the crawl space or basement to dilute radon

Depressurizing the ground underneath the concrete slab. [23]
Diagram 8.1 Radon Map of Texas
What the Colors Mean
Red - Zone 1 - Highest Potential
Counties have a predicted average indoor radon
screening level greater than 4pCi/L (picocuries per liter).
A curie is a unit quantity of any radioactive nuclide in
which 3.7 x 1010 disintegrations occur per second.
-12
 A pico equals one trillionth (10 ) part of; very small.
Thus a picocurie is one trillionth of a curie.
 A picogram is one trillionth of a gram.
Orange - Zone 2 - Moderate Potential
Counties have a predicted average indoor radon
screening level between 2 and 4 pCi/L.
Yellow - Zone 3 - Low Potential
Counties have a predicted average indoor radon
screening level less than 2 pCi/L.
All of Texas falls in the Orange-Zone 2 and YellowZone 3 categories.
As the map above indicates, high concentrations of radon are not prevalent in Texas. Radon shall be
addressed on a case-by-case basis. [23]
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a
variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations
of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to 10 times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by
a wide array of products numbering in the thousands. Examples include paints and lacquers; paint
strippers; cleaning supplies; pesticides; building materials and furnishings; office equipment such as
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copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper; and graphics and craft materials,
including glues and adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solutions. [22]
Guidance WPN 11-6
Removal of pollutants is allowed if they pose a risk to workers. It is recommended to ask the client to
remove or properly discard these products. If the pollutant poses a risk and removal cannot be performed
or is not allowed by the client, the unit must be deferred. Removal of pollutants, not necessary to perform
weatherization, is not allowed; i.e., cleaning out of old paint cans or oil out of garages.
Sources of VOCs
VOCs may be found in household products, such as paints, paint
strippers, and other solvents; wood preservatives; aerosol sprays;
cleansers and disinfectants; moth repellents and air fresheners;
stored fuels and automotive products; hobby supplies; drycleaned clothing. [22, 38]
Health Effects
The ability of organic chemicals to cause health effects varies
greatly from those that are highly toxic, to those with no known
health effect. As with other pollutants, the extent and nature of
the health effect will depend on many factors, including level of
exposure and length of time exposed. Eye and respiratory tract
irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, and memory
impairment are among the immediate symptoms that some
people have experienced soon after exposure to some organics.
At present, not much is known about what health effects occur
from the levels of organics usually found in homes. Many
organic compounds are known to cause cancer in animals; some
are suspected of causing, or are known to cause, cancer in
humans. [23]
Storage of VOCs in the HVAC closet allows
VOC vapors to potentially infiltrate the
home via supply ducts. It also robs
precious combustion air.
Steps to Reduce VOCs
Increase ventilation when using products that emit VOCs. Meet or exceed any label precautions. Do not
store opened containers of unused paints and similar materials within the home. Formaldehyde, one of the
best known VOCs, is one of the few indoor air pollutants that can be readily measured. Identify, and if
possible, remove the source. If not possible to remove, reduce exposure by using a sealant on all exposed
surfaces of paneling and other furnishings. Use integrated pest management techniques to reduce the need
for pesticides. [38]
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Appendix A: Glossary of Acronyms and Terms
AC – air conditioner
ACCA - Air Conditioning Contractors of America
ACH - air changes per hour
ACI – Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Institute
ACM – asbestos containing material
ACS - alternative compliance supplement
AEHS – an environmental, health, and safety consulting firm
AHERA - Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act
Air barrier - building materials that block random air movement through building cavities, such as
drywall. It is impermeable to airflow.
AL - air leakage
AFUE - annual fuel utilization efficiency - a measure of how efficient an appliance is in the energy in its
fuel over the course of a typical year. It accounts for chimney, jacket and cycling losses.
ANSI – American National Standards Institute
ASHAE - American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
ASHRAE - American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers
ASHVE - American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers
ASRE - American Society of Refrigerating Engineers
Backdrafting - continuous spillage from a combustion appliance that occurs when exhaust air is drawn
back into the home along with dangerous combustion gases.
Backer Rod - a polyethylene foam rope used to fill in larger cracks before caulking.
Baffle - a flow-directing panel, such as an attic baffle used to prevent insulation from covering the soffit
vent, or a flue baffle used to redirect the flow of flue gases.
Blocking - materials used to prohibit building components from resulting in safety issues, such as a sheet
metal barrier to prevent insulation from touching a heat source, or plywood or batt insulation used to
prevent blown insulation for coming in contact with knob and tube wiring.
Blower - the fan part of an HVAC system that looks like a squirrel cage, used to move air.
Blower Door - a device used to measure air infiltration or exfiltration in a building depending upon if it is
used to depressurize or pressurize a building in reference with the outside.
Boot - a transition device used to connect a section of duct to the register
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British Thermal Unit (BTU) - the amount of energy needed to heat one pound of water one degree
Fahrenheit.
Btu/h - British thermal units per hour.
Building cavities - spaces between the interior and exterior sheeting of ceilings, walls and floors.
Burner - a mechanical device that burns a gas or liquid fuel into a flame in a controlled manner.
Bypass - a conduit for air travel within a building cavity.
CABO – Council of American Building Officials
Caulk - a flexible compound used for sealing cracks and joints.
Capillary Action - the ability of water to move against gravity through small tubes or spaces within
building materials.
Carbon Dioxide - a naturally occurring chemical compound that results from complete combustion.
Carbon Monoxide - a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly lighter than air. It is a
poisonous by-product of incomplete combustion.
Cellulose - a plant fiber used for insulation material. It is treated with a fire-retardant and typically made
from old newspaper or wood waste.
CFL - compact fluorescent lamp
CFM - cubic feet per minute
CFR - Code of Federal Regulations
CFS - cubic feet per second
Chimney Effect - see Stack Effect.
Circuit Breaker - an automatically operated electrical switch designed to protect an electrical circuit from
damage caused by overload or short circuit.
CLR - Certified Lead Renovator
CO - carbon monoxide
COP - coefficient of performance (see description below)
Coefficient of Performance (COP) - a heat pump or air conditioners efficiency at adding or removing
heat.
Color Rendering Index (CRI) - a quantitative measure of a light source’s ability in comparison with
natural sunlight, ranging from 0 to 100.
Color Temperature - the measurement in degrees Kelvin of the warmness or coolness of a light source.
Combustible - a substance that can be burned to provide heat or power or a substance that can be
consumed to produce energy such as fuel.
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Combustion Air - air that provides oxygen for a substance to burn.
Combustion Analyzer - a device used to measure the efficiency of a combustion appliance by
quantitatively measuring the products of combustion.
Compressor - a mechanical device that receives the cool, low-pressure gas from the evaporator and
squeezes the fluid increasing its energy and temperature. This fluid leaves the compressor as a hot, high
pressure gas that flows into the condenser.
Condenser - this outside component contains metal fins that act like a radiator in a car that help the heat
dissipate. The temperature of the gas becomes much cooler, changing the gas back to a high pressure
liquid.
Conditioned spaces are the indoor areas that are heated and cooled.
Conduction - the transfer of energy (heat) between solids.
Convection - the transfer of energy (heat) through a fluid such as air or liquid.
Cooling Load - the rate at which heat is removed from conditioned space for the hottest and most humid
levels expected.
Cost Effective - a measure that is of good value, where the benefits and usage are worth at least what is
paid for the labor and materials of replacement. Most frequently referred to as a Savings-to-Investment
Ration (SIR) of 1 or better.
CRI - Color Rendering Index (see description above)
Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) - a standard measurement of airflow that has a volume of one foot wide,
one foot deep and one foot high.
Damper - a device installed near a fan that only allows air to flow in one direction.
Depressurization - causing a lower pressure in one zone in reference to another zone.
Dilution Device - a draft diverter on a combustion appliance.
Distribution System - as series of ducts or pipes used to disperse energy; such as cooling, heat, or water.
DOE – U.S. Department of Energy
Draft - flue pressure that carries combustion gases out of the building.
Draft Diverter - a device that gathers exhaust gases from a combustion appliance to safely vent to outside
the building and restrains these gases from re-entering the combustion appliance zone.
Draft Inducer - a fan that assists in moving air and gases out of a combustion appliance and up the flue or
chimney.
Duct Blower - a device used to measure air flow and air leakage of a duct system.
Efficiency - the ratio between output and input.
Energy - a quantity of work or heat
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Energy Consumption - the amount of energy used by the occupant(s) for heating, cooling, appliances,
and general household use.
Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) - a measure of an air conditioner or heat-pumps ability to work. EER=
BtuH/watts.
EER - energy efficiency rating / energy efficiency ratio (see description above)
Energy Factor - indicates a water heater's overall energy efficiency based on the amount of hot water
produced per unit of fuel consumed over a typical day. The higher the energy factor, the more efficient the
water heater.
Energy-Recovery or Enthalpy-Recovery Ventilator (ERV) - a central heat exchanger that transfers a
certain amount of water vapor along with heat energy.
EPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
ER - energy ratio
ERV – energy recovery or enthalpy recovery ventilators
Evaporator Coil - this coil looks like a series of pipes that absorb heat when air passes through their
system. Within this device hot gas is cooled and turned back into a liquid, which is then sent back to the
compressor.
Expansion Device - a valve that regulates refrigerant flow to the evaporator.
Exfiltration - movement of air, gases, or moisture from inside a building to outside the building.
Fan Control - a thermostat, on a furnace or air conditioner that senses when the blower needs to turn on or
off.
Fenestration - window or door openings in the shell of a building.
Fiberglass - a material made from a plastic matrix reinforced by fibers of glass, used for insulation.
Fill tube - a plastic or metal tube used to blow in insulation.
Fin Comb - a device used to straighten and clean out condenser fins.
Fire Barrier - vertical or horizontal building materials that will resist fire for one to four hours.
FLA - full load amp
Flashing - thin continuous pieces of sheet metal or other impervious material installed to prevent the
passage of water into a structure at roof penetrations or walls.
Flue - a duct, pipe, or chimney that conveys combustion gases.
Footing - a component of building that transfers weight from the structure to the ground.
Gasket - an elastic material or mechanical seal that fills the space between two materials.
Glazing - a putty-like compound used to hold glass in place and seals out the weather; pertaining to
windows.
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GFCI – ground fault circuit interrupter
GPM - gallons per minute
H&AC - heating/air conditioning system
Heat Gains - heat that accumulates in a building.
Heat Loss - heat that escapes through the building shell.
Heat Pump - is an air conditioner that can be switched to perform both heating and cooling by removing
heat. In the summer it removes from the building to the outside. In the winter it removes heat from
outside into the building.
Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) - a central ventilator that controls heat transfer.
Heating Load - the rate at which heat is needed by conditioned space for the coldest day.
Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) - the total space heating required during the heating
season, expressed in Btu, divided by the total electrical energy consumed by the heat pump system during
the same season, expressed in watt-hours. Specifically used to express the efficiency of an air source heat
pump.
HEPA – High Efficiency Particulate Air
HRV – heat recovery ventilators
HVAC - heating, ventilation, and air conditioning
Hydronic - the use of water as the heat-transfer medium in heating and cooling systems.
IAQ - indoor air quality
IC - Insulation Contact
IECC - International Energy Conservation Code
IFGC – International Fuel Gas Code
Infiltration - movement of air, gases, or moisture from outside a building to inside the building.
Insulated Glass - glass panes that are separated by an air or other gas filled space to reduce the transfer of
heat.
Insulation - a material added to a structure to improve energy efficiency and comfort that has a relatively
high thermal resistance.
Intermediate Zone - an area located between the conditioned space and outdoors, such as an attic or
crawlspace.
Internal Gains - heat generated from appliances or general household activities; such as cooking, bathing,
or exercise.
IR - infrared
IRC - International Residential Code
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Jamb - the vertical side members of an opening, doorway or window.
Joist - framing members that support the floor or ceiling of a structure.
K&T - knob-and-tube
Kilowatt (kW) - is a unit of energy equal to 1000 watt hours.
Kilowatt-hour (kWh) - is a unit of energy equal to 3412 Btu’s.
Lamp - a light bulb.
Latent Heat - is the heat lost or gained by something when it changes state; such as, a liquid to a gas.
Low-e (low emissivity) - is the quality of a surface to resist the flow of radiant heat or thermal energy.
Mastic - a substance used to seal cracks or seams in a building; such as duct mastic for sealing plenums
and ducts.
MERV - minimum efficiency reporting value
Metering Device - an instrument used to measure the flow of liquid refrigerant or electricity through the
system.
MHEA – Manufactured Home Energy Audit
Minimum Ventilation Requirement (MVR) - the blower door measured air-leakage CFM value that
below which would require mechanical ventilation. Previously known as Building Tightness Limit (BTL).
MVR - minimum ventilation requirement,
National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) - provides accurate information to measure and compare
energy performance of windows, doors and skylights.
Natural Ventilation - air movement that naturally occurs within a home, without fans.
NEAT - National Energy Auditing Tool
NFPA - National Fire Protection Association
NFRC - National Fenestration Rating Council
OSB – Oriented Strand Board
Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) - detects when oxygen in the room falls below a specified level . The
device shuts off the gas to the fire, rendering an unvented space heater safe.
p/t - pressure/temperature
Pascal - a standard unit of measure for air pressure.
pCi – picocuries
PFAS - Personal fall arrest system
Plenum - connects the supply or return duct to the air handler.
A-6 Glossary of Acronyms and Terms
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
PPM - parts per million
PSI - pounds per square inch
PVC - polyvinyl chloride
R-value - a measure of thermal resistance. The higher the R-value the greater the resistance to heat flow.
Radiation - the transfer of energetic particles or waves through space.
Radiant Barrier - a highly reflective material that reflects (or more specifically, re-emits) radiant heat
rather than absorbing it.
Radon - a radioactive, colorless, odorless gas that naturally occurs from the decay of certain rocks; such as
granite.
Rafter - a sloping structural member that supports a pitched roof.
Recovery Efficiency - the ability of a water heater to heat incoming water.
Refrigerant - a chemical substance used in air conditioners. Refrigerants can change states from a liquid
to a vapor. It changes to a vapor by adding heat and later changes back to a liquid by removing heat during
the cooling cycle.
Register - a grill cover that fits over a duct boot.
Relative Humidity - the amount of moisture in the air compared to what the air can "hold" at that
temperature. The dew point is reached when the air can no longer hold all the moisture.
Resistance - the ability of a substance or material to the conduction of energy or heat.
Retrofit - to add an energy saving measure to an existing system.
Return Air - air that circulates back to an HVAC unit to be reheated or re-cooled.
Rim Joist - the outermost joist that caps the end of the row of joists that support a floor.
RRP - RRP Rule: Renovate, Repair, Painting Program Rule (US Environmental protection Agency)
Sash - the moveable or stationary frame that holds the glass of a window.
Savings to Investment Ratio (SIR) - the life-time savings of an energy-saving measure compared to the
initial cost for the materials and installation cost.
Sealed Combustion - a fuel-fired appliance that brings outside air directly into the burner and exhaust flue
gases (combustion products) directly to the outside, without the need for a draft hood or damper.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) - an air conditioner cooling output in Btu (British thermal
unit) during a typical cooling-season divided by the total electric energy input in watt hours during the
same period. The higher the SEER the more energy efficient it is.
SEER - seasonal energy efficiency ratio
Sensible Heat - thermal energy that results in a temperature change.
Shading Coefficient - measures the solar energy transmittance through windows.
A-7 Glossary of Acronyms and Terms
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Sheathing - A layer of boards or of other wood or fiber materials applied to the outer studs, joists, and
rafters of a building to strengthen the structure.
Shell - the roof, walls, and floor/foundation that enclose a building providing safety and protection from
the elements.
SHGC - Solar Heat Gain Coefficients
Short Circuit - allows a current to travel along an unintended path. A short is caused when one hot wire
(black) comes in contact with another hot wire or a neutral wire (white).
Sill - the horizontal member at the bottom of a window or door opening.
SIR - savings to investment ratio
Soffit - an underside of the overhang of a roof or a ceiling enclosure above kitchen or bath cabinets.
Solar Gain - heat from the sun that increases the temperature in a space, object or structure.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) - measures the fraction of solar energy transmitted and tells you
how well the product blocks heat caused by sunlight. The lower the SHGC, the less solar heat the window
transmits.
sone - term used to measure the loudness of a fan. The lower the number the quieter the fan.
SPF - spray polyurethane foam
Spillage - the unwanted overflow of combustion gases into a home.
Stack Effect - drafts created in a building from low infiltrating air and high exfiltrating air.
Static Pressure - Static pressure is the difference in air pressure between the suction side and pressure
side of the blower; measured in Pascals.
Steady State Efficiency (SSE) - measures how efficiently a furnace converts fuel to heat, after the initial
start up cycle.
Strike Plate - the protective metal plate installed in the door jamb that receives the latch or lock.
Stud - a vertical framing member of a wall.
Subfloor - the sheathing that sits between the joists and underlayment and/or flooring material.
Subcooling-when the condenser and cooling pipes force the temperature of a liquid below its saturation
point at the same pressure causing it to change phases.
Superheat-when the evaporator and heat pipes force the temperature of a vapor higher than its saturation
point at the same pressure causing it to change phases.
Supply Air - heated or cooled air that is forced through the ducts and out the registers.
TDHCA - Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Therm - a unit of heat energy equal to 100000 British thermal units.
A-8 Glossary of Acronyms and Terms
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Thermal boundary - restricts or slows the flow of heat from conditioned and unconditioned spaces in a
building. It is made up of an air barrier and insulation that is well aligned.
Thermal Break - a material of low thermal conductivity placed in an assembly to reduce or prevent the
flow of thermal energy between conductive materials.
Thermal Resistance - See R-value
Threshold - A piece of wood, metal or stone placed beneath a door; a doorsill
Transmittance-the fraction of radiant energy that passes through the building material into the building.
U-value or U-factor - measures the rate of heat transfer and tells you how well a window insulates. The
lower the U-factor, the greater a window's resistance to heat flow.
UI - United Inches = One width measurement inches plus one length measurement inches.
UL – Underwriters Laboratories
Unconditioned space - the outdoors or any areas in a residence that are not heated or cooled.
Vapor barrier - a material that retards the migration of water vapor.
Vent Connector - a pipe fitting that connects the appliance to the flue or chimney.
Vent Damper - an automatic device that allows natural draft during appliance operation while preventing
residual conditioned air from escaping during off cycles.
Ventilation - the exchange of air to the outside or the circulation of air within the building.
Venting - a pipe, flue or chimney that removes combustion gases or moist air from a building.
Vermiculite - an asbestos containing mineral used for insulation.
Visible Transmittance (VT) - measures the amount of light the window lets through. The higher the VT,
the more light you see.
VOC - volatile organic compounds (see description below)
Volatile Organic Compounds - are a large group of carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room
temperature. Many of hazardous to human health.
Volt - is the unit used for the apparent power in an electrical circuit.
VT - visible transmittance (see description above)
Watt - a unit of power equal to one joule of energy per second or 3.4 Btu’s.
Weatherization - the energy-saving measures performed on homes to increase comfort and improve
building efficiency.
WAP - Weatherization Assistance Program
Weather-Resistant Barrier - a material designed to protect against rain or water intrusion.
A-9 Glossary of Acronyms and Terms
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Weatherstripping - process used to prevent water and air from entering a building, or expensive
conditioned air from exiting a building by typically installing rigid metal strips or flexible gaskets.
Weep holes - purposeful openings in building materials that allows water to drain out of a building
component; such as holes drilled into the bottom of a window frame or openings in brick to prevent
excessive water from entering a building shell.
WPN – Weatherization Program Notice
Zone - a space or area within a building defined by an air-barrier; such as a closet, bedroom, first floor,
etc.
A-10 Glossary of Acronyms and Terms
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TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Appendix B: References
All Chapters
1. US Department of Energy: Energy Savers. Your Home: Air Barriers. 7 July 2011. Web.
2. Krigger, John., and Dorsi, Chris. Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Texas
Weatherization Field Guide. Helena, Montana: Saturn Resource Management, Inc, 2010. Print.
3. Krigger, John., and Dorsi, Chris. Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Texas
Mechanical Systems Field Guide. Helena, Montana: Saturn Resource Management, Inc, 2010. Print.
4. US Department of Energy: Energy Savers. Your Home: Insulation. 7 July 2011. Web.
5. Weatherization Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center. WAP Standardized Curricula.
Weatherization Installer/Technician-Fundamentals & Intermediate, 2011. Web.
6. International Code Council. 2009 International Residential Code for One-and Two-family Dwellings.
USA, International Code Council, Inc., 2009. Print.
7. US Department of Energy: Energy Savers. Your Home: Insulation and Air Sealing. 7 July 2011. Web.
8. Garrett, Doug. TDHCA Weatherization Academy Curricula. Basic Building Science, Nov. 2009.
9. Garrett, Doug. TDHCA Weatherization Academy Curricula. International Residential Code (IRC),
July 2011.
10. Garrett, Doug. TDHCA Weatherization Academy Curricula. Heating, Ventilation, and Air
Conditioning (HVAC), Aug. 2011
11. US Department of Energy: Building Technologies Program. Indoor Air Quality. 20 Dec. 2011.
Web.
12. Kardon, Redwood., Hansen, Douglas., and Casey, Michael. Code Check Complete. China: The
Taunton Press, Inc. 2007. Print.
13. Weatherization Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center. Refrigerator Replacement.
16 August 2011. Web.
14. Kinney, Larry., and Belshe, Rana. Refrigerator Replacement in the Weatherization Program: Putting
a Chill on Energy Waste. Boulder, Colorado: www.esource.com. 29 Dec 2011. Web.
15. Baechler, Michael C., and Love, Pat M. Building America Best Practices Series: Volume 1 Builders
and Buyers Handbook for Improving New Home Efficiency, Comfort, and Durability in the Hot and
Humid Climate. Oakridge, Tennessee: US Department of Energy: Office of Scientific and Technical
Information, 2004. 28 Dec. 2011. Web.
B-1 References
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
16. Dillon, Brett. Energy Efficient Residential Construction Guide Climate Zone 4. Schertz, Texas: IBS
Advisors, 2007. Print.
17. Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Best Practices. TDHCA, 2010-2012. Web.
6 Jan. 2012.
18. Cox, Anthony. “US DOE Hot Climate Initiative: Air-Sealing.” Whole-house Weatherization
Training. Florida, 2006.
19. Weatherization Plus Health Conference: Introduction to Healthy Homes; San Francisco, CA,
Nov. 2011.
20. Karg, Rick. “Ventilation 62.2 Implementing the New Standard.” 2011 National Weatherization
Training Conference, New Orleans 2011.
21. Wikipedia. Free Online Encyclopedia. 10 Feb. 2012. Web
22. An Environmental, Health, and Safety Consulting Firm. TDHCA Weatherization Academy Curricula.
Health & Safety Course I, 2012.
23. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Indoor Air Quality: Radon. 28 Dec. 2011. Web.
24. US Department of Energy: Energy Savers. Your Home: Weatherstripping. 8 July 2011. Web.
25. US Department of Energy: Energy Savers. Your Home: Sealing Air Leaks: Basement. 7 July 2011.
Web.
26. US Department of Energy: Energy Savers. Your Home: Crawlspace Insulation. 7 July 2011. Web.
27. US Department of Energy: Energy Savers. Your Home: Spray Foam Polyurethane Insulation.
20 Dec. 2011. Web.
28. Spray Foam Health and Safety Guide, sprayfoam.com. 20 Dec. 2011. Web.
29. US Department of Energy: Energy Savers. Ventilation. 9 Aug. 2011. Web.
30. US Department of Energy: Energy Savers. Energy Performance Ratings for Windows, Doors, and
Skylights. 2 Aug. 2011. Web.
31. US Department of Energy: Energy Savers. Your Home: Furnace and Boilers. 24 Aug. 2011. Web.
32. US Department of Energy. Weatherization Program Notice (WPN) 08-4: Space Heater Policy.
25 Aug. 2011. Web.
33. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Energy Star: Programmable Thermostats. 28 Aug.
2011. Web.
34. US Department of Energy: Energy Savers. Your Home: Reduce Hot Water for Energy Savings
16 Aug. 2011. Web.
B-2 References
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
35. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Light Bulbs for Consumers: Savings. 28 Aug. 2011.
Web.
36. US Department of Energy: Energy Savers. Energy Star Qualified Light Bulbs. July 2009. Print.
37. United States Environmental Protection Agency. FAQ: Information on Compact Fluorescent Light
Bulbs (CFLs) and Mercury. November 2010. Print.
38. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Healthy Indoor Environment Protocols for Home
Energy Upgrades. October 2011. Print.
39. United States Environmental Protection Agency. The Lead Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right.
September 2011. Print.
40. United States Department of Labor. OSHA Fact Sheet: Personal Protective Equipment. April 2006.
Print.
41. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction. September
2010. Print.
42. United States Fire Administration/FEMA. Smoke Alarms. 1 May 2012. Web.
43. US Department of Energy: Energy Savers. Guide to Energy-Efficient Windows. October 2010. Web.
B-3 References
June 2012
TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS
Material Installation Standards Manual
Appendix C: Assistance Resources
While working with clients, you may notice that they or their home may be in need additional assistance.
For example, you may notice that a resident of the home is in a wheelchair, but the home is not accessible,
or the roof of the home is in need of repair. Please encourage clients in need to contact the Texas
Department of Housing and Community Affairs or 2-1-1 Texas.
Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA)
Visit the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs online at www.tdhca.state.tx.us and click
on the “Help for Texans” tab, or call TDHCA toll free at 800-525-0657 for local provider contact
information for assistance such as:
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
Emergency and homeless services
Foreclosure prevention assistance
Homebuyer education counseling

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Homebuying assistance
Home repair, architectural barrier removal
Reduced rent properties

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Rent payment assistance
Utility bill payment assistance
Weatherization assistance
2-1-1 Texas
You may also refer clients to www.211texas.org or encourage them to dial 2-1-1 for more information on
assistance that may be available locally, such as:
Need
Assistance
1
Home Accessibility
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Home Repair

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
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
Rent

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Utility Help
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1
Bathroom modification
Ramp construction
Kitchen modification
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Disaster specific home repair
Home maintenance and minor repair services
Home rehabilitation loans
Home rehabilitation programs
House painting
Minor home repair programs

Alternative dispute resolution
Congregate living facilities
Disaster specific rent assistance
Food outlets
Housing counseling
Housing expense assistance
Public housing
Rent payment

Discounted utility services
Electric service payment
Gas service payment
Heating fuel payment
Telephone service payment
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Residential lift equipment
Home barrier removal loans
Home barrier removal grants
Plumbing maintenance, repair
Post disaster housing
Roof maintenance, repair
Septic system inspection, maintenance
Subsidized home purchase
Yard work
Residential housing options
Rooming/boarding houses
Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
Shared housing facilities
Single room occupancy housing
Subsidized private rental housing
Subsidized rental housing
Tenant/landlord assistance
Utility deposit
Utility disconnection protection
Utility service payment
Water service payment
Accessibility assistance may accommodate persons with disabilities through structural and/or physical provisions for those with
mobility, vision, and/or hearing impairments.
Additional assistance may also be available through 2-1-1 Texas for needs such as:
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Child care and education
Clothing, household, personal needs
Disability services
C-1 Assistance Resources
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Employment
Food, meals
Health care

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Mental health and addictions
Transportation
Veteran services
June 2012
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