Nevada has adopted the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for all new homes built. The various jurisdictions have decided how they are going to enforce it. The difference between this code and others is that it focuses solely on Energy Efficiency.
In the Reno area most home builders have been building the homes to the newly adopted code. The benefit of the 2009 IECC is that buyers will be getting a home that is more efficient but also more comfortable. The focus on air sealing will reduce drafts. It also focuses on making sure that duct systems, which are a big source of energy loss, are well sealed.
Part of the new code requirements is proof of compliance. This comes in the form of a visual and diagnostic testing. The air sealing of the house has to be checked using a blower door. Blower door testing is done to see how much air the house leaks. To pass the testing the house has to leak less than 7 Air Changes per hour based on the homes volume. The other test is a duct leakage test. This test is usually conducted in one of three ways. At rough in where the house is still under construction is the first option. At this stage the ducts can’t leak more than 6 cfm per 100 sqft of conditioned space. Once the house is done being built the duct work is tested either with total leakage or leakage to the outside. The leakage to outside can be no more than 8 cfm per 100 sqft and for the total leakage test it can be no more than 12 cfm per 100 sqft.
These tests are not being performed by the builder. They are being performed here in Reno by a third party rater. This means a Licensed Nevada Energy Auditor performs the testing. I am a licensed energy auditor and can perform the 2009 IECC inspections and testing in the Reno Area. I’m currently seeing good results in the homes currently being tested which is good for the consumer.