2009 IECC testing now required in Reno for new homes.

Home Inspector with Certified Structure Inspector IOS #1730, EA #30

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.



Comments (6)

Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Rob,

New Mexico did adopt the same code for home building here.

The problem is the local inspectors take way too long to enforce the adoptions and the codes.

I get feedback from home buyers and builders that say the inspector says it's fine. But you did say it was code. Now what?

Have a good day in Reno my friend.

Best, Clint McKie

Jan 12, 2013 09:09 PM
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

The enforcement was to start last July but it's now getting up to speed locally. Majority of the builders have realized that it's important and something they can sell. I'm seeing that the majority of the homes are on track with a few tweaks needed. Thanks for the comment.

Jan 13, 2013 01:12 AM
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Rob, they haven't really established new codes here, but many of the builders are really trying to build Green homes. And their sales show that Buyers really care about having an energy efficient home!

Jan 15, 2013 06:24 AM
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

Connie, According to the NAR 92% of home buyers are somewhat concerned with energy costs. If you haven't already you can suggest your buyers of home built before 2000 look into getting an EEM mortgage to upgrade their homes to be more efficient, comfortable, and healthier.

Jan 15, 2013 09:19 AM
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

How did people of years ago make it without all these regulations to protect? What is the old saying in DC if you can't eat it TAX it and if you can't tax it REGULATE it.

Jan 18, 2013 11:43 AM
Rob Ernst
Certified Structure Inspector - Reno, NV
Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor

Yes, It is a code now. It is a good regulation because it will save people in energy cost and allows a home to be built in a way that will make it more durable and comfortable than in the past. Fuel cost keep going up. Cars have been getting more efficient and houses have been falling behind.

Jan 18, 2013 01:48 PM