HVAC for Home Performance workshop

HVAC system Leak testing

Tight ducts and tight buildings,
good for clients and for you.
What could go wrong?

Course Information:

As the energy-efficiency bar rises, the margin for error shrinks. The more efficient the home and HVAC, the more challenging it is to get the HVAC right – to prevent problems and costly call-backs, achieve the rated efficiency, and meet customers’ expectations. Comfort and good indoor air quality with low utility bills depend upon how the HVAC and building envelope interact, even more so in our hot, humid climate.

In this 3-day workshop, you’ll gain expertise in building science concepts that are key to prevent, diagnose and solve problems. You’ll learn best practice methods and alternatives; how energy-efficient homes impact Manual J, D and S or H HVAC design; and crucial air sealing techniques to achieve the 2009 IRC energy code provisions.

This course also includes Duct and Envelope Tightness (DET) verifier training and certification exams (optional). Participants who satisfactorily complete the written and field DET exams will be designated Southface Energy Institute certified DET Verifiers qualified to perform the diagnostic testing required by the 2009 residential energy code. LaHouse Resource Center is an authorized provider of the Southface training, exam and certification.

Note: DET certification is especially beneficial to HVAC contractors since it provides more duct leakage code compliance options that are not available to those certified only in using duct test equipment for “total leakage” measurements. DET verifiers can do both “total leakage” and “leakage to outside” tests. The code requires passing either test, and it is common to find total leakage results that do not pass when the leakage to outside result does pass the code minimum.

Through this interactive class, you will learn, observe, discuss and practice:

  • Controlling building air flow, thermal (heat) flow, and moisture flow
  • Measurement and Implications of differential pressures
  • Troubleshooting air flow and zone pressure diagnostics
  • Indoor air quality factors and options to provide outdoor air
  • Make-up air for kitchen hood and fireplaces
  • Insulation installation grading; labeled vs. actual whole-wall R-value
  • How high efficiency equipment impacts high humidity levels
  • Equipment sizing and design in tight building envelopes
  • Effective HVAC ductwork, equipment and building air sealing methods
  • 2009 IRC Chapter 11 building envelope and duct leakage requirements
  • Code compliance options
  • Protocols for blower door and duct leakage testing and reporting
  • Exhaust fan flow measurement
  • Testing equipment set-up, orientation, and problem solving
  • How to calculate CFM50, ACH50, percent duct leakage, NACH, EqLA, building pressures
  • How to evaluate and report testing results for the 2009 IRC energy code.
  • Tips for successfully completing the DET Verifier certification exams

The training program and class fee include:
  • 2.5 days of interactive instruction and practice (plus half-day DET exams)
  • HVAC and DET handbook
  • Online tutorials
  • Written DET Verifier exam
  • In-field DET Verifier exam
  • DET Verifier Certificate (with passing score on both exams)
  • Certificate of Attendance (for CEU hours)

Who should attend:

Residential HVAC contractors and service technicians, building inspectors, energy service providers and other professionals seeking certification by a nationally recognized testing organization to perform mandated testing by the 2009 residential energy code.


Certification: Duct and Envelope Tightness (DET) Verifier Certificate (NOTE: You must receive a passing score on both exams (included in tuition costs) for Southface designation as a DET Verifier.)
Education units: Eligible for 20 CEUs for La. residential contractor CEUs; 8.5 LU for AIA; 14 BPI units.
This seminar is pre-approved for 20 OF HOURS continuing education hours for Louisiana residential contractors (request LSLBC form) and La. Home Inspectors (full credit through LSBHI). A LaHouse Resource Center certificate of completion will also be issued to attendees.

Certificate of attendance will be issued and may qualify for other professional units.


Paul LaGrange, LSU AgCenter Building Science Educator

Date, Time and Location:

2021 Class Dates: April 27-29 and September 21-23 (moved to November 2-4) (DET portion is on days 1 and 2, testing on day 2, HVAC only content on day 3.)

(NOTE: To reduce the spread of COVID-19, class size is limited, masks are required to be worn at all times and coffee may not be provided. Session dates may change or be cancelled if pandemic conditions change guidelines.)

Class is held 8:00-4:00 in the Teaching Center of LaHouse Resource Center, located on Gourrier Ave., Baton Rouge, La. (directly across from LSU Alex Box Baseball Stadium). Please arrive between 7:45 and 8:00 a.m. for registration and photos taken for inclusion on the certificates.

The LSU AgCenter provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need an accommodation to participate in an event, please contact LaHouse at 225-578-7913 at least two weeks prior to the event.

Prerequisites and Class Supplies:

Online Pre-class Tutorials: Math Basics for DET Verifiers and Basics of Building Science online 1-hour modules (access provided upon registration)
Supplies: Bring a calculator for the written and field exams.

$495 registration fee (includes DET written and field exams)*
*20% discount on class fee for LHBA and La. Realtor members, LaHouse Gold + Key Contributors, government and non-profit organization employees, faculty and full-time students.
(DET Verifier, BPI or RESNET certified individuals may attend one-day [last day) HVAC-only portion of class for $95.)

LSU AgCenter - LaHouse courses qualify for Louisiana Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWTP) tuition reimbursement for eligible employers. See www.laworks.net for IWTP information.

Class size is limited. Payment must be received to reserve your seat.

Click here for more information and to register for the class.

Additional Educational Resources:

If you'd like to see and learn more about duct and envelope testing or the energy code, we recommend the following resources:

11/15/2021 7:47:22 PM
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The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture