According to the Department of Energy the heating and air conditioning is responsible about 40-45% of a typical residential energy bill.  Normally when we think of heating and air conditioning efficiency we think only about the equipment and the age of the equipment.  There is a large other component that is often overlooked and that is a duct system that leaks. A leaky system can reduce your climate control systems efficiency by 20-30%.  The state of California understands the importance of sealed ductwork and that is why Title 24 came about.

holy ductwork

Actual replaced part of a homeowner’s ductwork (the boot).  Although this is not typical, the entire home’s ductwork was like this and literally crumbled as it was removed.  The leakage at this home was extremely high.

As of July 1, 2014 things changed.  Now duct pressure testing is required in all California climate zones under the 2013 Title 24. The 2013 Title 24 rules are not simple guidelines to understand and be compliant with, however Cold Craft, Inc. has attended classes, read articles and been in meetings reviewing these standards to support our customers.

Title 24 is the minimum efficiency standards, set by the California Energy Commission. When you wish to replace a gas furnace, evaporator coil, or A/C condensing unit – the city or county building department issuing your permit will require duct pressure testing in all PG&E Climate zones.  What this test does is determine the amount of pressure leaks in the ductwork. If the amount is excessive according to the standards then the ductwork must be examined and repaired to be able to pass the permit inspection.

A few counties such as Santa Clara County has been exempt from this testing since these Title 24 requirements were introduced in California in 2006. Although Cold Craft is a BPI (Building Performance Institute) certified company, a licensed HERS Rater is needed to complete the testing to verify the paperwork and craftsmanship pass the minimum standards.

The HERS rater is a third party special inspector that tests and verifies the efficiency and performance of  your home’s heating and air conditioning systems. PG&E estimates that the average single family home has a duct leakage between 30% – 40%.

When you request Cold Craft, Inc. to replace your HVAC (gas furnace or air conditioning system) with more energy efficient models and there is no ductwork updates under your home or in your attic, there is now a certification required to prove that the ductwork has a total duct leakage of less than 15%.

If Cold Craft, Inc. replaces or installs a new duct system the system needs to at 6% or less leakage.

This is when the HERS rater is involved, they inspect the ductwork and the results are reported to the state and local building department in order to sign off on your Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) improvement permit.

Cold Craft will gladly process the permit for you and help navigate through this testing and reporting maze of Title 24.  We can provide you with the third party duct leakage companies for testing,  or feel free to find one on your own to hire.

It is critical that you hire an independent HERS Rater for testing and make sure that they are not employees of the company replacing the HVAC equipment or ductwork.  They are typically independently owned and Licensed by the state to perform the required tests and report the findings.

If any measures do not pass you can call the installing HVAC contractor to seal the system until it passes.


If you need help with temperature, contact Cold Craft, Inc.

408.374.7292 or [email protected]

By Published On: September 29, 2014

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