TEC did its homework: its new blower door package is a truly engineered and integrated equipment system
As an expert in Airtightness Testing, we did enough of blower door works to appreciate the attention to detail that The Energy Conservatory (TEC) built into its new blower door kit. The kit features a digital pressure and air flow gauge, the DG1000.
I have used both TEC and Retrotec blower door kits and found them trustworthy and rugged. But recently I got to work with a brand spanking new TEC blower door kit that included the DG1000, and here are the features that sold me:
(1) All the equipment fits together physically. What I mean by this is:
- The blower door frame no longer has a clunky “gun” case; it has a soft but rugged fabric case with a slot for each frame member. The new case is much easier to deal with in terms of transporting and storing.
- There is a single sturdy mounting plate for both the digital gauge and the rheostat or fan speed controller, with a screw jack that makes it really easy to secure to a door frame or other trim, at any height.
- The DG1000 has four corner backside magnets that correspond to the same configuration on the metal of the mounting plate, so it’s easy to mount and release the gauge, even while it is held firmly in place.
- The fan speed controller has a built-in cooling fan so it never overheats, no matter how long you may run the blower door, at any speed.
- The DG1000 is essentially now a gauge and computer, but it is still rugged and comes with a very robust case — so no worries for the rough-and-ready aspect of work on job sites.
(2) The DG1000 is sophisticated and intuitive.
- All of the DG1000 screens are uncluttered, well-organized, and sequential.
- You can back out of any place within the functions and options.
- Images or icons make it easy to navigate.
- The DG1000 can be connected to your computer in three different ways: with a USB port, ethernet port, Wi-Fi, or via an app (TEC AutoTest) on your iPhone or iPad.
- The DG-1000 can be a Wi-Fi hub.
(3) The TEC help system is really unparalleled; the company offers:
- A whole library of pdf guides
- A whole library of how-to TEC website and YouTube videos.
- Quick-response human tech support.
But enough of what I think about the new TEC blower door kit; I decided to check in with one of the most seasoned building performance specialists in our industry, Vladimir Limin of Salimus Consultancy, Dubai. Vladimir has conducted many of building audits; Vladimir is also the representative of TEC in the Middle East.
“I really like the new screen; it’s much easier to see and read,” begins Vladimir Limin. “I also like the rechargeable user replaceable batteries. But there are two functional aspects of the new system that are important to my work:
- Long averaging of building depressurization when investigating combustion appliance performance; other systems have a 2-minute limit on averaging.
- Being able to see the blower door numbers on my phone while reading the digital pressure gauge in my hand (when doing series leakage work).”
Vladimir also thought that the ability to update the DG1000 is a huge advantage. “There are all kinds of capabilities that we talked about as the DG1000 was being developed that we might not necessarily see yet, but these will be easily added over time,” says Vladimir. One example dear to Vladimir’s heart is setting up the DG1000 with a checklist system so that any user can be literally walked through the steps it takes to do any manner of blower door work.
“We have to be careful, though; we don’t want a tool like the DG1000 to get so easy that we don’t need trainers like me anymore,” joked Vladimir.
The equipment is always improving
Let’s see what TEC can do next: maybe a powerful calibrated fan that does not weigh 33 pounds…