Friday, April 1, 2011

The New "One of a Kind" ThermalStar 24"x12" Pressure Pan!!

We Listened to our customers and have created the Perfect Mid-Size Pressure Pan.
The 24"x12" Pan is the Ultimate Fit for those narrow rectangular supply registers.
100% Made In The USA of nearly Indestructible materials, This Pressure Pan will
solve many of your Zonal Pressure testing problems.
Call us to Order - 520-325-3777

Friday, July 30, 2010

The Groundbreaking New Georgia State Energy Code

Posted by Allison Bailes on Fri, Jul 30, 2010


Yesterday I went to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) for a meeting of the State Codes Advisory Committee (SCAC). Wait, wait, don't leave yet! I promise there's good stuff in here. 

OK, let's try that again.

Yesterday I saw a bunch of guys sitting around a table make a groundbreaking decision that will alter the lives of home builders, energy raters, and utility customers. Yes, I'm talking about the great work done by the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) Task Force over the past year. The SCAC received the Task Force's report and considered it at their meeting today.

The tension was high in the room. Attendees glanced around nervously, keeping an eye out for last minute subterfuge. Groups of like-minded stakeholders gathered together for protection against enemy stakeholders, expecting at any moment to have to fend off the long-dreaded attacks on their hard-fought victories in the Task Force's report.

Actually, it wasn't like that at all. The room was full, the SCAC members and DCA staff sitting around the large table and interested parties like myself sitting around the edges of the room. Those of us who support the progressive changes I'll describe below did have some concern that debate could erupt during discussion of the report, but it turns out those fears were unfounded.

Jim Vaseff, chair of the 2009 IECC Task Force, presented the results of their work. Morgan Wheeler, chair of the SCAC, asked if there was any discussion, and there was none. The motion to adopt got a second and a unanimous voice vote. Hooray! The new Georgia state energy code passed (download at bottom). There will be a public hearing in September and final approval in November, but everyone seems to think it's a done deal now. The new Georgia energy code goes into effect 1 January 2011.

Now, let's get to the details. I won't go into the full 2009 IECC here, just the most interesting of the Georgia supplements and amendments relating to the residential energy code.

Blower Door Testing Required

I first broke the news of the requirement for all new houses to pass a Blower Door test back in early May. As I stated there, the 2009 IECC provides two paths for compliance with air-sealing requirements: a visual inspection and a pressure test. Georgia decided that the visual inspection was inadequate and went only with the Blower Door test. According to Paul Karrer of the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP), "That was an extremely interesting (and as far as I've seen, unique) addition to the state's new energy codes."

So, how will this work? Starting on 1 January 2011, all new homes permitted for construction will have to get a Blower Door test for infiltration. The result must be less than 7 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals (ACH50). This level of airtightness is a good starting point. It's not that hard to achieve, so every builder can do it, but I expect to see that number come down in future versions of the Georgia energy code.

Only a certified Duct & Envelope Tightness (DET) verifier will be allowed to do this testing. Anyone certified as a HERS rater, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR contractor, or BPI Building Analyst automatically qualifies as a certified DET verifier. Everyone else will have to pass a certified DET verifier class approved by the Georgia DCA. (Energy Vanguard will offer such a class.)

Duct Leakage Testing Required

The 2009 IECC requires all ducts outside the building envelope (in unconditioned spaces) to be tested for leakage. The Georgia energy code requires that the duct leakage outside the envelope be less than 8 cubic feet per minute per 100 square feet of conditioned floor area if tested after construction, 6 cfm/100 ft2 if tested after rough-in.

Also, as I read the Georgia Supplements & Amendments document, mastic is required. HVAC contractors can use code approved tape, but they still have to put mastic over it.

Other New Requirements

I mentioned in my first article on the new Georgia energy code that power attic ventilators will not be allowed. The actual language doesn't say a builder can't install them; they just can't connect them to the electric grid. One exception is specifically called out - solar powered attic ventilators. The building science still doesn't support these devices, but we're after progress, not perfection here.

Another biggie is that electric furnaces are no longer allowed as a primary heat source. Sorry, Georgia Power. I know those things generate a lot of revenue for you, but turning heat into electricity and then back into heat is just stupid, except on a small scale, like for the toast I'm about to make.

Finally, builders will have to install high efficiency lights for at least 50% of a home's lighting. Alternatively, they could install occupancy or vacancy sensors or an automated control system.


The new Georgia state energy code is definitely breaking new ground. The 2009 IECC gave us a good start, but Georgia took another step or two forward, and anyone who buys a new home built under this code will benefit.

Download the 36 page pdf file here:

Georgia State Supplements and Amendments to the International Energy Conservation Code (2009 Edition)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Great Video on Pressure Pan Testing

This is a great video of how pressure pan testing is used as diagnostic tool and how it can help in the home inspection/energy audit process.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

ThermalStar's Pressure Pan Set Newsletters a Success

ThermalStar is very excited to have started our e-newsletters and featured a special issue dedicated solely to our new Pressure Pan Sets. We would love to have you as a subscriber. Our e-newsletters keep you informed with the latest news in energy-related fields, products & deals, giveaways, energy saving tips, and more! If you would like to join our e-mail list, please send an e-mail to, with the subject line being "subscribe me" and we will be happy to add you.

 (a clip from our Pressure Pan Newsletter)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Recently Acquired Website

Hey guys, just an update, we've recently purchased the domain The website is currently under development but will be ready soon, rest assured we will let you know as soon as it is up and running!


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Newly Engineered Pressure Pan Sets

Hello all!

We at ThermalStar are very excited to bring you our newest development - Pressure Pan Sets!
Our customized pressure pan sets differ from the competitor's in a variety of ways. First, there are no suction cups in the design of our pressure pans. Our pressure pans are also completely produced in the USA. ThermalStar Pressure Pans are also:

  • Strong, durable, and the best air seal on the market
  • Sized to fit most attic scuttle hatches
  • No liability from falling pans
  • Rectangular (smaller) pan fits above most door registers
  • Safe, strong - reduce effort & liability
  • Includes hose and metal pole
  • Additional sizes coming soon!
Check back for upcoming developments and news. Contact us for more details and pricing options, ask for Geary or Jerry:

  • Toll-free: 888-268-0567
  • Office:     520-325-3777
  • E-mail:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Engineered Pressure Pan Sets For Sale!