This article was originally published in the July/August 1998 issue of Home Energy Magazine. Some formatting inconsistencies may be evident in older archive content.


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Home Energy Magazine Online July/August 1998


Telltale House Revealed

The Telltale House uses a variety of techniques to demonstrate house pressure dynamics. Note the holes in the left end of the house. Vanes and feathers in these holes move when house pressures cause leakage through the building envelope.
As occupant health and safety becomes a pressing issue for the building community, the Affordable Comfort Conference provided the perfect backdrop for the rollout of new educational exhibit, the Telltale House.

Home Energy and Affordable Comfort Incorporated, through funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, have developed a traveling exhibit that demonstrates the effects of air flow and pressure on a home's comfort and safety. Using shiny vanes and theatrical smoke, this model house reveals how leaky ducts, closed interior doors, and ventilation fans can cause water heaters and fireplaces to backdraft. It also shows the effect of air leakage on energy loss, and can be set up to demonstrate how a blower door works.

Fabricator Bruce McKendry and technical trainer David Keefe premiered the exhibit at Affordable Comfort. Afterwards, the Telltale House went back to the shop for some finishing touches before making its debut before the mainstream building community at the Southern Builders Show in Atlanta June 5-7. That will mark the beginning of an 18-month tour to conferences and trade shows around the country.

The house is an excellent training tool for professionals as well as an effective educational exhibit for consumers. When the tour schedule allows, the exhibit will be available to interested organizations. Contact Affordable Comfort at (800)344-4866 for more information.

--Ann Kelly

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