Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about energy code compliance

Where can copies of the energy codes be obtained?

Copies of the 2015 Minnesota Building Code can be obtained from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry website. Copies of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) can be purchased from the International Code Council website. Copies of ASHRAE standards can be purchased from the ASHRAE website.

What are the enforcement dates for the new energy codes in Minnesota?

The new residential energy code (IECC 2012 w/amendments) went into enforcement on February 14, 2015. The new commercial energy code (IECC 2012 w/ASHRAE 90.1-2010 option) went into enforcement on June 2, 2015.

What are some of the changes to the new residential energy code?

Some changes and interpretations to the new residential energy code can be found in the Minnesota Energy Codes Compliance Collaborative’s Common Practices document.

What happens if the ductwork goes outside the envelope and when the house is done I don’t pass the duct leakage test?

We suggest you take (and pass the test) at the rough-in phase so you are able to take any remedial actions required to seal it better if it doesn’t pass.

I am a mechanical contractor and have had inconsistent results with the duct testing. What causes these fairly significant differences?

One possibility is that the method used to seal the registry – using a foam block-friction fit – inside the duct avoids reading the leakage at the register and generally gives a lower leakage rating.

Who can do the blower door test in the residential energy code? Where do I find someone to do a blower door test?

According to R402.4.1.2, where required by the code official, testing shall be conducted by an approved third party.  A written report of the results of the test shall be signed by the party conducting the test and provided to the code official.  A list of some of the available raters that can perform blower door tests in Minnesota is available here.

When should I do the blower door test?

If you are unfamiliar with testing or how this house performs, a rough-in test might be a good way to ensure that you will pass the test and have the ability to fix any leaks in the case that you don’t pass the test.