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DOE Weatherization Installer,
Part 1 - Fundamentals

Course Outline


Introduction to Weatherization

  • Gain historical perspective of the Weatherization Assistance Program.
  • Understand characteristics of the client base served by the program.
  • Recognize that building science guides the selection of measures installed with program dollars.
  • Understand the principles of cost-effectiveness and the savings-to-investment ratio (SIR).
  • Recognize modern weatherization measures.

Communication Skills

  • The ways feelings and attitudes are expressed.
  • Appropriate behavior and communication techniques to use at client homes.
  • The importance of treating clients and their property with respect.

House as a System

  • Understand the basic interrelation of home components.
  • Understand that changes made now can create issues that emerge as damage years later.

Building Science Basics

  • Understand the difference between thermal and air barriers.
  • Know the proper location of thermal and air barriers.
  • Recognize the driving forces of air leakage.
  • Understand the connection between air leakage, energy waste, and moisture problems.
  • Understand how air ducts affect pressure balances within the home.
  • Understand the principle behind the blower door as a tool for measuring air leakage.

Blower Door Basics

  • Name and understand the natural driving forces that cause pressure differences.
  • Understand units of pressure and the measurement of air leakage.
  • Be able to set up and operate a blower door to measure air leakage and conduct zonal pressure diagnostics.
  • Understand the meaning and importance of minimum ventilation requirements (MVR).
  • Be able to convert blower door readings to the total size of opening in square inches, and to cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air leakage under natural conditions.
  • Understand the relationship between CFM50, CFMnatural, and air changes per hour (ACH).

Pressure and Thermal Boundaries

  • Understand the difference between the thermal boundary and the air or pressure boundary, and the behavior and function of each.
  • Know the proper location of the pressure and thermal boundaries.
  • Know common sites for breaks in the pressure and thermal boundaries.
  • Understand what is meant by inside and outside in terms of an air barrier, and how a blower door is used to determine that.

Combustion Safety

  • Understand the health and safety issues related to combustion equipment.
  • Know the basics of combustion equipment inspection.
  • Recognize that different vent pipe materials are required for different appliances.
  • Understand worst case combustion appliance zone (CAZ) testing.
  • Understand and be able to conduct duct inspection.

Worker Safety

  • Understand the purpose of OSHA regulations.
  • Know where to find guidelines for working with lead, mold, and asbestos.
  • Know which homes require Lead Safe Weatherization practices and Certified Renovators.
  • Know what a Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is and why it is important to keep nearby.

Materials, Tools, and Equipment

  • Recognize the various tools and equipment associated with typical weatherization measures.
  • Understand the importance of equipment maintenance and its effect on production.
  • Understand the importance of a well-organized trailer and job site for productivity and safety.

Typical Weatherization Measures

  • Recognize typical weatherization measures and associated guidelines.
  • Know where to find a list of all measures approved in the program.
  • Be able to name various building shell and mechanical measures, the tools required, and the purpose of those measures.
  • Understand when incidental repairs are allowed.
  • Understand the connection between pressure diagnostics and duct modifications.
  • Know the guidelines for insulating gas and electric water heaters.
  • Understand what is meant by base load measures.

Mobile Home Basics

  • Discuss construction details and materials related to mobile homes.
  • Learn the differences in pre- and post-1976 mobile homes.
  • Explore standard weatherization priorities and order of operations for mobile homes.
  • Discuss the design of mobile home forced air distribution systems.
  • Hear about duct belly return modification.
  • Learn about belly, wall, and roof insulation retrofit methods.
  • Discuss diagnostic techniques to assess the integrity of ducts.
  • See duct sealing and repair techniques.
  • Explore where mobile home appliances differ from single-family versions.

Multifamily Basics

  • Understand what qualifies as multifamily (MF) housing.
  • Be introduced to basic differences in diagnostics and modeling compared to single-family homes.
  • Learn about differences in energy use between single-family (SF) and MF housing.
  • Be introduced to common, cost-effective multifamily weatherization measures.

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