Simple duct and air leakage test for new manufactured homes

November 30, 2023 by Shannon Stendel

Testing the building envelope and ducts when installing a new manufactured home can increase your confidence that the building envelope, duct system, and bath and kitchen fans are functioning as designed. A simple protocol being developed by experienced field practitioners allows installers and inspectors to identify significant envelope and duct leakage issues so they can be fixed before they lead to occupant comfort complaints. The approach is quick and easy and requires low-cost, easy-to-carry equipment and minimal training.


Using two simple pieces of equipment to take a few measurements, we can get a decent understanding of envelope and duct tightness.

Single-channel digital manometer
TEC DG-8 digital pressure gauge
Example: TEC DG-8 digital pressure gauge


Calibrated exhaust flow box
TEC exhaust fan flow meter
Example: TEC exhaust fan flow meter


Protocol steps

The complete protocol involves three easy steps that can generally be completed in 15 minutes or less. We recommend taking the measurements in this order to make data collection more efficient and understand that typically people take the baseline measurement (Step 2) first.

Step 1. With the home closed and fans in the house turned off, turn on the furnace blower. Measure the house pressure with reference to the outside (house-to-outside pressure) with a digital manometer. Depressurization induced by supply duct leaks to the outside provides information about duct leakage.

Step 2. Turn off the furnace blower. Measure the baseline house-to-outside pressure, used to adjust the other measurements. (Many pressure test procedures put the baseline pressure measurement first, but this order increases data collection efficiency.)

Step 3. Turn on factory-installed exhaust fans (for example, bath fans). Measure the house-to-outside pressure difference with the fans operating. Depressurization induced by the total flow of the operating fans provides information about building envelope leakage.


Find additional resources for this project here.

Project Partners

Healthy Homes of Louisiana FSECNorthwest Energy Efficient Manufactured Housing Program The Energy Conservatory Northwest Energy Works

This material is based upon work conducted by Slipstream and supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the Building Technologies Office, Award Number DE-EE0009073.