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Massachusetts Energy Code Appendix J

GW Member Posts: 4,679
Does anyone have any ideas what's up with the appendix J? It's not enforced in our area. Duct systems continue to be sub par in very expensive homes. Is anyone following this subject? Our duct guy seals his ducts with mastic; no one else around here does! Talk about being hard to compete with the bottom dwellers.

Thanks for any input on this. We just wrapped up a duct sealing job where we found some gaping holes in the ducts. The builder was called in by the HO because our price was certainly going to be much higher to refab/reinstall some funky routing around some building framing that the original duct guy decided to take a short cut. The HO will spend several thousand dollars for the renovations, not even including the duct sealing that we originally went in there for. I'm thinking about targeting the neighborhood for obvious reasons. I'm just hoping the original builder doesn't get his pant's sued off (the same tin man did all his houses on this street). Thanks for any tips on this subject.


Gary Wilson, Owner
Wilson Services, Inc.
Easthampton, MA
[email protected]
Gary Wilson
Wilson Services, Inc
Northampton, MA
[email protected]


  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    Gary, a few months ago one IRRRRATE homeowner diy

    guy was thoroughly po.ed as the new system he had installed in the attic was bringing down buckets of water thru the ceiling...now er...ummm...i kinda gotta think that the use of sealent is a must have as is tape and stichers aint half bad :) hear me out a second...the entire idea of FA is to provide a balanced controled system,if it is leaking air on the supply side and return i have to think it will be an absolute mess BTU's ,zone valves,correct size pipe,damper placement,t stat location,duct sealing materials all need to be in the mix...isolation for sound is also a real good idea...if one can walk up to one bedroom ,put his hand through the opening and wiggle his fingers in the next room..er...somethin tells me that aint the way ta doit...:) from the pictures that i have seen so far there is a vast spectrum of hvac quality. when you do your work right maybe nobody ever says a word one to you ,however you hang in there with your standards .You will still be in business long after the other guys run off..*~/:)
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,679
    heat and AC or AC only?

    New construction homes are riddled with moisture the first year or so. If the ducts were dumping condensation with warm air going through them ( off cycle of course ), he's got major problems!
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • Larry_10
    Larry_10 Member Posts: 127


    As part of your new hydro-air system I had the contractor remove all of our attic ducts and start from scratch (still using the existing returns and vent locations as atleast that was sized and placed correctly). I can say from the homeowner's perspective it's extremely difficult to find someone who does duct work you really trust. Getting someone who does mastic on residential work is extremely rare. My guy didn't use mastic, but did use UL approved Hardcast mastic tape. I played with the tape and felt pretty good about the stuff. If you try to remove Hardcast, it's an extremely difficult thing to do. Even so, I would have preferred mastic but you just don't find it. I already described our inspection process in a previous post. Can't get our local inspector to look at what he should have looked at let alone the actual heating system and duct work.

    I still kept a careful watch on the work being done in the attic. My contractor wanted to provide R6 insulation, but I asked him about R8 figuring there isn't any crime in exceeding code and a bunch of more elightened states than MA in more mild climates already require R8. The total material cost upcharge to go R8 was less than $75; I can't understand why it isn't the standard. Still had to stand firm on getting somethings done right. The contractor said he usually only carefully seals and insulates the supply side. He just couldn't understand why I insisted on R8 and Hardcast on the returns (I fail to understand any energy efficiency difference between sealing and insulation on the supply vs. the return side).

    Given the sorry state of sheet metal work in general, some type of better (than flex) rigid prefab duct system would make a lot of sense.
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