air flow

The Achilles’ Heel of Zoned Duct Systems

Posted on March 30,2015 by ab3 in air flow

Last week I wrote about what happens when you try to save energy by closing air conditioning registers in unused rooms. In the end, I recommended not doing it because you won’t save money and you may create some big problems for yourself, like freezing up the coil and killing your compressor. At the end of the article, I mentioned that zoned duct systems do close off registers, and that doing so can be OK with the right kind of equipment and design. But there’s one thing often done in zoned duct systems that’s rarely done well.

Is It OK to Close Air Conditioner Vents in Unused Rooms?

Posted on March 30,2015 by ab3 in air conditioner

Your air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace probably uses a lot of energy. Heating and cooling makes up about half of the total energy use in a typical house. For air conditioners and heat pumps using electricity generated in fossil-fuel fired power plants, the amount you use at home may be only a third of the total.

The Two Main Reasons Your Ducts Don’t Move Enough Air

Posted on March 30,2015 by ab3 in air flow

Two things. Just two things in your ducts are responsible for giving the blower in your furnace or air handler a hard time. They make the blower push against more pressure, thus reducing air flow or increasing energy use, depending on blower type. They cut the amount of air that gets delivered to the rooms. And they can be reduced but not eliminated. Do you know what they are?

California Study Shows Big Savings in Home Energy Retrofits

Posted on March 30,2015 by ab3 in air flow

At the Forum on Dry Climate Home Performance earlier this year, I got to hear three building science experts talk about a really cool research project they've been working on in Stockton, California. Bruce Wilcox, John Proctor, and Rick Chitwood (Wilcox and Proctor are shown in photo at right) filled us in on the Stockton project, which now has two years of data and shows some really impressive results.

How to Buy an Energy-Efficient Ceiling Fan

Posted on March 30,2015 by ab3 in air flow

A little over a decade ago when I was building a house and buying a bunch of ceiling fans, it wasn't so easy to figure out which fans were energy efficient and which weren't. That's not the case anymore because every ceiling fan now has a label on the package that tells you how much air movement you can expect for each watt of electricity you put into the fan.

The 7 Biggest Opportunities for HVAC Contractors

Posted on March 30,2015 by ab3 in air flow

Heating and air conditioning contractors have a lot of opportunities to make homes better and to be profitable. The surprising thing is just how few HVAC companies take advantage of all the opportunities that are available to them.

Questions and Answers About Air Barriers

Posted on March 30,2015 by user-756436 in air barrier

UPDATED on December 12, 2014 Builders of a certain age — say, those older than about 55 or 60 — started their careers at a time when no one talked about air leakage or air barriers. Back in the early 1970s, even engineers were ignorant about air leakage in buildings, because the basic research hadn’t been done yet. Times have changed, and most residential building codes now require builders to include details designed to reduce air leakage. Today’s young carpenters are working on job sites where air barriers matter.

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