How Replacing a Furnace Can Make You Less Comfortable

Posted on May 03,2015 by ab3 in AFUE

Let's say your trusty old furnace is at the end of its life. You've got to buy a new one, so you call your HVAC company and they rush over to make sure you don't freeze during the next cold snap. They go and take a look at your furnace and find its capacity. They come back and tell you that you have a furnace rated for 60,000 BTU per hour and then talk to you about some of the options.

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

Posted on May 03,2015 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.

Government Orders More Efficient Furnace Fans

Posted on May 03,2015 by ScottG in air handler

New efficiency standards for fans installed on forced-air furnaces will reduce power consumption by as much as 46% and save U.S. consumers more than $9 billion on power bills through 2030, the Department of Energy says. The department announced the new rules on June 25, saying they were part of the federal Climate Action Plan and were the latest of eight final and nine proposed standards issued since last year.

Do Combustion Safety Testing Protocols Need Fixing?

Posted on May 03,2015 by ab3 in Carbon Monoxide

Burning fuels inside a house can lead to serious health and safety problems. That's why energy auditors perform a variety of combustion safety tests to find potential hazards and recommend fixes. A couple of weeks ago at the Dry Climate Forum, I heard Vi Rapp, PhD, from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) make an argument for changing the way we do combustion safety testing. It turns out that one of the tests we do may not be as helpful as many people think it is.

All About Furnaces and Duct Systems

Posted on May 03,2015 by user-756436 in condensing furnace

UPDATED on October 2, 2014 with more information on duct system design. Many different appliances can be used to heat a house, including boilers, water heaters, heat pumps, and wood stoves. However, most homes in the U.S. are heated by a forced-air furnace. These devices are connected to ducts that deliver heated air to registers throughout the house. Different types of furnaces are manufactured to burn a variety of fuels, including natural gas, propane, oil, and firewood. The most common furnace fuel in the U.S. is natural gas.

Will a Gas Furnace Dry Out a Home’s Air?

Posted on May 03,2015 by ab3 in furnace

I get asked from time to time if a gas furnace dries out the air in a home and makes a humidifier necessary.

How to Choose the Right Mechanical System

Posted on May 03,2015 by ChrisBriley in boiler

With any house, there are so many variables that influence the decision to choose one particular mechanical system over another: climate, house size, cost, local availability and cost of fuels and materials, and the lifestyle and preferences of the occupants. There is no “one-size-fits-all” system that we can reliably prescribe for all projects. Phil and I sat down over a good winter cocktail to share our views, anecdotes, battle scars, and wisdom on this important subject.

Should Flex Duct Be Banned?

Posted on May 03,2015 by ab3 in Bailes

Ah, flex duct. That bane of home performance contractors and green builders everywhere. If you’ve seen only one forced-air duct system that uses flex, you’ve most likely seen a bad installation.

7 Steps to an Energy-Efficient House: 5. Mechanicals

Posted on May 03,2015 by Betsy Pettit in air conditioner

Editor's introduction: With energy prices rising again, many homeowners are planning energy-efficiency improvements to their homes. But most people are unsure of where to begin, and even seasoned builders don’t always know which priorities should rise to the top of the list. Betsy Pettit, an architect at [Building Science Corporation](http://www.buildingscience.com), recommends starting where you can get the most bang for the buck. Step 5: Replace your furnace, boiler, or water heater

Deciphering the Tax Credits

Posted on May 03,2015 by user-756436 in energy efficiency

The energy-efficiency tax credits and renewable-energy tax credits are better than tax deductions. The allowable credits aren’t just deductible expenses; they represent dollars subtracted directly from your tax bill. While the tax credit program includes illogical rules, the available tax credits can be significant. If you want to claim a tax credit on your 2009 income tax return for energy-efficiency improvements to your home, you should get the improvements installed before the end of the year. There’s really no need to rush, however, since the tax credits will remain available until the end of 2010 — or, in some cases, 2016.

Green Building Codes Are Derailed In Albuquerque and Santa Fe

Posted on May 03,2015 by user-756436 in furnace

##HVAC Group Files Suits Against Code## SANTA FE, NM — The development of a new green building code in Santa Fe has been delayed by a legal challenge to a proposed green building code in Albuquerque. On October 3, 2008, a federal district judge granted a preliminary injunction preventing Albuquerque from implementing its new green building code, which included provisions that might be interpreted as establishing minimum efficiency standards for residential heating and cooling equipment that are more stringent than federal minimum requirements.

Bailout bill leaves a one-year gap, with no available tax credits for work performed in 2008

Posted on May 03,2015 by user-756436 in furnace

##New Tax Credits For Residential Energy Improvements Will Be Available for 2009 Work WASHINGTON, DC — The $700 billion bank bailout bill signed into law by President Bush in October 2008 included a renewal of the homeowner energy-efficiency tax credits originally established in August 2005. (These tax credits were available to homeowners who performed air-sealing work, installed Energy Star windows, installed insulation, or bought an efficient furnace or air conditioner in 2006 and 2007.) While the new bill reinstates tax credits for work performed in 2009, it leaves a one-year gap, with no available tax credits for work performed in 2008.

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