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  1. #1
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    Default consideration for purchase of HVAC

    Thanks to JacktheShackís point about a well insulated home being heated by a candle had sparked (excuse the pun) the idea of putting some thoughts down regarding HVAC considerations.

    There is a huge amount of information available from different sources so things that will be mentioned here aren't new rather just condensed for the purpose of discussion.

    Itís a fact of life we all need some form of Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) in our homes . The types or portions of systems will vary as to where or what is needed but the one thing that is common is the reason why Ö to condition the living space for comfort.
    Today we all face the rising energy costs for operating the HVAC systems both in money and the environment so itís important for us to be efficient. The manufacturers of HVAC systems continue to make their equipment operate more energy efficient but using them in a less efficient home will reduce that point.

    The HVAC system is only one component in the conditioning of the living space for comfort. Insulation is another important component that is often overlooked and is common regardless of region. We rely on the HVAC system to provide the conditioning of the living space, but we have to consider keeping that space heated or cooled. Also there really should be more consideration of preventing the outside elements from making the inside space uncomfortable and relying too heavily on the HVAC systems.
    By improving the insulation of the home makes the living space more comfortable, increasing the energy efficiency, and will help to save money not only in energy also in some cases with the equipment purchase.

    Heating or cooling systems are purchased for a myriad of reasons but many times without considering the value of insulation that exists. Take the point of heating a home with a single candle is something that would be a wonderful achievement. Itís worth keeping that thought in the back of your mind when considering the conditioning of the living space for comfort.
    When the time comes to purchase a HVAC system one of the first things is to have an independent heat gain/loss audit or evaluation of the home. Then evaluate the performance of the insulation that exists and ways to improve it Ö reducing the heat gain/loss. Having done this will make the home more comfortable, efficient and only paying for the right size of equipment.

    Iíve seen homes with no or little insulation have over sized HVAC systems installed to try and maintain some reasonable comfort level. This is the wrong approach and in cases can be detrimental. Instead of addressing the heat gain/loss from lack of insulation they are throwing their money at the wrong places for their heating/cooling issues with a larger HVAC system.

    For heating systems that are too large they will cycle on and off too frequent and shorten the life of the system also using more fuel. For Air conditioning equipment that cools too quickly there are humidity issues that will be less comfortable as well problems with wood floors etc. plus they will cycle on and off too frequent also reducing the life of the unit.

    Remember the single candle thought Ö having a strong insulation blanket that reduces the heat gain/loss for the home will allow a smaller system in cases. This will save money for the purchase of the equipment as well the benefit of not having the issues mentioned previously and of course energy savings.

    Food for thought.

  2. #2

    Default Re: consideration for purchase of HVAC

    great point and there is no better technology than thermal infrared to help you find the loss
    find anybody in your area that can provide this service remember insulation is a one time maintenance free item unlike hvac that has to be serviced .the pay back is now faster than ever with the price of fuel.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: consideration for purchase of HVAC

    canuk
    Thats a very well written and interesting piece.
    I am wondering, however, what you are proposing in the piece.
    We already have homes that are so 'efficient' that they are poisoning the occupants, buildings must bring in outside air to keep from killing us.
    Call me crazy, but when a house is so 'tight' that you must bring in outside air....thats too damned tight, IMHO.
    Lets keep all infiltration away.....then lets purposely add a machine designed to infiltrate to make up the difference...makes no sense to me.
    I understand the whole effeciency thing, but like most things, it can get out of hand, and become counter-productive. Not to mention the fact that a new system, thanks to the Government, has gone up 45% over the last 10 years.......who can afford to be green?

    What we need is cheaper energy, when we have reached the point of having machines thet make up for being to freakin 'efficient' we are there, lets address the real problem...the cost of energy, because of enviromentalism.
    Last edited by KellyWayne; 06-07-2008 at 12:58 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: consideration for purchase of HVAC

    KellyWayne ... comments are welcomed ... thanks for yours.

    lets address the real problem...the cost of energy
    You might say this would be one of the points that was intended to be raised.

    Whatever the reason .... the real fact is cost for fuel or energy to condition our homes for comfort is rising and these thoughts were to consider a way to offset those costs.
    You might even think reducing the amount of fuel or energy to condition your home for comfort has a desired advantage for your wallet. With that there is an added benefit of reducing the impact on the environment which can't be all that bad.

    So at the same time saving some dollars in your wallet for you to be comfortable in your home .... you may directly or indirectly have less impact to the environment .... without having to be an environmentalist.

    I understand the whole efficiency thing, but like most things, it can get out of hand, and become counter-productive. Not to mention the fact that a new system, thanks to the Government, has gone up 45% over the last 10 years.......who can afford to be green?
    I'm sure you would have to agree the point I was trying to indicate is that insulation and the HVAC work together.

    The efficiency of the living space preventing the outside temperatures from affecting the inside comfort determines the need for the HVAC equipment and it's size.
    Also having a living space that is not efficient in retaining the conditioning you are trying to achieve would be counter productive.... in my view.

    I can agree there can be a point of crossing the threshold of achieving little or no benefit from that extra .... including both insulation and HVAC equipment.

    However .... insulation doesn't cost a dime to operate ... so going extra isn't going to hurt.

    Compared to air conditioning and heating equipment ..... the same can't be said.


    We already have homes that are so 'efficient' that they are poisoning the occupants, buildings must bring in outside air to keep from killing us.
    Call me crazy, but when a house is so 'tight' that you must bring in outside air....thats too damned tight, IMHO.
    Lets keep all infiltration away.....then lets purposely add a machine designed to infiltrate to make up the difference...makes no sense to me.
    I agree that modern homes are becoming efficient and tight and there is a need to properly maintain the air quality within the home.

    Up here in Canada this had been recognized when "tighter homes were being built 25 plus years ago. Since then simple controlled methods of mechanical ventilation have been widely used. The simplest would be things like bath and kitchen exhaust fans. Another method using Heat Recovery Ventilators / Energy Recovery Ventilators ( HRV/ERV) ..... that are a little more complicated than exhaust fans .... are very effective in controlling and maintaining indoor air quality.... with little maintenance and costs for repair.

    So to say ..... " lets purposely add a machine" .... designed to improve indoor air quality shouldn't be a negative thing.

    After all ... we don't think twice to " purposely add a machine " that is more complicated and costs a lot to warm and cool us ... just for comfort.


    Cheers.
    Last edited by canuk; 06-09-2008 at 08:38 AM.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  5. #5
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    Default Re: consideration for purchase of HVAC

    I completely agree with canuk on this topic.

    For kelly waye to complain that overly tight buildings, the government or the higher cost of energy is the central problem just doesn't make any sense.

    The individual homeowner has little control over these factors---but does have control over adequate insulation & the purchase of more efficient HVAC equipment.

    That's all canuk is really saying, and he's absolutely correct.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: consideration for purchase of HVAC

    Dobbs ... thanks for your comments as well.

    Geez ... you were able to sum it up with a sentence or two .... instead of my long winded rambling
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  7. #7
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    Default Re: consideration for purchase of HVAC

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    Dobbs ... thanks for your comments as well.

    Geez ... you were able to sum it up with a sentence or two .... instead of my long winded rambling
    hey you don't exactally have the market cornered on the long winded thing

  8. #8
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    Default Re: consideration for purchase of HVAC

    Yep ... true enough my friend.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

  9. #9
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    Default Re: consideration for purchase of HVAC

    some don't know how to post a short statment. and are usually rather laughable. (you can tell by their sig)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: consideration for purchase of HVAC

    Careful now .... thems is fighting words.
    "" an ounce of perception -- a pound of obscure "
    - Rush

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