Contractor / Home owner trust.
While undergoing a new home construction project or major home renovation and contemplating what to look for in a general contractor a few things need to be considered. In addition to some points mentioned in other posts on this site, the following list, though not exhaustive, can assist a prospective client in asking some questions of a potential general contractor.
- What is the Management Structure of the Contracting firm or proprietorship?
- Does the office look and feel well organized and well run?
- Do they have an organized project management, project scheduling system?
- Does the contractor have in house design professionals, who can respond quickly to issues or problems if and as they arise? If not, do they have a strong relationship with design professionals as sub-trades?
Improved health and well being
What is residential commissioning? A good commissioning process will first test individual HVAC (heating, ventilation air-conditioning) components for defects and performance, then test each system, and finally look at system interactions and the performance of the house as a whole under all anticipated operating conditions. A total HVAC systems design inspection including all home heating and cooling systems.
The simple definition-commissioning is all about looking for things that aren’t right and fixing them. The aim is for the whole house to perform as intended. The truth is, most new homes are never commissioned in this way. Why is that? The need for HVAC systems design commissioning is not really all that intuitive. If all the in-house mechanical systems are new, hooked up and plugged in, it should work right? Not always so. In many new homes the duct work leaks, is sized incorrectly, maybe blocked by construction/shipping material, completely disconnected from theRead More
Ground source heat pumps?
It’s all around us. Heat stored up within the Earth acting like a solar battery which absorbs nearly half of the sun's energy. This results in a relatively constant ground temperature through all seasons.
Enter the ground source heat pump.
Geothermal systems access this renewable resource by simply moving this heat around instead of creating it. Using a system of ground loops which circulate an anti-freeze mixture that picks up the earth’s temperature, these loops then connect to a geothermal unit located within your house or structure.
This in-house unit, the ground source heat pump, is in turn connected to your homes forced air, (or radiant floor) system. This fluid from the loops, which has picked up the earth’s temperature, flows through the heat pump which in turn "harvests" the earth’s heat, using a compressor system for the extraction process.
In the summer season, this process is simply reversed allowing for free air conditioning when the ground source heat pump draws the heat from the inside of the house and transfers it back into the earth for later use.Read More
The savings pile up.
Radiant Floor Heating. Instead of using a conventional boiler in your home to heat water and pipe it through your flooring, geothermal systems, using a water-to-water heat pump, can pass this earth energy through strategically placed pipes in your floors to provide the ultimate in radiant in floor heating.
Additional uses include hot water heating, snow melt applications, and even heating your pool. A desuperheater is part of a geothermal heat pumps domestic hot water generating system that "exchanges" the earths heat and deposits it directly into your domestic hot water tank. Couple this with a concept called "Drain Water Heat Recovery" which collects the remaining energy from household waste water and you can see the energy saving potential of these systems.
Since this heat from inside of your home was going to be rejected (thrown away) into the earth anyway, putting it into your hot water tank instead is free. The only cost for the summer water heating is the small cost of running the circulating pump that moves the water.
Does ductwork "sizing" really matter?
When asking the question of how to install a geothermal heating and cooling system a few factors come into play.
Heat loss/Heat gain, air flow, loop type and size, static pressure, CFM, duct design.
These are important topics that needs to be addressed in a properly designed air delivery system.
Sizing a geothermal system extends not only to the ground loops but the interior ductwork as well. This can be overlooked and treated with less importance than it needs to be especially when considering a geothermal system in a major home renovation.
Since Geo systems typically produce lower air temperatures, a higher volume of this air needs to be circulated. This needs to be done quietly and efficiently. Not something done when the ductwork and outlet placements are not designed to exacting standards. If the ducting is too small, the air movement will be to slow adding to inefficient energy usage. Adding more speed to the blower does not sufficiently address this issue since this simply lowers the system's efficiency.
Proper, customized design will address this issue. Using licensed professionals will ensure your geo system loops and in-house components are sized for your exact conditions thus ensuring the full advantages of cost and comfort that this technology can provide for you.Read More