Home Humidity Problems Maintaining Proper Humidity | HVAC Health 5/5 (1)

Home Humidity Problems – Is 60% Humidity in the Home Too High?

HIGH HUMIDITY 60 % +. Within the last month, I moved into a new house. It has dry walls and not plaster walls. The furnace and hot water tank were installed a week or so before we moved in to the house. Last week we determined that there is a humidity issue when the windows were sweating. We are trying to determine the source of the humidity. The contractor feels it may be the high efficiency furnace. I have a Lennox g61mp. The combustion air is pulled from within the un finished basement. Should the air be pulled from the outside? The gases are vented via PVC pipe which slopes back to the furnace.

Could the furnace be causing the humidity problem? If no, what else could be causing the humidity problem? The installer said it is not the furnace.

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2011 Proposed Increase in SEER – EER – AFUE – HSPF 5/5 (1)

This article is archived for future records. Please refer to DOE website for reference on current energy efficiency guidelines.

 

10 SEER units cannot be purchased in the US any longer. The new standard as mandated by the Department of Energy as of January 2006 is 13 SEER. This 30 percent increase in efficiency from 10 SEER requires a change out of the inside coil. In 2011 the Senate is proposing a new SEER and AFUE standard that will be based on where you reside in the USA. The country will be split up into three regions. Northern, Southern, and the Southwestern regions with each region having different efficiency standards. The proposed efficiency standards for each region are as follows:

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Duct Work and High Ceilings | HVAC Duct Work Systems No ratings yet.

Duct Work and High Ceilings

Duct Work and High Ceilings | HVAC Duct Work Systems

Duct Work and High Ceilings – I did not see any reference to my question and would appreciate a response as soon as possible, as due to medical situation, have to make a decision soon. We own an OLD house with 13′ ceilings in a large part of the home and 11″ ceilings in the LV/DR and BR. We are oscillating on where to place the ducts….Floor or ceiling. It appears to be counterproductive to me to put the duct work in the ceiling since it will have so far to go. We are looking for the most cost effective, not upfront cost but operating cost, solution. In addition, we are considering DF heat pumps. The house will need 2 or 3 to be zoned correctly. Please let me know about the duct placement and thank you for your help?

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Electronic Ignition Systems and Standing Pilot | Gas Heating No ratings yet.

Electronic Ignition Systems and Standing Pilot

Modern gas furnaces use electronic ignition systems to light the burners in modern furnaces. One can still purchase a gas furnace or water heater with the old standing pilot ignition systems which have been proven reliable and safe over time but why would someone want to purchase a gas furnace or water with a standing pilot ignition system rather than purchase a gas furnace or water heater with an electronic ignition system? Let’s define the two different types of gas furnace or water heater ignition systems and then we will surmise based on that why someone would purchase a standing pilot gas ignition system over an electronic ignition system.

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Gas Furnace Components 3 | HVAC Heating No ratings yet.

Gas Furnace Components | Ignition Controls

Gas Furnace Components 3Gas furnace ignition controls vary from furnace manufacturer to furnace manufacturer. Some are proprietary and some are from an engineering company which specializes in gas furnace ignition controls. Honeywell being a major manufacturer of controls for HVAC also makes several gas furnace ignition controls. Gas furnace ignition controls have advanced by leaps and bounds over the last 20 years coming from the norm which was standing pilot ignition all the way to solid state ignition controls which exist today and are safer and more efficient than the gas furnace ignition controls of yesteryear. Aside from a few companies which lag behind in technology for whatever reason to some water heater manufacturers who continue to adhere to the old standing pilot ignition controls the new modern systems offer safety and efficiency in all their gas furnace controls. Honeywell was the pioneer as they are with much of the modern HVAC technology and Lennox and Carrier came in just behind Honeywell with advancements in engineering of gas furnace ignition controls that changed the entire HVAC gas furnace industry.

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Hot Water Unit Heater Protecting a Mechanical Room No ratings yet.

Hot Water Unit Heater Protecting a Mechanical RoomHot Water Unit Heater Protecting a Mechanical Room

Unit heaters are used in various places to protect equipment and provide comfort to occupants. This hot water unit heater provides protection for a mechanical room where there is a large air handler and other associated equipment in the mechanical room. This system is controlled by DDC. A thermostat on the wall detects the temperature of the mechanical room. The DDC system will maintain a temperature set point by energizing the hot water unit heater fan and modulating the hot water valve open on the hot water piping. The actuator and hot water valve can be seen in this photo on the right lower half of the system. The valve is a two position valve so it is either open or closed with no modulating the valve on the unit heater. Other unit heaters for heating mechanical rooms or providing comfort include electric units heater when hot water is unavailable, gas fired unit heaters when gas (either propane or natural gas) is available, and infrared heaters typically found in large garages or warehouses for basic comfort of workers in those spaces. There are also steam unit heaters that utilize steam and a steam coil for heating spaces where steam is available. Most unit heaters are forced air unit

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Thermostat Selection and Types | HVAC Control No ratings yet.

Thermostat Selection and Types

This article will help select the right type thermostat for the HVAC system you have installed.

Thermostat Selection and Types – So you have made a choice to replace the thermostat in your home or business and you decided to do it yourself.Thermostat Selection and Types Hopefully you will follow the advice on this website and read the instructions before replacing the thermostat. It is recommended if you do not know what you are doing or having any doubt what-so-ever then please consult a professional. One of the biggest issues with replacing your thermostat is selecting the proper thermostat. This will depend on the air conditioning and heating system which you have installed in your home. By and large most thermostats are low voltage thermostats however there are line voltage thermostats, Millivolt thermostats, and other proprietary solid state thermostats that come with many mini-split or ductless systems. Other selection factors include selecting a programmable thermostat, non-programmable thermostat, and digital or mechanical thermostat. You need to first figure what kind of air conditioning and heating equipment you have before selecting the proper thermostat. In some cases selecting the proper thermostat will require some technical knowledge concerning low voltage thermostat circuits.

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Pricing New Air Conditioner | HVAC Heating and Cooling 5/5 (1)

5/5 (1) "> Pricing New Air Conditioner Cost Price for New Heat Pump

Pricing New Air Conditioner Cost Price for New Heat Pump

Pricing New Air Conditioner

We get emails on a regular basis asking us about prices for a new air conditioner, heat pump system, boilers, and other types of HVAC systems. This article addresses those questions and why it is nearly impossible to give anyone an estimate for a new system through email or forum without first looking at the house and other factors involved with giving someone a price.

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Furnace Water Leak Possible Condensate Problem No ratings yet.

Furnace Water Leak Possible Condensate Problem

Richard,

My furnace is leaking water and it is summer time so I am not using it for heat except for the blower fan which is hooked up for the air conditioner and the heat. I know the pipes from the outside units run into a box on top of the furnace so I think that is a part of the air conditioner. What can I do to fix the problem if you know what the problem is by my explanation here? Dan

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Gas Furnace Electronic Ignition Systems: Hot Surface Igniter No ratings yet.

Gas Furnace Electronic Ignition Systems: Hot Surface Igniter
Gas Furnace with Hot Surface Ignition – Burner Compartment

Hot Surface Igniter  – Whenever we talk about electronic ignition systems we must first look at the key components which make these systems work and understand how they work. Hot surface ignition systems work in various ways depending on what the electronic ignition manufacturer and design engineer determined in the design. Some are direct main burner ignition while others light a pilot and the pilot lights the main burners. A vast majority of hot surface ignition systems light the main burners directly without using a pilot light. This is a simpler form of using a hot surface igniter to light a pilot light and then have the pilot light the main burner. There are fewer parts to worry about and therefore less mechanical things which can break down or go wrong to worry about in a direct main burner ignition system. These electronic ignition systems work with both natural gas and propane gas.

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High Efficiency Electronic Ignition Gas Furnaces | HVAC Heating No ratings yet.

High Efficiency Electronic Ignition Gas Furnaces – Electronic Ignition Gas Furnaces

High Efficiency Electronic Ignition Gas FurnacesThe next step up from the standing pilot gas furnace is the electronically controlled furnaces. These gas furnaces are more efficient than the standing pilot furnaces but more complex in design. There are three types of electronic ignition gas furnaces: the intermittent spark pilot, the intermittent hot surface ignition pilot (Honeywell smart valve and ignition assembly) and the hot surface ignition furnaces. While the three are different they all offer higher efficiencies and are both controlled by solid-state circuit boards. Many of these furnaces also have higher efficient heat exchangers. When the intermittent pilot or hot surface ignition controls are combined with improved and more efficient heat exchangers, the result is a furnace that can be 80 percent or more efficient versus the older standing pilot gas furnaces which average only 60 to 70 percent efficient. The photo on the left shows a pool heater with electronic ignition. The pool heater was new and being inspected for proper installation.

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Heat Pump Problems | HVAC Heating & Cooling No ratings yet.

Heat Pump Problems

Heat Pumps are very popular especially in the South where air source heat pumps are mostly favored over straight air conditioners with a gas furnace for heating. Heat Pump ProblemsWith a heat pump one system can do it all especially in the mild winters of the South. In the North some people rely on a geothermal heat pump system or a water source heat pump where the heat is extracted from  the ground instead of the air like an air source heat pump works. While air source heat pumps are cheaper to install the geothermal heat pump systems will save a lot of money over the life of the heat pump in operating costs so as far as efficiency is concerned the geothermal heat pump rules the day. There may be a time when your heat pump will begin giving you problems so we decided to post an article to help some people diagnose the heat pump problem in an effort to better understand the system. Some minor repairs can be done by someone with advanced do it yourself skills however we always recommend you call an HVAC contractor to repair the problem if you have a problem with your heat pump. Before you get started you may want to take a look at the articles, “How Heat Pumps Work” , “Heat Pump Components” and “heat pump sequence of operation“. To solve heat pump problems you at least need to be familiar with a heat pump and the heat pump components so those two pages will help you.

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Facts About Gas Furnaces No ratings yet.

Gas Burners for a FurnaceGas Furnaces are the most used types of heating appliance for our homes and businesses and modern gas furnaces range in efficiencies from 79% to 95%. Gas furnaces can either use propane or natural gas for fuel and this largely depends on whether natural gas is available at the location where the appliance is located. Propane is used in rural areas and in urban areas where the natural gas pipeline infrastructure has not been installed. Natural gas is delivered via pipeline while propane is delivered via trucks and pumped into tanks located on the premises where the gas furnace, water heater or other appliance is located that utilizes propane for fuel. The other differences between propane and natural gas are propane is heavier than air while natural gas is lighter than air and the BTU rating between propane and natural gas, the size of piping used to deliver the two different gases to the appliances, and the pressures of the gases at the the point delivery to the appliances. Natural gas produces 1,000 Btu’s of heat per cubic foot burned and Propane produces about 2,500 Btu’s of heat per cubic foot. In comparison studies natural gas is considered the cheaper alternative by far than propane as far as fuel usage and production of heat are concerned. In different comparison studies it cost nearly 200% more to produce 90,000 BTUs of heat with propane over natural gas. This makes natural gas a more attractive option when considering whether to purchase a natural gas furnace or a propane furnace (really they are the same except when the appliance arrives on site it is converted to propane using a propane conversion kit provided by the manufacturer if the gas furnace is going to be used for a propane application).  The only issue in making the decision between a natural gas furnace or a propane gas furnace is availability. Natural gas is not available in every location and this is the reason why many people have propane gas furnaces for heating systems, cooking, and heating water.

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Gas Furnace Components | HVAC Heating Systems No ratings yet.

Gas Furnace ComponentsGas Furnace Components

There are different types of gas furnaces which are available for purchase today and the older models which were installed many years ago still in operation. The older models were typically atmospheric type gas furnaces and used a lot of gas to produce heat much of which went up the flue because efficiencies were low. The standing pilot atmospheric type gas furnaces still exist today but they are slowly going the way of the dinosaur as they are being replaced by newer more efficient furnaces. We will take the typical modern gas furnace and break it down into different components and parts and then put it all back together again so that you will understand each part and how a gas furnace works. Each manufacturer has their own way of engineering their products but the principles and gas furnace components are basically the same. We’ll describe each gas furnace component necessary for the proper functioning of the gas furnace. Gas appliances require piping and gas piping in some states or provinces may be regulated by the plumber’s board but many HVAC contractors are qualified for running gas pipe. Many HVACCompanies have a plumbing department or the Plumbing Company has an HVAC department. Either way the gas piping should be done by a professional who is familiar with gas piping, gas pipe sizing, and the Fuel-Gas Code (other local codes may apply, consult with your local code authority before beginning a new piping job). Safety is the primary factor with any heating and we will stress this as we go along covering all gas furnace components. Of course we don’t know everything but we do know a lot about HVAC so if we leave something out I’m sure the High Performance HVAC readers will let us know as they always do. Suggestions and comments are welcome about gas furnace components and anything else you want to contribute concerning HVAC.

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Water Dripping from Air Conditioner | Condensation Drain Pipe 5/5 (1)

Water Dripping from Air Conditioner

Condensation Drain Question:

Condensation Drain Pipe - Water Dripping from Air ConditionerWe have 2 air conditioning units in our house and 2 pipes protrude from the roof. One of the pipes is dripping water. We were told to look for a blockage and to empty the pans. I don’t see where to check for a blockage. Any suggestions?

The air conditioning units we have are: Bryant models 373LAV, 376CAV Downflow/Horizontal and 383KAV, 395CAV Upflow Gas Furnace.

Water Dripping from Air Conditioner  | Condensation Pipe Drain Answer

Thanks for visiting High Performance HVAC and asking a good question. I see you have two zones so actually you should have more than two drains. Possibly 3 or 4 drains depending on where the units are located. Typically air handling units installed in the attic or closet spaces upstairs will have two condensation drain pipes for condensation. One is the primary condensation drain pipe where the water should continuously drain the condensation during the cooling season and in the winter heating season if you have a high efficiency condensing furnace. In the summer it is possible these drains could get clogged up. Normally what clogs these condensation drain pipes is algae and crud growing in the pipe. It will usually block or clog the primary condensation drain causing the water to back up in the unit. The water eventually finds its way to the secondary or emergency drain pan which should also have a condensation drain pipe attached to it that drains out the water when the primary condensation drain pipe gets clogged.

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Types of Electronic Ignition Gas Furnaces No ratings yet.

Gas Furnace Electronic Ignition Control Board
Gas Furnace Electronic Ignition Control Board

Gas furnaces, boilers, and water heaters have evolved from the basic standing pilot ignition system to the state of the art electronic ignition models. Standing pilot gas furnaces relied on keeping a pilot flame lit for the furnace, boiler, or water heater to function. The advent of electronic ignition has made it possible to prove a flame without keeping a pilot light lit 24/7 and thereby saving money because electronic ignition only needs to have a flame when there is a call for heat from the thermostat. There are different types of electronic ignition gas furnaces.

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Leaking Air from the Air Handler 5/5 (1)

Dear Richard… my partner and I moved into a brand new mill conversion/rehab condo last year that we absolutely love, but after the summer was over, I went into the utility closet (where the air handler/gas furnace are) and noticed that there was copper corrosion crust/rust that had run down from the air handler (not sure from where, but somewhere fairly high up on the AHU). It had dried up, and didn’t seem to be enough to run down the sides of the burner even–no streaks). This winter, though, I noticed that the suction line has a 1/4 inch gap below it (crappy install?), and that warm air was blowing out of it! There is a rubber gasket around it but still an open space around the copper pipe. I’m assuming that in the summer, cold air comes out of the same hole, and condensation must form on the first uninsulated 1/2 inch or so of the suction line, then run down leaving dried up copper oxide on the burner. It’s also rusting the bolts on top of the burner. Plausible? How do I deal with the AHU? A little expanding foam? It would have to be replaced every time the panel comes off, though. Should this air be allowed to escape? It seems like a lot of air coming out. Thanks SO much, I have learned a lot from reading your articles! Also, what is a typical donation amount to your website?

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How to Hook Up a Home Thermostat | HVAC Control No ratings yet.

How to Hook Up a Home Thermostat

How to Hook Up a Home ThermostatIf you need to install a new tstat then you have found the right place to learn. Below we will describe to you how to hook up a digital thermostat, hook up a programmable thermostat, or hook up any type for that matter. Whether the old thermostat is bad or not if you simply want to replace your old one and hook up a new one the first thing you need to take into consideration is to select the right replacement thermostat. To select the correct replacement you need to know what kind of HVAC equipment you have in your home or where you want to hook up the new thermostat.  There are numerous types of air conditioner and heating combinations so in this article we will cover a basic gas furnace and air conditioner split system HVAC system. For hooking up a new thermostat similar systems to the air conditioner/gas furnace combination would be:

How to Hook Up a Home Thermostat

If you do not know what kind of unit you have take a look at the paperwork from the last time the unit was serviced. Perhaps it will show the type of equipment on the service ticket where the unit had maintenance.  It is assumed that most people will know what kind of unit they have so that they can select the proper thermostat.

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Gas Furnace is Making Too Much Noise | Diagnosis and Repair No ratings yet.

Gas Furnace is Making Too Much Noise – The FixGas Furnace is Making Too Much Noise | Diagnosis and Repair

Gas Furnace is Making Too Much Noise – Richard, my gas furnace makes a lot of noise when it is running and it is somewhat annoying and sometimes bothers me when I am sleeping. It is installed in a closet close to my bedroom. What can I do to fix this gas furnace that is making too much noise? Jenny

Jenny, sorry to hear about the noise your gas furnace is making. All gas furnaces make some noise when operating and we can break it down into three different noises. Depending on which noise your furnace is making will depend on a fix to your furnace making too much noise. First is the gas burners. A lot of inshot gas burners make a noise when they are burning the gas. Additionally, unless you have a standing pilot gas furnace which is an older type of gas furnace and not typical in the average home today, your furnace will have an induced draft or forced draft motor to properly vent the combustion gases and give the combustion chamber combustion air. After all fuel needs air to burn and after the combustion process is complete you need to vent the dangerous gases outside and the forced draft motor or induced draft motor helps this process. Those two things can cause noise all in themselves but there is another thing that can cause noise from a gas furnace and that is the blower motor inside the gas furnace that blow the hot air through the HVAC system duct work.

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Gas Valve Troubleshooting | Furnace Components No ratings yet.

Gas Valve Troubleshooting | Furnace Components 

Only qualified gas furnace technicians should troubleshoot gas furnace problems

Gas Furnace Components - Gas Valve TroubleshootingGas valves used in modern state of the art residential gas furnaces are typically controlled via a state of the art electronic ignition control or a printed circuit board. Other types of gas valves include the standing pilot gas valve. Gas valves can be found on gas furnaces, gas fired steam or hot water boilers, and gas fired water heaters. When troubleshooting a gas valve the technician should only be concerned with input to the gas valve and output of the gas valve whether it is an electronically or circuit board controlled gas valve or a standing pilot gas valve. If something is wrong with the internal components of the gas valve the gas valve should be replaced and not repaired in the field. Only the gas valve manufacturer or someone certified by the manufacturer of the gas valve can make repairs and certify the safety of the gas valve. This also applies to gas valves that have been submerged under water due to flooding of your boiler or gas furnace or water heater.. The rule is if the gas valve is found to be defective internally in any way or has been submerged or partially submerged change it out for a new gas valve.

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