Home Humidity Control | Why Its Important for Comfort & Health – Humidity is important to our home and health and it is important to maintain the correct humidity in our homes and workplaces for our health. What is humidity? Humidity is simply little water droplets in the air. Cold air is nearly saturated with these little water droplets because the contents of cold air allow the air to hold more water droplets or humidity. As air is heated it expands and holds less humidity.
Home Humidity Control | Why Its Important for Comfort & Health
When you heat the air in your home using a furnace, boiler, or heat pump this air expands and becomes drier. It is air with less humidity relatively speaking before it was heated and compared to the outside air. Air that is 30° F with 80% humidity will only be 15% humidity at 75° F. That is a big difference in humidity levels in the home after the air is heated. Granted, you are not heating air from 30° F to 75° F with your furnace. Depending on the set up of your thermostat and heating system you are most likely heating air that is 68° F to around 70° F to 75° F depending on the thermostat setting. The point is unless you have a source providing humidity to the air stream you are simply reheating dry air from inside the structure. There will be minimal infiltration humidity but the infiltration humidity will never be enough to bring the humidity levels up to healthy levels inside the structure for the inhabitants, plants, and furniture. (more…)
Venstar ColorTouch Programmable Thermostat – A first impression when taking the Venstar ColorTouch thermostat from the box was that the thermostat was smaller than I had imagined however it is no smaller than the typical digital programmable thermostat. The more I got into the thermostat the better I liked it even though I found what I think is a minor flaw in the thermostat. Despite the flaw we are recommending the Venstar ColorTouch thermostat for residential and light commercial users who will find the benefits and features rich and colorful. (more…)
Ohms Law and HVAC
– Ohms Law is used by HVAC Technicians, electricians, electronics technicians, engineers, and others who deal with electrical circuits everyday. It is a necessary fundamental that anyone dealing with electricity or electronics should learn. Ohms law is used in many different applications to solve problems (troubleshooting electrical problems
), for sizing wire and designing circuits, and for designing printed circuit boards (PCB’s). Ohms law is a basic fundamental formula that helps electrical specialist solves problems. Ohms Law is necessary to learn if you are going to be an above average technician in HVAC.
How DDC Status Works – DDC and Status – Is the Device On or Off
This is a current switch sometimes referred to as a CT switch.
The basics of DDC include learning about the status of a fan or a compressor or pump. How does a DDC controller read the status of the device it is monitoring? There are several ways to prove a device is running and some pros and cons of each type of device used to monitor on or off status. This is a basic DDC guide or reference to help a person understand the basics of DDC status and how it works. When one learns how DDC status works they can improve their troubleshooting skills. Too many maintenance technicians and others including HVAC technicians don’t understand DDC systems or building automation systems and are therefore crippled when it comes to troubleshooting DDC systems. High Performance HVAC hopes to change that and help HVAC techs and HVAC maintenance staff learn the basics of DDC systems including how DDC status works. Once someone understands the basics about DDC a light will turn on and they will see that DDC is not really rocket science.
Siemens Apogee DDC Controller
Building Automation Systems or Direct Digital Controls Learning – HVAC Building Automation Systems (BAS) or Direct Digital Controls (DDC) is pretty much one in the same. Basically described BAS and DDC is combining air conditioning, heating, ventilation, lighting, electrical loads, security systems, and life and safety systems to a computer and complex algorithms for better control over the systems and to offer higher efficiency levels that could not otherwise be achieved without computer control. The are many different opportunities inside the BAS or DDC field but you have to start somewhere. Commercial HVAC Technicians and Electricians are commonly hired into positions as DDC or BAS technicians and BAS and DDC installers. Where do you begin if you want to get into the field of HVAC BAS and DDC
Inside a Heat Pump
Heat Pump Frost and Ice Build Up – Hi. I noticed my that one of my outside heat pump condensing units was laboring throughout the night. This morning I found ice frost buildup on the heat pump condenser fins. I live in Tucson, Az. It has been colder than normal (below freezing) with a bit more moisture in the air than usual as of late. Can you please tell me what causes this frost ice buildup, and how I go about rectifying? Does this mean that the condenser pump is shot? I’m originally from the Midwest, and have never experienced this before. What should I be doing? Thank you for your help. (more…)
Start Capacitors for HVAC Compressors – HVAC single phase compressors always come hooked up to a run capacitor to help the compressor when it is running however very few HVAC compressors come with a start capacitor. Most HVAC technicians know that the air conditioner or heat pump compressors pulls a lot of amps on start up and this large amount of amperage draw on start up is referred to technically as locked rotor amps or inrush current and can be as much as 40,000 watts or more of pure power to get an HVAC compressor started. That large amount of amperage on the compressor windings over and over again can slowly degrade or eat away at the life of the compressor as it starts over and over again during the summer for the air conditioner and year round for the heat pump. The run capacitor does little to help the compressor on start up so in certain circumstances the manufacturer will recommend installing a start capacitor on new installations and it is a prudent thing to add a start capacitor to older installations where we need to give the compressor a slight boost on start up. There are two ways we can do this job of helping the compressor start. The first method is usually for older installations on compressors that are having issues starting and most technicians use this method when they encounter a compressor with problems. The technicians use a hard start kit which is usually available at the local HVAC supply house and is easily hooked up to the compressor wiring following the directions on the hard start kit wiring diagram. Of course every HVAC tech knows it is important for safety to turn off the power to the unit and discharge any capacitors before proceeding otherwise serious injury or worse can occur.
Motor Capacitors Available here for Purchase
HVAC Fire Safety
I’m not sure how many HVAC technicians have heard of on the job horror stories no matter the job was commercial or residential but I am certain they have happened as I have heard of these horror stories happening to others and occasionally, almost to me. Whether you have ever heard of it happening to others or even if it has happened to you it is important that we remain forever vigilant when it comes to fire safety on the job especially when we are constantly using fire as a part of our job especially for silver soldering (brazing), soft soldering, or even when we are working on gas or oil boilers or furnaces. Here is an account of a few things that I’ve personally experienced and the lessons learned from these occurrences. (more…)
High Performance HVAC Jobs and Careers
HVAC Jobs and Careers – So you want to become an HVAC Technician and want to know how to find a successful career? It’s not easy but here’s some help for you. First of all you need a good foundation of the basics and it would help if you understood the different types of jobs you can find by pursuing a career in HVAC. The education foundation will take you very far and will lead better jobs. To get this foundation you need to study and read. Burn those books up and study so that you can understand basic principles. Take some courses at the local university or trade school and find yourself a job working for an HVAC company. The HVAC books will help you with theory in temperature relationships (Basic physics) and electrical theory which is important to understand if you want go far in the trade. (more…)
Chapter Three NEC and HVAC | Article 300 | Wiring Methods
Chapter Three NEC and HVAC – Chapter Three in the NEC covers Wiring Methods which includes how wiring is supposed to be ran, conduit for wiring, outlets, junctions, and switch points, and a host of other topics about the proper way to run wiring. HVAC Technicians will be familiar with piping support as is required in the Mechanical Code and electricians must follow some of the same rules when running conduit and adding support for the conduit. Protecting the wiring and using the proper wiring methods is the gist of Article 300 and while no mention of HVAC is used in Article 300 it is important for electricians to understand and not so much an HVAC technician unless that HVAC tech aspires to be an Electrician. However it never hurts to learn a little about a related trade. (more…)