Tag Archives: windows and doors

Home Humidity Problems Maintaining Proper Humidity | HVAC Health

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 yes, what could be causing the humidity problem? The installer said it is not the furnace.

Home Humidity Problems Answer…….

Home Humidity Problems – Maintaining the proper humidity levels in the home is important not only for health (as indicated on High Performance HVAC Humidifiers Page) but also for the wood products in the home including doors and windows. The quick answer to your question about the furnace causing the humidity problems is no. Gas furnaces and other heating appliances tend to dehumidify the air and do not create any more humidification. I wonder where your supply vents are located and are they directed to blow hot air towards the windows? Condensation is created when the temperature of air is colder than the dew point. A prime place for this to occur is windows and doors. This is part of the reason why many supply vents for forced air systems, and radiators for hot water systems, are placed near windows and doors. It keeps the windows warmer and above the dew point and also makes the air warm from your heat loss near these locations.

Home Humidity Problems - Lennox G61MP Gas Furnace

The furnace you describe, the Lennox G61MP, is a condensing furnace and having the combustion air intake in the basement actually contributes to removing humidity from the basement. It sucks the air from the basement for use in the combustion process and the humidity in this air is condensed during the combustion process in the heat exchanger. This condensation is gotten rid of down a condensation drain near the furnace or blown out the exhaust where the combustion gases are expelled. If your supply vents are located near the doors and windows and you still have this problem then it may be time for new doors and windows as you have too much heat loss at these places and all the humidity is being condensed around the windows in your home.

Home Humidity Problems - Proper Humidity Levels

For more information on humidity and health click here.

 

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Home Humidity Problems Maintaining Proper Home Humidity

Closing Off Part of the House To Save Energy on HVAC | HVAC Efficiency

Closing Off Part of the House To Save Energy on HVAC

Closing Off Part of the House To Save Energy on HVAC - I have a Heil gas/electric package unit in my home. I, particularly, want to know, if I can close off a section to save on heating. Heating dealers have not been helpful as they hedge on whether and how this can be done with the system still running at it’s most efficient. I have closed doors to seal off area. Then closed floor registers. Should I also close air return in that area? I just read this should not be done at all as it decreases units efficiency? Will you please advise. I am thinking of closing off part of the house to save energy on HVAC. Thank you.

The Answer:

Closing Off Part of the House and HVACHello and Thank you for emailing High Performance HVAC, Dorothy, Your registers should not be closed off as it is bad for the unit. The unit was installed based on the size of your home and the needed airflow for the house. This is designed airflow and requires all registers to be open to get the designed airflow through the unit and all the ducts. Closing off registers restricts airflow and is the same as a dirty filter which restricts airflow and causes problems with the unit. I have seen this before and I cover this on the HVAC filter page. In a gas pack it will cause excessive heat build up inside the unit and cause the unit to trip on high limit safety if you close off too many registers as the required airflow is not moving across the heat exchange so the heat continues to build up in the heat exchanger and eventually trips this high limit safety. Leave all your registers open and make sure you have a clean filter to maximize the unit. The best way to get the most efficiency out of the unit is to get a programmable thermostat and run the unit only as necessary. For more information on this see the thermostat pages concerning programmable thermostats and there use. Additionally, making sure you have good windows and doors to minimize heat loss will also help. Adding insulation to your attic space and other areas will also help reduce the amount the unit runs will result in savings and additionally having a humidifier installed will also help you remain comfortable in the winter time. For more information on why a humidifier will help you remain more comfortable in the winter see the humidifiers page.

Thanks for emailing High Performance HVAC. Hope this helps you.

Richard High Performance HVAC - Closing Off Part of the House To Save Energy on HVAC

Closing Off Part of the House To Save Energy on HVACRichard Many thanks for your very prompt response! What you say ties in with what I read regarding stress on the unit. However, this Victorian “cottage” is 3,000 sq. ft. w/ 12 ft. ceilings is now too big for only my husband and I. Is there not a way we can isolate the unused space and save on heating without stressing the unit? We have done all that you suggested. Storm windows, doors, etc., except for the attic insulation. The company that installed the unit is no longer in business and the man that I got to service it after that died. last fall. I’m in a very small town and the nearest Heil dealers seem to be 40 or more miles away. I did print a list of those I found. Haven’t called any yet as I ran across your webpage. My final question is, given the size of the unit, could I convert to 2 zones somehow? And, only heat the occupied part in winter? Thanks for you patience and help.

Closing Off Part of the House To Save Energy on HVAC – Conclusion

No unless you installed a whole new system (two new systems for zoning) or de-rating your current unit and buy another smaller unit. Also it doesn’t have to be a Heil dealer to work on the unit. Many gas packs are very similar in design and functionality. Any qualified HVAC tech should completely understand your unit and how to repair it. Not many would know how to de-rate it though. This would likely need Heil involved to give you the engineering data for derating and exactly how to derate the equipment. We are talking about a 2 ton system (I think) so you can’t derate too much. Generally the tonnage is the size of the air conditioning and doesn’t refer to the heating because the system is designed for airflow for air conditioning. You don’t want to derate the air conditioning but you can derate the gas heater side of the equipment. If the unit is older than 5 years I don’t recommend this. Richard

More about energy efficiency can be found here.

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Closing Off Part of the House To Save Energy on HVAC

How to Save Energy: Methods of Saving Energy Google PowerMeter

How to Save Energy:  Methods of Saving Energy Google PowerMeter (Google Power Meter was discontinued in 2012 but there are still good methods of saving energy in this article)

With the ever increasing cost of energy we must ask ourselves how can we save energy? This question can be answered easily by someone who understands energy saving methods and I will show you different ways to save energy.

Why do we want to save energy? To many this question is easy to answer and while some be thinking the answer is axiomatic you may be surprised at how some people answer that question. To me the core reason for saving energy is two things: 1) To save money and 2) It is incredibly irresponsible to waste good energy. It is kind of like cooking a Porterhouse T-bone and only eating half and throwing the rest of the delicious steak away. What an incredible waste!

Energy Savers Visiting High Performance HVAC - How to Save Energy:  Methods of Saving Energy Google PowerMeter

Many people who visit High Performance HVAC and have read several of the articles here understand that we want energy efficiency to be one of the considerations especially when considering the purchase of new HVAC equipment or even when making repairs. I think if everyone in the USA and Canada would repair their duct work tons of energy could be saved. Other recommendations include programmable thermostats and high energy efficiency condensers and air handlers. There are many other recommendations we have made here on High Performance HVAC and we will surely make many more in the future to help our readers.

Energy Savings Basics - How to Save Energy:  Methods of Saving Energy Google PowerMeter

Here is a basic list off the top of my head that will help many people save energy:

1. Windows and Doors leaking air. Visit your local hardware store and ask the people their how to stop drafts around your doors and windows. They will have several recommendations for you and this will save you lots of money on heating and cooling costs not to mention lowing the run time hours of operation for your HVAC equipment which will extend the life of the equipment in some cases. This action will save energy.

2. Duct work integrity – This will most likely have to be checked and repaired by a professional. As with one of my articles where I compare some duct work to a water hose that has several holes in it. You’ll never get good pressure from it or the volume of conditioned air you want and some of it ends up in a place where it is not needed. This action will save energy.

3. Humidifiers – by maintaining a higher humidity level in your home in the winter means you can dial down the temperature on the thermostat more because when it is more humid we feel warmer. It is basic science and the study of air proves me correct. Get a whole house humidifier and set it for 45-50% and don’t worry. Humidifiers save energy and money iun the winter. This action will save energy.

4. Insulate the water heater (following the manufacturer’s instructions) and possible get a timer for the water heater. You could also consider upgrading whenever the life of your old water heater is up. Upgrade to a heat pump water heater or consider going to tankless water heater. This action will save energy.

5. Get a programmable thermostat and program it for the times when you will not be at home. This action will save energy.

6. Turn the thermostat up a few degrees in the summer and down a few degrees in the winter. You may feel a little uncomfortable for a week or so but your body will adjust to the new settings and you will save money. This action will save energy.

7. When you need to replace your HVAC equipment consider getting higher SEER or AFUE equipment than you would normally buy. By doing this you can realize an incredible amount of savings simply because the newer higher efficiency equipment requires less energy to produce the same comfort level. This action will save energy.

8. Monitor your energy use. This can be difficult to do monitoring electrical use and gas use from a month to month bill. As of this writing there is no way available to monitor you gas usage (currently not available in the US and Canada – it is available in UK) as the method of monitoring electricity usage. Monitoring electrical usage is available from Google PowerMeter and you can find out all about this by going to Google.com/powermeter. This action will save energy.

Google PowerMeter and Saving Money and Saving Energy - How to Save Energy:  Methods of Saving Energy Google PowerMeter

How to Save Energy:  Methods of Saving Energy Google PowerMeterGoogle PowerMeter has teamed up with various manufacturers to make some power meters which can be hooked up to monitor electrical usage in your home. There are different manufacturers offering different meters but they all pretty much do the same thing and that is track how much electricity you are using and then the device sends this information to Google PowerMeter where you can log in to you account and see how much energy you are consuming on an hourly basis. Google PowerMeter offers different charts and graphs so you can see exactly when your power use spikes. This allows you to see things you could never see before. For example – One man observed that his electricity usage was spiking at 1 in the morning every morning. A little investigation and he found his water heater was coming on at this time so he went and purchased an insulation blanket for his brand of water heater and installed a time on the water heater. The spike went away and the measured amount of savings equaled more $30.00 per month. Now you can see that by monitoring your energy use closely how you can save money and energy. That’s $360.00 per year in real savings that that man can use for other things. These things are quite common in commercial buildings where the building engineer and maintenance staff can monitor energy use and make simple corrections that save lots of money. Visit Google PowerMeter today and get started. The meter you see pictured is one I have for my house. It will be installed soon when I upgrade my panel.

There are other methods to save energy and the methods we mentioned here for saving energy and money we spend on energy are not comprehensive. There are many other ways for you to save energy and money and we will cover these in future articles so stay tuned for more later!

energy saving methods

 

 

The Google PowerMeter requires the purchase of a meter from a third party vendor. Installation in your power panel is necessary along with a connection to the Internet which can be done wirelessly. In Virginia or North Carolina use the contact form and email High Performance HVAC. We may be able to offer you the service of hooking this up.

 How to Save Energy:  Methods of Saving Energy Google PowerMeter

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SUNDAY, JULY 20, 2014