Room Humidity and House Humidifier Energy Savings

Controlling humidity levels in your home can increase your energy savings

Control room humidity with a humidifier to achieve best energy savings
Energy savings in your home can be improved by controlling room humidity levels and using two types of humidifiers. There are whole house humidifiers that attach to the forced air heating system or portable units and can condition smaller portions of your property.
Both groups of humidifiers will help increasing room humidity but waste energy and/or water at the same time; some significantly, others considerably less.
However, if used properly, good quality whole house humidifiers will make you feel warmer in colder months, thus allowing you to lower the thermostat temperature settings, and saving […]

Air Circulation in Homes with No Air Return on Second Floor

Air circulation in homes - single, central air return register installed on the ceiling

Air circulation in two story homes
Air circulation in homes which are older and / or in poorly designed newer ones equipped with a central, forced air system might be compromised because they do not have an air return port installed on the second floor. It doesn’t matter how much you run the air conditioning system during the summer – that second floor will always stay much hotter than the first.

During the winter it becomes difficult to keep the property warm without proper air circulation as well. In both situations, the forced air system is wasting huge amounts of energy to keep […]

How to Use Thermostat Fan ON – OFF Feature

Picture of the thermostat fan ON-OFF switch

Thermostat fan ON – OFF

Use forced air heating and / or AC thermostat fan ON – OFF feature to your advantage and help your HVAC forced air system perform most efficiently.
Utilizing thermostat fan ON – OFF feature will probably be more beneficial for multi-level homes equipped with just one HVAC unit and little to no air return ports assigned for each room (ie. two air returns on a two story residence / one per floor only).
HVAC systems designed with a single air return port, usually installed in the center of the house or in the center of each floor, are often […]

Recommended Thermostat Settings For Energy Savings

Recommended thermostat settings savings

Recommended thermostat settings  and thermostat location

Before I explain recommended thermostat settings for energy savings I’d like to point out the best and the worst thermostat locations.
To maximize home energy savings and ensure the most efficient operation of your HVAC system, thermostat location should be chosen on an inside wall in a frequently occupied area of the house or the apartment.
Additionally, thermostat location should be at least 18″ (46cm) from any of the house’s outside walls, and approximately 5′ (1.5m) above the floor surface in a location with freely circulating air of an average temperature.
Thermostat locations you should avoid!
The recommended thermostat settings […]

Hot Water Heating Maintenance | Interior Fall Maintenance

Hot water heating maintenance - circulating hot water boiler

Hot Water Heating Maintenance
Hot water heating maintenance procedures should be an important task on your interior fall maintenance list.
Hot water heating maintenance – bleeding hot water radiators once or twice a season
Bleeding your radiators means releasing any air trapped in them. This hot water heating maintenance process improves your hot water heating efficiency instantly. Hot water can flow into every part of the radiator, so it does a better job of warming your room.
In order to figure out your hot water heating system’s radiators performance, turn up the thermostat a few degrees above the room temperature, make sure that all […]

Combustion Air Requirements for Fossil Fuel Burning Appliances

Combustion air requirements - example of a water heater, furnace, and washing equipment instalalion

Combustion Air Requirements

There are four possible combustion air sources in your home;

House living space
Attic
Crawlspace
House exterior

In some cases combinations of the above combustion air sources is required, but the application of each has to be determined on an individual basis.
EXAMPLE of the combustion air calculations
For your own safety; I want you to examine the location of the fossil fuel burning appliances in your home as soon as you finish reading this chapter (furnace, water heater, fireplace, heating stove, etc.).  If you have a problem figuring combustion air requirements and determining if everything is correct, email me with detailed description of your […]

Attic Furnace Passageway and Platform Installations Requirements

Attic Furnace Mechanical Code Requirements

Attic Furnace Walkway & Platform

Attic furnace installation must comply with you local mechanical code or IMC (International Mechanical Code) if such was adopted in your area. The following are attic furnace installation requirements based on 2009 IRC and 2009 IMC (The codes refer to it as “Appliances in attics”).

Attic furnace access / passageway and platform
Attic furnace passageway and service area electrical requirement
Appliance in the attic / Attic furnace access / passageway and platform

Access opening and an unobstructed passage way to the appliance / furnace in attic area must be provided and be adequate in size to allow removal of the […]

Condo Furnace Above the Ceiling – The Unprofessional Way

In HVAC trade, just like in any other, there are some basic rules that anyone performing the job should follow. Not because somebody wrote them down, but because there’s a reason to follow them. Many of the rules are common sense. Some must be just taken for granted, but all should be followed if you (the installer) are being paid for it. This short story is just another proof that Chicago’s new condos are rarely (if ever) inspected by the city building department inspectors. Is your gas furnace installed above the condo ceiling? Look up there, and imagine yourself crawling and performing any type of maintenance on it.

Musty Smell From Heating System Air Ducts | Musty Odor

Musty smell from heating system air ducts could have many sources.

Although musty smell is always associated with moisture presence, eliminating it in some cases requires total redesigning of the forced air heating system.
This particular case applies to the houses with a forced air heating system metal air ducts embedded into the concrete slab (scroll to the bottom for a couple of other scenarios). With a plastic or cement air distributing pipes musty smell is rarely a case, unless some water leaks develop on pipe connections or cracks start appearing due to uneven settlement.
So if you have a forced air heating system, […]