HEATING, VENTILATION AND AIR CONDITIONING
In the US, we consume more than half of our home energy end use in space heating and air cooling, around 54% for single-family homes, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Obviously, it varies where our homes are, home size, how they are designed and built, number of people and their living patterns, and the HVAC equipment design, selection and installation quality.
Electricity and natural are gas are the most common energy source, but since we are designing Zero Energy Ready Homes, so, it makes sense to install electric heat pumps, assuming the homeowner has present or future plans to install solar panels.
OUR GOAL FOR NEW HOMES IS TO HAVE THE BEST BUILDING ENVELOPE AND LOWEST ENERGY LOADS
POSSIBLE TO INSTALL THE SMALLEST, MOST EFFICIENT HVAC EQUIPMENT
WHO THINKS IS A GREAT IDEA TO DESIGN A HOUSE WITH THE HVAC SYSTEM IN A HOT OR COLD ATTIC? Who thinks it’s a great idea to produce and deliver 55°F cold air in a 180°F attic in the summer, or 140°F hot air in a 0°F attic in winter? That is just plain ignorant and dumb, and we take this problem head on.
We find the HVAC industry to be the most challenging of all to do things right. Even when they know we are designing and building a high-performing house, with super-tight building envelope and low energy loads, the lack of education or wiliness the design and install systems as they should, is my biggest challenge for all projects. For us, choosing a willing contractor is the highest and critical priority.
ACCORDING TO THE CDC, 1 IN 13 PEOPLE HAVE ASTHMA.
Just to be fair, the biggest majority of all homes built in the US are not high-performing homes, they are leaky, drafty, unsealed, with horrible insulation installation, and high energy loads. Because of this, HVAC contractors have learned to “adjust” for deficiencies in bad building practices.
With equipment and ducts in the attic, HVAC contractors have also learned that homeowners accept leaky and uninsulated ducts, uncomfortable room temperatures, high humidity, clogged filters, blocked or closed vents and registers, bad thermostats, dirty coils, no filtered ventilation at all, and the most common, grossly oversized equipment.
- Besides providing a great building envelope and tightness, we get involved by designing equipment closets, chases for ducts in our floor trusses or furr-downs in our hallways or rooms, to make it easier and efficient for the contractors to install their HVAC systems.
- We make sure that ONLY high-performing and high-efficient equipment is selected, with metal trunk and branch duct system, inside the conditioned space, and occasionally, double-wrapped branches.
- We get involved in making sure that all HVAC design manuals (J, S, D and T) are done correctly, and comparing it to our own calculations.
- We provide job oversight for HVAC quality installation.
- We design CONTINUOS AND BALANCED VENTILATION for a healthy indoor environmental and air quality.
LET’S MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AN EFFICIENT, COMFORTABLE AND HEALTHY HOUSE