The transference of energy from point a (heat source) to point b (needed delivery place). There are 4 different ways of doing so.
1. Is with moving of tempered air through large ductwork.
2. Moving of a liquid through pipes to a energy defuser of said energy
3. Radiant heat; like a heating element heating an oven or a fireplace heating a room or the sun through a window heating up the room in the wintertime.
* Forced air: This is the cheapest way to install a heating system with the poorest way of heating the objects in the house. With some manual and electrical parts running the system. When the furnace fan turns on it blows cold air for a couple of minutes until the ductwork gets warm. Then it delivers the needed warm air for warming the ambient air in the room. Once the room temperature is reached, the air passively warms the items in the room. Starting with the ceiling and upper walls of the room working its way down to the floor.
* When it comes to cooling the forced air system works the best. I takes a powerful fan to drive the cold heavy air to the top floor allowing it to cascade downward cooling the item’s it come in contact with. This means the floor will be the first large surface to be cooled than slowly it works it’s way up to the level of the thermostat. You will still have a lot of hot and humid air at the ceiling if the heating contract did not install a high wall return air duct.
* It’s also the best and I think the only way to really clean the air, removing air born allergens out of the air. You can use secondary air filtration units but the biggest one I’ve seen only does 1 room at a time trapping a person with allergies in 1 room or in 1 area of a house. Using a high quality air filter on your furnace (they can be Paper) about 5” thick do a great job of cleaning all the air for the entire house.
* Hot water heat: Is a good way to heat a house. With a boiler you convert fuel into hot water. With this type of system you can do multi-tasking of different types of jobs at the same time.
* Such as using radiators to heat the air, in-floor heat to heat floor surfaces such as front & back entry floors to melt the snow and evaporate the water or heat the bathroom floor and even heat the sidewalls of your shower to make your shower a better experience for you.
* With in-floor heat you can heat the basement floor that is the hardest surface to heat, while using hot air blows above the floor it will never actually heat the concrete floor. But having the pipe in the floor, the floor becomes a large radiator heating the room, making the enjoyable, instead of saying well we have a basement. Whats so nice about in-floor heat you have no moving air or cold drafts moving across the floor.
* The next area to heat with the hot water is the garage floor your car will love it the snow and ice melt off of it quickly taking with it the salt. Using a forced air blower in a garage is nice but the floor all ways stay cold and if you in your garage a lot you differ projects on till the warmer months of the year.
* And finally you can heat your driveway and sidewalks, think about you newer have to lift a shovel again.
* Steam Heat: Steam heat is the most efficient way it has the greatest exchange of energy. The only draw back is you must have a licensed steam boiler operator in house 24/7.
We think we love them, they have been a part of the American dream since the days of the pilgrims. The lingering quest in homeownership how do we protect them from the elements, after that how to make them warmer years after they have been built.
In the old days the log houses used the logs as insulation and a barrier from the elements, the timbers in a log house were a good insulator because no air could pass through theses timbers, just around them, as the logs dried out naturally over time they shrank leaving gaps, while the body of these timbers have released the trapped water it now traps billons of air pockets pushing up its insulating ability also over time. In the late 1800-and early1900s people were packing their balloon-framed houses with newspaper thereby creating a low R-value in the exterior wall cavities. During WW11 to save energy they required houses to be insulated the houses using insulation that was batt of fibrous material about 1 1/2” thick placed into the stud cavities.
Today we have to tighten our budget again because of the high cost of living. One place to do this is to insulate our houses from the exterior than install new siding over the insulation, but there is a catch if done wrong it will rot your walls, what would take nature 60-80 years could be done in as little as 3-8 years. Houses built before 1950 were designed to breathe, it wasn’t until the last 10 years that we had no idea as to how much water vapor actually passed through the exterior walls of our houses. If our house has a crawl space, cement floor, basement foundation walls, that are now waterproofed on the inside (not water resistive paint) you could be absorbing anywhere from 10-150 gallons of water per 24 hour period into your homes atmosphere this water vapor wants out of your house because there is less humidity outside than there is in your home, thereby forcing its way through your exterior walls to the out side.
Now the Law states you must install a house wrap. House wraps work great in the far south, but what happens in the north is a world apart from the south. The inside temp of the house is 70° outside is 30° automatically the water vapor in the house wants out the humidity in the air outside is dryer than the air inside so it forces it’s way through the exterior walls. If your installer installed a house wrap under your siding this is what is happening the water vapor just past through the insulating and wall sheathing, the next surface is colder so now it freezes on the back side of the house warp (you have white frost between your wall sheathing and your house wrap). When the temperature warms up the frost now turns to a liquid, with tarpaper the paper sucks up the water and spreads it to help it dry out the back side of the siding. While if you installed a name brand house wrap it now pooling up behind your siding. It a liquid not a vapor so it is not allowed to pass through, but instead it starts freezing and thawing on your wall sheathing breaking it down.
Adding more insulation on the exterior of the wall if done right will save you a boatload of money. On the exterior of a building you best results are going to be from a rigid insulation board. There are at least 2 types 1st is just an insulation board and the 2nd has aluminam foil on both sides you must choose according to the siding you want to install as to what insulation board is best. For example; horizontal cedar lap siding does not like aluminum for behind it. Before installing any type of rigid insulation on to an exterior wall surface you must make a way for the water vapor to escape to the outside air.
I recommend 1 product “mortairvent” Made by Benjamin Obdyke, it’s only 1/4” thick installed over the tarpaper, than you install you insulation board next and finally your siding. It’s made of woven plastic with enough rigidity to keep 1/4 inch air gap to allow the water vapor to escape either by going down the wall to be vented at the foundation line or vented at the soffit line of the house.
1. Does the contractor have liability insurance? If something goes wrong who will cover your loss. I heard of a roofing problem in the summer of 08 they tore off the roof and installed a new roofing system. It looked good it didn’t leak, but when the roofers were tearing off the old roof they inadvertently unlocked the furnace flue pipe 8’ below the roofline. When the flue pipe was re-shingled into place the pipe was 1/2 on and 1/2 off the lower pipe venting carbon monoxide into chimney chase and ultimately into the house attic. They didn’t find the problem for 5 months, thank God no one died. When Natural gas or LP gas is burned it gives off carbon monoxide and a lot of water. The water leaves the furnace at about 350 degrees; at this temperature it’s steam being forced into a cold attic with a lot of cold surfaces. When the steam touches a cold surface it changes to water or ice. In this case about 2 inches of ice crystals on under side of the roof decking, on the trusses and on the surface of the attic insulation. A quick calculation looks like about 200 gallons of water frozen in the attic. Looking at this job after the facts all the insulation in the attic has to be removed the roof sheathing has to be checked for soundness and may have to be replaced as well as the sheetrock ceiling. You might need new flooring also if the ice melted before you removed it, because it will follow the wall stud cavities to the main floor and under your carpets, or cupping you hardwood flooring.
This is only 1 thing that can go wrong; there are many other situation I have heard about.
2. Does the contractor have worker compensation insurance?
If person falls or get hurt in any way while on your property (grass, sidewalk, inside your house, etc.) you’re at fault, unless the contractor has workers compensation insurance.
Rules for hiring a contractor:
1. Does the contractor have a state license to do the type of work needing to be done?
2. Does the contractor have liability insurance? If something goes wrong who will cover your loss.
3. Does the contractor have worker compensation insurance?
If a person falls or get hurt in any way while on your property (grass, sidewalk, inside your house, etc.) you’re at fault. Unless the contractor has workers comp. insurance.
4. Make Sure All Subcontractors and/or Any Person Coming Onto Your Property Has Legal Workers Compensation and Liability Insurance.
5. Does this person have the brains to pull off this type of job? Watch out there a lot of cons out there calling them contractors only wanting to separate you from your money.
6. Can he/she prove what is being said in writing; a contract that protects you the Homeowner?
7. A lot of people have go good intentions but no knowledge or life experience to draw from.
8. There are 3 classifications of quality of work
A. Poor and well below sub standard workmanship
B. Just Average on workmanship
C. Excellent work- any worker just above average ends up excelling to excellent static because of the person himself, I’ve seen this time and time again.
9. 2nd Classifications of motives.
A. Money is a good motivator
B. The lack of money is a poor motivation
C. Lack of time for said job or out of on contracts personal bills
D. The only job available this one, actually scores just above average
E. Actually caring for his work and the client.
Now is the contractor your hiring going to hire subcontractor with substandard work or money problems? Remember this your project is to be a work of art not a novel of science fiction.
On hard metal pipes the air moves swiftly through the pipes with little to no hindrance the pipe walls are smooth galvanized metal with adjustable elbows as needed. The minor drawback of this type of pipe is the metal you must hot or cool the pipe first before tempering the room that it’s being sent to. The good thing about this type of ductwork it never comes apart all the joints are screwed together and all seams are now sealed so no air leakage. Finally when its time to have your duct work cleaned, they guys bring in 2 hoses a large volume vacuum hose and a large volume air compressor hose with these hooked on ether end each duct the volume of air used to clean the pipe run handles is with no problem.
Now with insulated flex pipes the air moves swiftly through the pipes with little to no hindrance the pipe walls are made of a spiraling piece of wire in beaded in the poly tubes pipe wall than covered with insulation and a 2nd poly to keep the cavity air space that the pipe is passing through. Sorry to say the inexperienced installers use this ductwork a lot and in places that it was not intended to be used. Granted this pipe is very flexible but bending the pipe in a hard 90° or even 180° and/or squeezing it down to fit a 3.5 inch space cavity. When the inside pipe measures 6” and the out side measures 8 1/2. A 6” round duct has 28.26 Cubic inch of open area when you crush it down to 3 1/2” on the exterior; the interior only has 5 cubic inches of open area. The bad thing about this ductwork is if too much air pressure and vacuum is used in the pipe run and the connections come apart and contracts to the vacuum side of the cleaning.
When you need this type of ductwork cleaned, many things can go wrong 1 the joints can come apart. The compressor hose can puncture the inner poly wall of the pipe, or if there is a restriction in the pipe and there is debris in the pipe it could clog. Remember these entire ducts are running in concealed spaces between your ceiling and 2nd floor or your basement ceiling and your main floor. If they disconnect there is no way to re attach them with out remove 1 of your finished surfaces.
All kitchens should have exhaust fans, a lot of hood fans do not vent the bad air to the out side, but instead they push the air through a charcoal filter and than exhausted it back into the kitchen. When these hood fans are used over 50 hours of use the charcoal filters should be changed. If you don’t, are your doing is blowing the smoke and cooking smells into the rest of the house.
Using an exhaust fan below 300 Cubic feet per minute, most houses have areas that leak this much air into these houses. Newer homes leak about 150 cfm around windows and doors.
If an exhaust fan is turned on blowing out 300 cfm, your short 150 cfm and it will draw it from a bad source. One of the easiest places for the air to come into the house is by sucking the air out of the chimney either the fireplace or the furnace chimney.
We remodeled a house along with the kitchen; we installed a 1280 CFM exhaust fan. We told the homeowner that he need makeup air he refused Than came thanksgiving, the family was there the owner has a 5’ wide and 4 tall open wood fireplace the fire was going for about an hour when the wife turned on the kitchen fan. Instantly the fireplace chimney reversed bringing the smoke into the house the fire in the fireplace was still burning but the flames were blowing horizontally into the room. He wanted a quick fix so he had a 12” fresh air intake installed into the cold air return on his furnace. This did fix 1 problem the fireplace now works properly while the kitchen fan runs on full speed.
If the furnace is running it was not sided to handle super cold air coming into the heat exchanger. With this much cold air coming into the furnace, the furnace cannot heat the house because now it has to heat the incoming cold fresh air. The other problem is that the heat exchanger is being stressed with 400 ° on the burner side and -10° on the other side this shortens the life of the heat exchanger by years.
If the house is warm because of the fireplace the furnace won’t turn on. With the fresh air dumping in to the return air plenum, the super cold air is now coming out all the vents cooling down your floors making a draft along the floor to the fireplace and the kitchen stove.
The proper way is to bring fresh air into the house and run it through a furnace designed to temper the makeup air.
When designing a kitchen what should you be looking for when choosing a new window(s) in the kitchen?
There are 6 different types of windows available but only 5 can open. The picture window is just that a cased opening with a secured thermo pane glass installed in the opening.
Awning; With this type of window the operating devices are located at the bottom of the window that makes it easy to operate. These windows are hinged at the top and swing outward. The problem is that the kitchen countertop is 36” tall than the window is about 24-36” tall. IE the top of the window is between 5’to 6’ off the floor so when you are looking out the window at the sink all your eyes are looking at the top of the window jamb, you must duck to look out the window.
Glider; With this type of window the operating devices are located half way up the window that makes this window hard to operate when you lean over the sink and faucet.
Casement; This is a great type of window the operating devices are located at the bottom of the window that makes it easy to operate, also if the wind is coming from the left and you want to bring the air in open the right window and it will hook the wind and bring it into the kitchen.
Double Hung; This is a good looking window but it has a draw back you must on unlock the window, the lock is half way up the center of the window opening it from the bottom is adequate again the sink and faucet is the way.
Hopper; A hopper window is a cool design of a window but it swings and tilts into the room in the swing mode the window can not open the faucet is in the way.
Transom; Having a transom window over the regular kitchen window is great unless you have a ceiling under 9’ again the bottom of the transom and the top of the regular is in your line of sight.
It’s a great idea, heating your garage with a Reznor unit heater it shall do a lot of good things for your garage and items stored in it. By keeping the heat above 38° it will keep the garage foundation from heaving in the cold winter months. Also if the garage is attached to the house, the house benefits by heating the garage the common wall is now warm for the house interns saving you heat on said house wall.
Having it warmer also helps your vehicles start faster as well as better engine oil viscosity, because the engine block is starting warm.
Using a compact ceiling gas heater works great. We have installed several of these units. You can bolt them to the roof framing members and or floor joist system. You can mount them up tight or drop them down to a lower height if you have a 9’- 14’ high garage ceiling. By installing the unit at the back of the garage and blow air cross the garage to the far front corner this will get the greatest way to stabilize the temperature in the garage. This will also dry your car off and the floor. By keeping your garage temperature at or above 38° you should never have the garage floor flaking or popping of concrete from the winter weather.
This furnace also can be vented both out the wall and/or through the roof of the garage. Giving is a way to really maximize your opportunity for the best installation.
3 types of solar collectors.
The vacuum tube type works great. It can reach temperatures above 350° and becomes a good collector. The down side of it is when the snow and/or frost lands on the vacuum tube collector the sun has to warm it up to evaporate the frost, and with heavy snow you will have to clean it off the solar panels manually. If you remember to clean the panel if not this will loss you hours of solar collecting.
2 types of Solar thermo panels
Home made solar collectors have a couple of problems: They are not sealed and filled with inert gas (argon gas) there by missing a key way of collecting solar heat. Improper way of winding the tubing inside the panel is another problem.
Flat panels commercially made are a great way to collect heat. You can set the collectors on most any type of roofing system. They also can be joined together for a greater Btu output. The maximum output will yield you any where between 50-70% of your domestic hot water. Having extra cash to go green is great but if you need this to be your main heating unit for hot water or limited location for hot water storage, this is not the system for you at this time I’ll check these systems out every couple of years for better results.
In the first photo you see a boiler system with different types of radiant heat points, with some of the controls required to operate the systems.
Below is a furnace system showing some of the components needing to be serviced.
heat loss calculation we can look at the different types of fuels vs. the costs of a geothermal system.
But before we can start we must enter some of the basics:
#1 the location of the house for the average winter low temperature.
#2 the location of the house for the average summer high temperature.
#3 what do you keep your thermostat at in the wintertime.
#4 what do you keep your thermostat for A.C. in the summer time.
#5 The Calculation is written for 67° ambient temperature.
#6 in your area how many heating degree-days are there in Mpls. there are 8000.0
#7 in your area how many Cooling degree-days are there in Mpls. there are 743.0
#8 what is the efficiency of your furnace
#9 what is the Seer rating of your Air Conditioner.
Now with these parameters plugged in the numbers than tell a story In the
There are 3 heat loss charts for 1988, 1998, 2008 the first line down is the cost of the fuel the 2nd line is the if your furnace is running at 100% Eff. The 3rd row down is per year to heat the house. The 4rth row is the cost savings per month if you have Geo thermal heating installed instead of the fuel you have. But notice the 5th row down this one is important, this tell you if you are a wise steward of you money. If the pay back in years is 10 years or less you could save a lot of money. In 1988 if you had an Electric furnace and changed it in 88 by 1997 the system would have been paid off and today you would have $37,015.00 more in your pocket. This price is based on the electric price in 1988 and we all know that the price has risen for electric energy. In the 2008 Chart look at the pay back on all 4 types of fuel. The price of LP gas is 4.03 dollars per gallon now, and is going up – I heard it could reach 8.00 per gallon by spring. If it only goes up only an additional $2.00 it will cost you 1500.00 per month on a budget, can you afford it.
Boilers, furnaces and water heaters – figured for a 2000 SF house
Water – minimum operating pressure 8 LBS per floor. A 2 story with basement –requires 24 Lbs operating pressure.
Cleaning cycle for the burners at least every 2 years
Fuel – Natural Gas, Propane
When gas is burnt it’s by product is water and Carbon Dioxide add this to a steel heat exchanger this creates rust. When rust flacks off the exchanger it falls on to the burners below creating bad combustion an lose of efficiency.
Oil #2 a Oil burners are a unique creation they blow fuel oil out at 100 PSI This oil is ignited by 2 electrodes at 10,000 volts. If/or when the electrodes burn back, and /or twist it will soot up the heat exchanger and flue again loosing efficiency.
Heat exchangers over time loss there integrity from the heating 350° 72 times in one cold winter day. When the exchanger breaks, cracks- carbon monoxide is now being pushed in to the house.
When you move air for heating and cooling you must clean or change your, also check to make sure your furnace fan blades are clean. If not use a screwdriver and clean each fin. Just have more air moving through the furnace will increase your heating and cooling efficiency.
Systems check –
Proper start up of burner -does it start with a bang or take a long time to light
Make sure the high limit control shoots down properly at the right temp.
Check for proper airflow out of the blower check the fins on the blower fan for lint buildup.
Cost of a new heating and cooling system with ductwork – $ 15,000.00
Cost of a new Geo system with ductwork – $ 24,000.00 with a well system
Cost of a new Geo system with ductwork – $ 18-20,000.00 with a in ground loop system
Cost of replacement of a furnace & AC system. $8,500.00
Cost of replacement of a Geo system $6,500.00