UPDATED: Break Even COP’s for MA
How do you know if you should install a ductless mini-split, or upgrade your air-conditioner to a heat-pump and create a dual-source application during replacement this Winter? I have been asked this countless times over the past week! I personally always prefer the option of multiple fuel sources, particularly since energy prices have been all over the place during the last decade. Fortunately, using averaged…Continue
When is it ok to put your ducts into an attic, tight up against the Roof Deck? With more conventional building techniques, I would have to argue: NEVER! I do not care how the homeonwer pleads to keep their storage space, you cannot count on delivering cool air to the conditioned space with said branch duct. Even if you did figure out a way to secure the duct to the peak without crushing the inside diameter, the CFM is not the problem. The real issue becomes the dry bulb temperature of…Continue
As I had brought up years ago, ACCA's Manual S was in dire need of an update. Written in 1995, Manual S Residential Equipment Selection was passed by with huge technical and efficiency strides within the…Continue
If you have not been asked to complete a duct test by your local Massachusetts Inspector, it is just a matter of time before you are surprised by this stringent/updated code requirement. Despite some push-back from Contractors and Inspectors, all of MA is required to test new or altered duct systems. All of MA adopted the 2012 International Energy…Continue
Added by Christopher Morin on August 12, 2014 at 1:19pm — No Comments
Thermostatic Expansion Valves (TEV or TXV), one of the most popular metering devices for residential, high-efficient air conditioning and heat pumps, have performed almost impeccably for decades. Unfortunately, some manufacturers in the past few years have identified batches of valves that have had high superheat issues. Have we just been blind for so long, not realizing these problems existed? Or have these valves really been so reliable for such a long time?
If you think you…Continue
For as long as I can remember, the agreed epidemic with ductwork was always undersized return ducts. Although we are far from perfect with duct sizing in New England, I have frequently seen great strides in fixing this issue - particularly with replacement systems. Lets face it, you should just be properly designing the duct system on new installations. Undersized ducts cause great restrictions in airlfow, raising…Continue
Added by Christopher Morin on July 17, 2014 at 5:29pm — No Comments
This list does not represent the entire code, or even all municipalities. Everyone knows those towns that will hit you on every piece of the local code requirements, word for word from the text. But, don't be surprised when code officials, both building and mechanical inspectors, start failing permit inspections for these previously rarely enforced portions of the code! Are you going to wait until enforcement, or lead the industry in doing what the minimum is required by…Continue
Recently, Friedrich has modeled and sold in limited markets their DIY Mini-Split Heat Pump, Breeze. Just a few days ago, they scaled back their rollout in order to meet customer demand by limiting sales to New York and South Florida. I am torn between…
Attention Wrightsoft Users!
Have you ever completed a load calculation and it just seems like it was short of what you had expected? Particularly when you are first starting out with a tool, contractors can make mistakes. After all, we tend to learn "the hard way", right? In an effort to make software work, the companies tend to start with some default values that require adjustment. For instance, most have the duct system in…
Cleaning the condenser coil. This has always been the number one task that Service Technicians avoid at all costs when maintaining residential equipment. Maybe it is the nature of the fast paced business when the weather gets hot? Certainly could not be the lack of water to rinse the coil as there is almost always is a water spigot on either side of the home. I cannot figure out why, and this may be one of the largest aspects of seasonal maintenance that impacts the efficiency of…Continue
1. If you sign today, I will take $X thousand off!
This is a sales tactic often taken by a used car salesman. A Quality HVAC Contractor will price their installation with confidence, after finding a solution to fit the needs of the customer, and correctly sizing such equipment. I have no problem with "ballpark" numbers over the phone, as this can help sift through customers that are not interested in quality, so contractors do not waste time on what tends to be free…
Added by Christopher Morin on February 1, 2014 at 11:00am — No Comments
Vital to the operation of the refrigeration cycle, superheat must be maintained and stable to protect the compressor. We all know that the heart of the system cannot compress liquid (slug) without bad things happening. This would represent low/no superheat. But, did you know high superheat can cause valve and compressor problems as well? No matter the reason for attaching your gauges to the system, you must check the superheat, in the air-conditioning cycle.…Continue
4 or 5 ton systems should be multi-stage...
Added by Christopher Morin on November 10, 2013 at 11:35am — No Comments
There is nothing more frustrating to me than seeing needless deaths, particularly in America. I thought I saw my share chasing down WMD's that were never found in the Middle East. Does it sound that outrageous to put Carbon Monoxide in the same class as these? Think about it: a Colorless, Odorless Gas that poisons it's targets by being inhaled. The only thing a ruthless Dictator is missing is a way to weaponize this. Based on…Continue
Added by Christopher Morin on November 1, 2013 at 6:05pm — No Comments
Seems pretty elementary doesn't it? What should be a simple safety check on fossil fuel burning appliances, particularly for boilers with regards to ease of inspection, often is assumed with complacency or even goes unchecked. I know everyone's maintenance schedule is packing up in the Northeast…Continue
Imagine knowing the refrigerant charge was correct on a Central Heat Pump or A/C without attaching gauges! No, I am not referring to the Lennox "Approach" calculation, which I have found to be very unreliable to predict refrigerant charge, but instead using the simple total capacity calculation with the correct tool.…